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Three Doors Down shows they're not one album wonders

Avalon, Boston, Jan. 30, 2003

By Jeffrey B. Remz

BOSTON - Chances are that Three Doors Down are going to be quite hard pressed to duplicate the fantastic success of their 2000 debut, "The Better Life."

The cash register rang up sales of 4 million copies, and they had a ubiquitous presence on radio thanks to their smash megahit "Kryptonite" plus a few others.

In winding down the U.S. portion of their tour Tuesday, touring behind "Away From the Sun," Three Doors Down showed themselves not to be one-album wonders. While the hits tend to be on the hooky side, the Mississippi band's music is not entirely radio ready all the time.

In concert, the songs tend to start off with a gentle approach sonic wise with lead singer (and their former drummer) Brad Arnold taking over. And then the music tends to kick in, often with a dense rhythm section of touring drummer Daniel Adair of Vancouver and bassist Todd Harrell. There is a sense of melody throughout, but not one to hit you over the head either.

But through it all Arnold's vocals were rarely lost in the mix, quite a rarity for a rock show.

And in another rarity, don't ever accuse of copping an attitude. Far from it. Not only was he exceedingly gracious in his "thank you very much" comments to the crowd interspersed with "right on," the amount of curses could not even be counted on one hand. That's right, zero.

Of course, that doesn't make for good music, just the same as indelicate use of language does not mean the music is any good either.

Three Doors Down could not be accused of being groundbreaking by any stretch. But in the case of Three Doors Down, they have the musical chops and enough quality songs to make for an enjoyable evening.

While not chintzy, at 75 minutes, the show could have been longer. Three Doors Down also could be on a growth curve. The show was far from packed with the faithful with them from the debut. A large portion of the audience had never seen the group before, which bodes well for their future (assuming the folks liked them).

It would be easy to saddle the opening act, Theory of a Deadman (what a fine name!), with being where they are simply because of Nickelback lead singer Chad Kroger. He is friends with Deadman's lead singer Tyler Connolly, having penned 7 of the 10 songs together for the debut.

And, in fact, there is more than a passing resemblance between the two bands.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. Like Three Doors Down, the vocals were clearly mixed above the music, and Connolly's whiskey-soaked voice got some oomph behind it.

There was a bit of sameness to the songs, but Theory of a Deadman showed promise.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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