I have to be honest, I've never been a big fan of acoustic tours. They were always a deteriorated version of the typical live shows with lack-luster energy, extremely dark stage sets and long, drawn-out versions of the original songs usually so bad they were barely recognizable.
So what changed my mind? Lots of things: for starters, the set was well thought out to create a sense of intimacy for the crowd. Using a little imagination, it actually looked like a basement setting complete with sofas, bar stools and cedar chests used for table tops. Dimly lit lamps and a shag carpet were perfect accents to the set. Now factor in the rustic wooden walls of the venue and you'd swear you were at a friend's house for a jam session.
As a band, 3 Doors Down has never sounded better. Lead singer, Brad Arnold's voice is as good as it's ever been - clear, crisp, precise. This was only complimented by the clean sounds of each accompanied instrument which could easily be picked out separately but melded together in perfect harmony. They kept the songs short and sweet without the over-exaggeration that one normally finds at an acoustic show. This becomes an important factor when it comes to fans wanting to sing along.
Song selection was spot on. Playing a large selection of hits mixed with some new tunes kept the near-capacity crowd’s interest. Add in a couple surprise covers such as Garth Brooks' "The Dance" and Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters", the crowd really came to life and that jam session turned into one giant sing-along in pure southern hospitality fashion.
Overall, I was highly impressed by this Mississippi-based band and judging by the responses of the crowd as they exited the venue, I wasn’t the only one. The tour continues through the end of the month so be sure to check their website for dates and cities.