Sound: Finger Eleven for those of you Who do not know, consist of Scott Anderson (vocals), Sean Anderson (bass), James Black (guitar), Rick Jackett (guitar) And Rich Beddoe (drums). For years Scott has been belting out amazing vocals that are now only receiving attention because of their hit, "One Thing". And on this night, Scott did not miss a beat. For all you perfectionist out there Who assume the album will match the live shows, Finger Eleven is probably the only band where the vocals will match roughly 95% of the time.
The fact that live, Scott can belt out these high scales and continue them in the middle of the set is amazing. On this particular night however it was very hot and not well ventilated so Scott and the rest of the boys had to push through the set list and played no encore, which I hear is the first time ever they did not, but note for note, Scott did not miss a beat. Time for the instrument reviews. Jack and Rick will probably never play killer tracks like Obvious Heart, Costume for a Gutterball, Good Times, Conversations, Drag You Down, and so on. Any chance these musicians get to change up a riff, or to play in a higher pitch or anything they will play at will. Does this diminish the quality of the playing? No, not at all, infact ths enhances the performance to those Who attended to just listen and not be a rock show participant.
Sean is always note for note playing the hardest he can and alwasy nailing every que, every solo, every chorus, perfection to the max for this guy. And Rick, all you drummers out there know that you guys control the concert, and man he controlled it and had a killer time doing it. No matter whether or not you were in a face plant in the bottom of the mosh pit, crowd surfing or stuck between 5 people with no place to go, you never missed a note, a word or a drum line. // 10
Perfomance: Performance is key, these guys have been doing it for years, they know what works and what flops. On their Summer Of Judgement tour, they selected local bands to open up for them. Good Move, the crowd is already familiar with them from other local bands, so here comes the opener of Courtesy Blush, and there was a small fuss over them, I compare them to a Alexisonfire wanna be. I was not impressed but I did not see the need for the crowd to pelt the lead screamer with 2 or 3 full water bottles. But I give the lead singer credit for not missing a beat after he was hit in the nose with one.
Next to open was Unit. Now they played crap songs and crap music. But can they work a crowd? oh hell yea, the whole club is chanting unit before they get on stage, and when they finally show up it erupts even louder, and the crowd pushes harder and the pit is goin strong, all for the opening act. but again for the purpose of warming up the crowd I give them a 5 for that plan. Now Finger Eleven, First to arrive is Rick and he sits behind his drum kit, then Sean shows up and puts his Fender on, Rich emerges from the shadows and straps in with his pedal box in check and ready to go nuts as he always does. James takes 2 steps from behind the curtain and the crowd erupts as this man is in charge of all the killer solos and riffs that us F11 fans are in love with.
Then the man we are all waiting for shows up Scott goes straight to Rich's kit and puts down a powerade and walks to the mic. Crowd is getting ugly before the first note is played. And then there it is Conversations, They atart the Show With a small drum solo by Rich, then Sean kicks in his bass for a few bars then James and Rick go nuts as Scott belts out the first verse, and the crowd is up and singing and loving it, one man is enjoying it so much he decides to elbow a few ladies to get to the front, well security loved HIM so much they decided to throw HIM over the guard rail and kick HIM out the door.
The one big problem I have when it comes to concerts is that I can never remember the set list song for song. They played Stay and Drown, which they never do, this was a big moment that first timers will never know about. they seen them play Stay and Drown, and witnessed something special because of its rebirth. Quicksand and Above are Finger Eleven classics, and if you are aware of their first album Tip then you know that you have to hear those songs live, along with Costume For A Gutterball. This song, I suggest every band learn to play. It is an amazing song to play, you drummers go nuts playing, the bassists will probably get cramps if you play the song right, and you guitarists have fun playing this trust me I know. Oh yea as a side note, if you look at this sites bass tab for the song, it is wrong however it is a good place to start.
As they are playing the song they hit the bridge, and Scott vanishes, he just leaves the rest of the band standing around playing their instruments, James takes a solo, Sean does a solo, and Rick has fun with his sound effects pedal, about 8 or 9 minutes later Scott reappears and he jumps right into the bridge and to the end of the song, and the boys follow HIM. And if you have seen F11 live, you kno how great that moment is. They continue to play more songs from their new self titeld disc like Complicated Questions, Therapy, Last Scene Of Struggling, Stay In Shadows, Absent Elements, and Obvious Heart.
To pick a favourite from of these songs is hard to do, but for those of you Who have not heard First Time, Drag You Down, My Carousel, and Sick Of It All, you can not appreciate the mix of hard rock and melodic soft rock that these 5 individuals can fuse together to make a killer song. the set list says they have 3 songs left, and James goes to his mic and announces he is going to die tonite, the crowd goes nuts, these guys are playing their heart and souls out for the crowd, and you can see the sweat puddles around James, Scott, and Rick. On this song James breaks a string on his electric and vanishes for the rest of the song, he comes back at the end and Scott Announces that he is going to die, they get through Drag You Down, and James is barely standing playing the song, a real showman doing the old James Brown technique before he springs back up and goes nuts.
Then the last song on the set list is One Thing, James brings out his custom acoustic, and sits on a stool barely able to hold his head up, not even getting through the first verse he leaves the stage, Sean and Rick look eagerly to find out why all of a sudden James would just leave the stage during there most popular song (But that depends on Who you are asking). I must have gone deaf while this occured because I do not remember hearing the rest of this song. but at the end, Scott and the rest go storming off the stage, the crowd is roaring for an encore but there is none. The first time no encore was held at a Finger Eleven Concert. Despite no encore, and no one hearing Good Times it was still an amazing show. // 10
Overall Impression: The gig was held in Elements Night Club in Kitchener Ontario on July 16th 2004. Openers again were Courtesy Bush and Unit, Although the first band was treated poorly. Tickets were $25 CAD at the door, or $20 through ticketmaster, a great price to see a Canadian Rock group of their National status, yes that sounds corny but they have not gotten the American respect they deserve, Even though they toured with Evanescence last summer.
The show was worht every penny and more. If you were there to see just One Thing, Absent Elements or Good Times, I am sorry you had no business being there. One thing about the show I will not forget is the no encore, it made me mad cu I did wanna see Good Times live, because I can not tab the Chorus right and it is pissing me off. Leaving the show you talk to people on the street and found out the reason for them not doing an encore, during the one thing performance when James left the stage they called an ambulance for HIM, and he was sent for extreme dehydration, and then you found out that Scott also went to the hospital for the same reason.
These guys Care about there fans and would do the encore if they had the strength to do so, so the only negative was the poor ventilation at Element because my clothes were soaking in sweat, so I can only imagine how James felt. I encourage all F11 fans to go, and witness these guys live, it is something you will never forget. // 10