At 78 minutes, it was one of the shorter rock concerts I’ve attended, but that was all the time it took for 3 Doors Down to hit the right notes with Spokane fans at the First Interstate Center for the Arts on Wednesday night.
The band packed the set full of hits from its 20-year career, kicking things of with “Duck and Run.” It’d been less than two years since 3 Doors Down visited the Spokane area. In January 2018, they played an acoustic show at Northern Quest. The S-R review of that show recounts a relaxed set lasting more than two hours with lots of storytelling.
This show couldn’t have been more different. Lead singer Brad Arnold, in a black T, jeans and baseball cap, kept a good pace all night, especially for the first half of the concert. Between songs, he’d slip in a “God bless you” or “thanks for coming,” but mostly stuck to singing.
He got some help from the crowd, of course. During “It’s Not My Time,” he held the mic out to the crowd for the chorus. And before starting “Be Like That,” he said, “All right, my friends, this song is one of those that sound so much better when you sing it.” But, even without those cues, audience members were often singing along.
Arnold, guitarists Chris Henderson and Chet Roberts and bassist Justin Biltonen used the whole stage, which was decorated with pillars of screens and lights and a giant 3 Doors Down banner.
The screens and lights would flash different colors and designs, creating a cool graphic display. But drummer Greg Upchurch was almost in the dark in the back of the stage, except for a moment in the spotlight at the end of “Behind Those Eyes.”
In fact, the spotlighting seemed a bit off. Often the stage was fairly dark until well into the first verse of a song, when the spotlight would finally find Arnold or one of the guitarists.
Toward the end, Arnold – the only original member of the band – got slightly more chatty. “We’re going to take this back around 20 years,” he said before launching into “Loser,” which brought most audience members still sitting to their feet.
After the song, he said, “It’s hard to believe that song came out 20 years ago. It’s hard to believe we’ve been on the road for 20 years. At the time, I couldn’t imagining doing anything for 20 years.”
He promised the crowd a remastered version of “Better Life” and another tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band’s debut album, then launched into “Kryptonite,” slipping in a reggae-style repeat of the chorus.
The band left the stage and the crowd stayed on its feet cheering for a few minutes until 3 Doors Down returned to finish the night with “Here Without You” and “When I’m Gone,” which Arnold dedicated to military and first responders.
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