Live from Mohegan Sun
Eagle Rock Entertainment
Staind is one of the few hard rock bands that originated in the mid to late ’90s that is still making decent music today. They broke out the same time as Korn, Limp Bizkit and hundreds of other “rap-rock” groups that today are either gone and long forgotten, or caricatures of themselves (Fred Durst anyone?). Staind, however, has remained fairly consistent to their edgy, yet radio-friendly brand since the beginning.
Despite that, their first live DVD (released 17 years after they formed) is more of a greatest-hits than a concert experience. From the very beginning of the concert with “Eyes Wide Open” and “Falling,” it becomes obvious that lead singer Aaron Lewis is just going through the motions. The entire concert, whether he’s struggling to sing on “Right Here” or “It’s Been Awhile” or he’s screaming on “Spleen” or “Mudshovel,” he appears bored (or maybe just uncomfortable) with the entire experience. While the other three are jumping up and down and moving around their areas, Lewis stays static. The one time that it works is when he plays “Country Boy” from his solo country album. It’s the only time that he seems to genuinely connect with the crowd.
There are a few things that this DVD does confirm. 1. Despite a lot more tattoos (including the phrase “Don’t Tread On Me” in big bold letters around his neck), Aaron Lewis has not gained any stage presence in 17 years. 2. His voice actually holds up better on the harder scream/singing songs than the slower tracks. The studio has helped a lot with songs like “So Far Away.” 3. Guitarist Mike Mushok is a brilliant guitarist. Whether you like the band or not, no one can deny that Mushok has legit guitar chops and it really shows on this DVD.
So, if you are a fan of Staind, chances are you already have this DVD. If you are a casual fan, this is worth it just to watch Mushok go bonkers for almost two hours. Otherwise, a greatest hits collection will do just fine.