On March 14, 2018 Candlebox performed at The Plaza Live putting on a spectacular show for the Orlando crowd. When the announcement came they were returning on March 13, 2019, there was no doubt I wanted to be at that show. Candlebox was still celebrating the 25th anniversary of their debut self-titled album, which released on July 20, 1993. I expected this to be a phenomenal show hearing a good mix of tracks from their discography. Candlebox has always been known to put on great live shows every time I saw them and I knew that night would be no different.
The Plaza Live had a good crowd in attendance of all ages, all excited for the performance. Before Candlebox would take the stage, we were treated to the Galveston, TX progressive rock band To Whom It May. The band recently released their debut album The Great Filter on July 20, 2018 through Candlebox’s vocalist Kevin Martin’s G4L Records label. The band was hand-picked by Kevin to join Candlebox on the tour. To Whom It May is Jonathan Jourdan (vocals/guitar), Robb Mars (bass), and Dexas Villarreal (drums).
To Whom It May primarily performed tracks from their debut full-length album. They started it off with “Bypass” with an intense light show from the start and some hard-hitting notes. The song delivers a stellar bass line and some great vocal ranges from Jourdan. The followed with “Weight of the Stone”, another great song where Jourdan shows his exceptional guitar skills and Dexas ripping quickly through the drum notes. The main thing I realized right away is that To Whom It May didn’t remind of any other band. Their rock sound was their own and it was impressive and immersive finding myself quickly caught up in their performance. “The Signal Fire” was my favorite from that night where the trio truly stood out. They also decided to do a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” which I found to be what you expect from a cover of that song, until the very end when To Whom It May turned that song over on its head making it into a metal bash. It was truly mind-blowing. To Whom It May is a band with a bright future. You can find their music and merch at www.towhomitmay.net. Their setlist that night:
- Weight of the Stone
- The Signal Fire
- Sick Day
- Creep (Radiohead cover)
After being significantly rocked out by To Whom It May, the crowd was ready for Candlebox. The rock band from Seattle, WA formed back in 1990 but wouldn’t be until 1993 where they would release their first self-titled studio album. That album would go on to be certified Platinum four times. Their follow up album, Lucy, released in 1995 would end up certified Gold. The band would release one more album before going on hiatus in 2000. They returned in 2008 with Into The Sun which peaked at #32 on the Billboard 200. They followed up in 2012 with Love Stories and Other Musings and their last album in 2016 Disappearing in Airports. Candlebox is Kevin Martin (vocals), Brian Quinn (lead guitar), Island Styles (rhythm guitar), Adam Kury (bass), and Dave Krusen (drums).
When the band took the stage the crowd cheered loudly and they started off with “Changes” from their self-titled debut album Candlebox. The rock song with those opening chords immediately sent goosebumps on my arms and had the crowd already screaming. Though it starts off slow, once it hit the hard notes and vocals, the crowd was singing along word for word. They followed up with “Blossom” from the same album, slowing the pace down slightly, but then having it hit that hard rock pace right in the middle. I was very impressed with how good Kevin sounded during the song. And then followed with “No Sense”, also from the same album.
Right after Kevin spoke to the crowd explaining how the band was still celebrating the 25th anniversary of their debut album. So that night they were playing the entire album, not in track order, but they would perform every song on the album. This got both me and the crowd cheering loudly. So they continued with that album performing “Don’t You”. They then strayed away performing “Simple Lessons” from Lucy, “Sometimes” from Happy Pills, where Kevin played the acoustic guitar, and “Breathe Me In from Into The Sun. The amazing part watching Candlebox live is seeing the passion these artists have on stage. Kevin through his vocals and movements showing his love of the songs he performs. Brian is a beast on the guitar playing it straight up in the air and holding out notes to let the sound ring out. Island gets deep in the moment of his playing with the expressions on his face. Adam hammers away on the bass when he’s very into the song. And Dave belts away killer beats with his facial expressions showing how much he’s loving the music. Candlebox had the crowd wrapped around their finger that night. I also love Kevin telling some very interesting stories in between songs that had the crowd laughing and applauding. It shows how much the band connects with their fans because they understand what they’ve been through to be on that stage today. Multiple times Kevin thanked the audience stating if it wasn’t for their support, they wouldn’t be able to tour and do the things they’ve done all these years.
The band wrapped up the show with two more from Candlebox performing the well-known “You” and “Far Behind”. The audience was singing along word for word with both songs. The crowd cheered loudly for Candlebox as they took a bow and walked off the stage. You can find Candlebox music and merch at www.candleboxrocks.com. Their setlist that night:
- No Sense
- Don’t You
- Simple Lessons
- Breathe Me In
- Sweet Summertime
- Cover Me
- Mothers Dream
- He Calls Home
- Far Behind
As expected, Candlebox provided the Orlando audience with an amazing live performance. The band never disappoints when hitting the stage and gives the crowd a memorable performance each and every time. To Whom It May provided a great opening support as well. I look forward to the next time both bands come to Orlando.