Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Partying in the Flats in Cleveland with Candlebox - is it 2015 or 1995?

This weekend I did something I haven’t done in 20 years or so. I partied two straight nights in the Flats in Cleveland! Add in that Saturday night included a Candlebox concert and it was 1995 all over again.

I didn’t planning on writing a post about my weekend, but there were two reasons that I had to. First, with Maize, Cleveland Scene (@Cleveland_Scene) brought in Candlebox (@Candlebox) to give a free show. We don’t get opportunities like that often (especially given that we’re the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame City), so I want to thank them and promote it as much as possible. Second, Kevin Martin (@IMKM), Candlebox’s lead singer, was so gracious and appreciative of the crowd that was there, I had to share it.

Maize: Scene’s Inaugural Fall Festival

Scene put on this festival to celebrate the revival of the Flats. Highlighting the new restaurants and shops in the Flats would have been reason enough to attend. Add the bands, including the Spazmatics and Candlebox and now you’ve got a party! They got a nice crowd, and judging by the booths running out of drinks, likely a bit more than they anticipated.

Crop Rocks
It was a great opportunity to experience some of the new restaurants in the Flats. Over the course of the weekend, I went to Punch Bowl Social Club, Beer Head, Crop Rocks, Crop Sticks and Alley Cat Oyster Bar. They were all had great food and drinks and were fun. It’s a far cry from The Basement, Beach Club and Fagan’s from yesterday…although on both nights were out by 11pm, so maybe it gets crazy later…lol.

I was most appreciative that they brought in a true rock band in Candlebox. These are the types of shows that should happen more often in Cleveland. They don’t even need to be free, but we need to get more rock bands to come to Cleveland. So, thank you Scene, for a great choice in bands.

It was a fun event, not without a few hiccups. Candlebox went on stage an hour later than scheduled (they brought an opener that Scene didn’t know about). By that time, there were no more booths open for drinks or food. And, once the sun went down, it was downright cold. Again, it’s November in Cleveland. All in all though, these are things they’ll learn from for next year and it didn’t take much away from my experience.


Candlebox was the main reason we went to the event. I’d seen them at least three times back in their heyday in the 90’s. Even though lead singer Kevin Martin is the only original member still in the band, I was looking forward to seeing the show.

To say that Kevin Martin is a class act is an understatement. By the time they went on the outdoor stage, the temperature was in the 40’s (colder with the strong wind) and the crowd had dwindle to around 150-200 people. Add to that multiple audio issues with the vocals for the first three songs. I wouldn’t have been surprised at all had they played five or six songs and got out of here as fast as they could. But despite all that, they ripped through a 13-song set and Martin was as appreciative of a crowd as I’ve seen any audience. Throughout the show, he was reaching out to shake hands and bantering in between songs.

Their set list was heavy on their debut album (that’s a good thing!) and also included a cover of Pearl Jam’s Alive, their drummer, Dave Krusen, was Pearl Jam’s original drummer. Martin’s voice sounded as good as it ever has. I had forgotten how good they were live and this show brought me right back to the 90’s.

After the final song, Martin said, “See you next year!” and I hope they do come back. I’ll be there.  Martin walked off the side of stage where there were no barriers and took photos with the crowd. I can’t wait for next year’s Maize Fall Festival! Thanks again, Scene!

What are your favorite memories for the Flats from the 80’s and 90’s or from a Candlebox concert? Tell us in the comments below. Thanks for reading and please share it with a friend.

Candlebox Set List

Don’t You
No Lights
She Come Over Me
Sweet Summertime
Best Friend
Cover Me
Go Your Own Way (Fleetwood Mac cover)
Alive (Pearl Jam cover)
Far Behind

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a good setlist...I wanted to see this show, but was unable.