Candlebox Rocks Fort Lauderdale’s Culture Room
Seattle-based grunge rockers Candlebox performed to a sold-out jam-packed crowd at Culture Room on a below-normal chilly Friday night in Fort Lauderdale. Having just kicked off their 2020 tour, the band made a four-stop Florida run that included two nights in Fort Lauderdale.
Things got started with San Francisco-based rockers Whole Damn Mess. While many may not know the name, since the band was formed just a few years ago, it is comprised of some recognized musicians of well known bands coming from various genres of music, including Lawrence Katz of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Daxx Nielsen (son of Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen) on drums, with such a mix of styles, this name fits the band well. With frontman Don Miggs taking control early, he led the audience into a slow buildup that is best described as walking, then jogging, finally ending up in a full-out sprint during their 50-minute set. As the band continued to rip through some of their more popular songs, things got interesting when they were joined on stage by Candlebox lead singer Kevin Martin, who came out to sing a song with Miggs. Whole Damn Mess got the crowd rocking early and were the perfect lead up into Candlebox.
With founding member and lead singer Kevin Martin as the sole remaining original member of Candlebox, the band is made up of a highly talented group of musicians including longtime drummer Dave Krusen, bassist Adam Kury, and guitarists Island Styles and Brian Quinn. On this night they were without Krusen, but that didn’t stop Candlebox from delivering an epic performance.
Candlebox is one of many successful Seattle grunge rock bands that formed in the early 1990s and became part of the Seattle area grunge scene along with other iconic bands from the Northwest, including Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, and, of course, Nirvana. Despite the band’s massive success, they disbanded in 2000. Returning in 2006, Candlebox hit the road and have since released three studio album while remaining on a steady touring schedule. The band has gone through several lineup changes, the last in 2015.
From the performance Friday night, it’s clear that Candlebox still rocks. Lead vocalist Kevin Martin is an incredible force of energy with a solid stage presence that kept fans rocking from the opening drum beat till the last guitar lick. This is a band that appears to be having fun; they meshed well together playing before a packed audience in an intimate venue like the Culture Room. As bands sometimes simply go through the motions of a long tour schedule, it was clear that Candlebox was determined to give fans what they came for: a night of hard rock to remember that will keep the band in the hearts and minds of their dedicated fan base. Equally as impressive as the music was Martin’s heartfelt appreciation for his fans. He personally thanked each fan that night for all the year of support and gave many an up close and personal experience during the show engaging those lucky enough with taking selfies, high fives and handshakes and, most importantly, the connection with each of his fans fortunate enough to be at the show that night. After all, a career that has lasted 30 years and continues to draw fans is impressive, but one thing is clear: Candlebox leaves nothing to question and all on stage.
Candlebox ripped through a set list of their very best and included a series of covers that kept the audience singing along to Martin’s every word. The steady stream of music included You, Cover Me, Don’t You, Blossom, Simple Lessons, War Pigs (Black Sabbath cover), Sometimes, Stand, She Come Over Me, Vexatious, Nothing Left To Lose, Mother’s Dream, Change, No Sense, He Calls Home, and Rain, and they closed out the night with their biggest hit, “Far Behind.”
What’s next for Candlebox? It’s been four years since they released an album. One thing is for certain, if you go to a Candlebox show, you will leave rocked out and satisfied, with a band that not only cares about their performance but making sure you have a good time. If the tour comes your way, don’t miss them.