May 10th was a date that everyone in Plymouth had eagerly been waiting for, as three of the biggest names in American rock took to the stage at Plymouth University’s Student Union. This triple-bill event consisted of Californian quartet Hoobastank, Christian nu-metal mainstays P.O.D. and alt-rock favourites Alien Ant Farm.
When doors opened at 6.30pm, fans as young as fourteen, up to (at a guess) late twenties, piled into the Student Union’s main hall to await the appearance of the first act, Alien Ant Farm, opening with ANThology’s ‘Wish’. Unfortunately, the band’s sound was a little off at the beginning of the song, with Dryden Mitchell’s vocals barely audible with Terry Corso on guitar.
Thankfully though, the comedic four-piece made up for it, performing the incredible fan favourite ‘Movies’ – that one soon got the crowd moving – and various heavier tracks such as ‘Courage’ and ‘Yellow Pages’. Of course, the set finished with the AAF’s biggest track yet – the punk-esque cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal’.
It must have been around 8.30pm when P.O.D. took to the stage. I rarely say this about any band, but these guys really know how to put on a show. The nu-metal quartet have such an energetic stage presence that they actually sound better on stage than they do on any recorded album.
P.O.D.’s set opened with ‘Murdered Love‘, with Sonny Sandoval’s vocals sounding passionate as ever. Following in its footsteps came ‘Lost In Forever‘ and ‘Will You‘. Immaculate, anthemic guitar work from Marcos Curiel matched Sonny’s vocals brilliantly, drawing in every member of the crowd.
However, the most beautiful element of their set was definitely their performance of ‘Youth of the Nation’. There’s already something powerful and inspirational about this track, but seeing and hearing hundreds of fans chant back “We are, we are, the youth of the nation!” to the band, is really something special.
Another highlight of the set was the fast-paced reggae-esque ‘Panic & Run’, keeping the crowd lively and upbeat. The set ended with a brilliant performance of the band’s most famous track, ‘Alive‘ from 2001’s Satellite album.
As the clock hit 10pm, Hoobastank were ready to go. Opening with the first track from their 2001 self-titled album, ‘Crawling In The Dark‘. As far as guitar work goes, Hoobastank have that one pretty spot on. But the band’s stage presence wasn’t up to scratch, and if anything, seemed a little dull. However, after a band as energetic as P.O.D., they had a lot to step up to.
Frontman Doug Robb made a consierable effort engaging with the crowd, and his vocal work during ‘Pieces’ was fair impressive. As expected, and much like the other acts on this tour, the band’s setlist featured their most famous song yet, and in Hoobastank’s case, this was 2003’s ‘The Reason’.
One remarkable sight at any live show is the moment when every single member of the crowd starts to sing along with every word the vocalist belts out, listening more intently to this one song more than they have any other. There’s a reason why ‘The Reason’ (yes, pun intended) is one of Hoobastank’s most famous songs – it’s emotional, relatable, and if this show is anything to go on, defintiely a fan favourite.
The show finished with Hoobastank’s ‘Out of Control‘, filled with catchy hooks and fast beats, leaving the crown in a very upbeat mood by the end of it. Whether you’re a fan or not, these bands know how to put on a great show, and they’re all worth seeing at least once in your lifetime.