Friday night lights

Denise Wright

Hinder frontman Austin Winkler sings into the sea of fans during the show at Blossom Music Center. Steve Mantilla |Summer Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

READ the interview with Joe Garvey of Hinder.

It was around 7 p.m. when the opening band, Jet Black Stare, finished playing. Thousands of people already lined the lawn, and clusters of concert-goers started taking their seats underneath the immense wooden pavilion at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls.

A member of the stage crew got on stage and began testing the guitar. The eager crowd cheered.

As the pit grew closer to maximum capacity, the crew wrapped it up. Dramatic theme music began playing as Cody Hanson, Hinder’s drummer, walked on stage.

The pit became rowdy.

Hanson took his place behind the drum set and began banging away. In front of the drum set, a Hinder emblem lit up in rhythm with Hanson’s hits.

Guitars and bass were added to the music as Hinder’s guitarists, Joe “Blower” Garvey and Mark King, and bassist, Mike Rodden, made their way to the stage. Vocalist Austin Winkler walked on stage and gave a scream.

They lunged into their opening song, “Use Me.” The song was just released as the first single from their upcoming album.

Although there was a dominant older crowd, there was also the occasional younger child and several mother-daughter sets.

Hinder played on, performing a mix of songs from its new album and old favorites like “Homecoming Queen,” “Better than Me” and “Lips of an Angel.”

After they finished, the crowd began milling around, making their way to the concession stands.

People scrambled back to their seats, however, when Aaron Lewis, the vocalist of Staind, introduced the first single from the group’s new album.

Although also a rock group, Staind’s alternative sound seemed to draw a much mellower crowd. The band played a 50-minute set, loaded with many older songs like “It’s Been Awhile,” “So Far Away” and “Right Here Waiting.”

Afterwards, there was a long intermission to assemble the stage for 3 Doors Down.

It was almost 10 p.m., and it was growing darker outside. The pavilion lights died down as the stage lights come up, signaling it was time for 3 Doors Down to come on.

The band played a range of songs from its four albums. They performed everything from older hits “Kryptonite” and “Here Without You” to their new single “It’s Not My Time.”

Nikolas Kolenich, junior visual journalism major, said he arrived at the concert at the end of Staind’s set, so he was only able to see 3 Doors Down perform. He said they “sounded just like they do on the radio.”

Kolenich took his new girlfriend to the concert as their first date. He said he liked that the outdoor environment of the venue enabled them to walk around and talk to each other.

Although Kolenich said he likes Blossom’s outdoor arena, he also said he felt this specific concert would have been better at an indoor venue such as Agora Theater & Ballroom in Cleveland.

“I think it lost the energy you get in a smaller place,” Kolenich said. “But I understand why they held it at a larger place like Blossom.”

Contact general assignment reporter Denise Wright at [email protected].