As a disclaimer, we are adding another edition to the Madness To Creation Podcast where we will discuss how the band’s content impacts us from an emotional and mental health standpoint. They will be called Minutes of Creative Madness, which is a spinoff from Madness To Creation. In this, we are reviewing the first installment of the livestream of The Return of STAIND. You can check out “It’s Been Awhile: Live From Foxwoods in Connecticut” at www.staindlive.com and this Saturday May 8th, fans can check out the 20th anniversary of “Break The Cycle” in its entirety. The livestream events will be available for 72 hours afterwards and here is the review of Staind.
Staind is one of those landmark bands that defined my senior year of high school and my early college years. I remember seeing them at the Quest Club in Minneapolis in 2000 with P.O.D, Dope and Crazy Town for one Hamilton, and let me tell you, it was an incredible concert. I had the pleasure of meeting Aaron F’n Lewis back then, here he comes up to me, eyes glazed over, smoking a cigarette and we are chatting it up about how much he hated Napster. We were standing next to a parking sign and before we knew it, some crazed person threw a beer bottle our way and it shatter hitting the pole of the sign and Aaron flipped off the car and said “I’m right here, come after me, don’t come after my fans.” I remember taking a picture with him and he was so friendly, yet very reserved.
I was very excited to check out this live set of The Return of Staind and was also curious if it would bring back memories seeing them open for Korn and Limp Bizkit and packing the Quest Club in Minneapolis. When they broke into their old school songs off of “Dysfunction”, such as “Raw” and the set closer “Mudshovel”, memories poured in on how their music got me through some difficult times in life. Here I was, a kid trying to find my place in this world, an awkward kid at that, and just blaring their music and their lyrics because the music spoke to me. It made me realize that I wasn’t alone in these thoughts. For example, the song “Fade” speaks to my disassociating ways with people, “I never meant to fade away”, I don’t mean to, sometimes I just do. The song “For You” speaks to people’s troubles with relationships, sometimes relationships suck. The song “Outside” is seeing through someone’s bullshit and how we can all be full of our own shit sometimes. And Aaron F’n Lewis would sing those songs with a power and a grace about them, while having his trademark stage presence of having his hand in his pocket, being nonchalant or holding a cigarette and yet belting it. Not to mention Mike Mushok(who is a SWEETHEART of a guy) laying down those memorable riffs and Johnny April(one of the most underrated bass guitarists in history) and Sal Gaincerelli providing that groovetastic rhythm.
While the visuals and performance was excellent, this was more than a trip of nostalgia for the fans of Staind, this was a journey to how far people have come from being empowered by the lyrics and music of Staind. It was a symbol of unity in the sense that we are all broken or have been broken. I am so damn glad this band is back. Check out “Break The Cycle” this Saturday!