Review by John Jeffrey, Photos by Thomas S. Orwat Jr.
Niagara Falls, NY- On a rainy day in May, Hinder made their appearance in Western New York, playing the Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls. The entire RockMusicStar.com staff was on hand for the show, arriving while Royal Bliss was playing, as we didn’t catch any of their set. Their crowd was pretty packed and everyone seemed hungry for some good ‘ol rock and roll.
Kopek was the next band on the bill, as they came out next and just tore it up. They played the heaviest songs off of “White Collar Lies,” which sounded even heavier live. They were so loud, that the bass made the floor rumble and the in-house video camera shake. Even though Kopek was third on the bill, you could clearly see people singing the words to their songs, and giving the band a rousing applause at the end of each tune. I can’t say enough good things about this band.
Next up was Red, a self proclaimed ‘Christian’ band from Nashville, TN. Their look was pretty unique, as the band is comprised of all bald (or nearly bald) guys, wearing black, tight neck, militant looking outfits, and their ‘show’ was basically this mist machine, that blasted streams of white mist, in unison, throughout their set. Even though their look was unique, the same can’t be said for their sound. Their tuned down guitars just sounded like mud, with every song sounding like a Linkin Park rip off. I always appreciate a band with a positive message, but watching them got old, very quick. However, the rest of the crowd seemed to enjoy them.
Hinder was last on the bill, making it clear that they were headliner, as they brought out a pretty big stage set up, considering the size of the venue isn’t all that large. Their backdrop were these pseudo cathedral gates on both sides of the drum riser, reminding me of the Heaven & Hell (aka Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio) stage. From their songs that get played on the radio, many people may perceive Hinder as being an alternative, or a ‘nu-rock’ band, but live, these guys are just a straight up, hard rock band. Visually, they come off slightly contrived, as the whole band resembles Buck Cherry, with singer/frontman Austin Winkler looking like he could be Josh Todd’s brother. Musically, they are much heavier live, sounding almost like Jackyl, but without the chainsaw. They put on a highly energetic stage show, and they played a great mix of their newer and older material. The girls ate up the ballads of course, and the guys enjoyed the heavier stuff. A newer song that went of particularly well was the song “Striptease” from 2010’s “All American Nightmare” CD. The heavy groove had everyone head banging along, as the lead guitar riff reminds me of “Fantasy” by Aldo Nova.
All in all, a great day of rock and roll. Seeing Kopek play twice in one day was awesome (see Kopek instore review HERE), knowing there is only good things ahead for this band. Hinder’s ‘old school’ rock sensibilities were very impressive, and the entire bill made for an enjoyable, and memorable night.
Complete Hinder set list –
2 Sides of Me
Up All Night
What Ya Gonna Do
Better Than Me
All American Nightmare
Lips of An Angel
Waking Up the Devil
Put That Record On