SEATTLE — 3 Doors Down weren't about to abandon their bread and
butter entirely — but they didn't mind dispensing with it as early as
Thus, during their show with Lifehouse and Tantric at the Key Arena
Wednesday, encore sure-bets "Duck and Run" and
"Kryptonite" were both knocked off before 3 Doors Down had been onstage 15
"We get tired of hearing that old sh--, right?" singer Brad Arnold said at
one point, clearly speaking for his bandmates rather than the audience.
He looked relieved as soon as the final strains of "Kryptonite" died out and he began introducing the new song "When I'm Gone."
Opening on a thick wash of effects from guitarist Matt Roberts, the
slow-moving tune built to a tongue-twisting chorus: "Everything I am,
everything I need/ Wants to be the one you want me to be."
Arnold — the Escatawpa, Mississippi, band's original drummer — climbed
behind a second kit brought onstage for an aggressive new tune called
"Dangerous Game," which he said is "about stupid people killing one
another." Clad in a vintage Rush baseball T-shirt, Arnold focused on cymbals and hi-hat while full-time drummer Richard Liles rumbled across his toms during an interlude which was decidedly more brief than the typical double-drum duel.
The band, whose 17-month-old debut, The Better Life, has gone
five-times platinum, squeezed one other new song into its hour-long set.
The moody, throbbing "This Time" is about believing in yourself, Arnold said.
"Is it OK if we play a ballad for you?" Lifehouse singer/guitarist Jason Wade asked before launching into "Somewhere in Between" — as if any band with a #1 adult contemporary hit needs to inquire about the appropriateness of ballads. The women in the half-full crowd jumped, hollered and threw their arms toward the ceiling when the Los
Angeles group delivered its most impassioned performance of the night
with the chart-topping "Hanging by a Moment."
But Lifehouse's set was by and large reserved, as if the group were still
playing its old Friday night gigs at the high school auditorium. Wade,
bassist Sergio Andrade and guitarist Stuart Mathis wandered the stage
tentatively, almost like they were still getting acclimated to its
hugeness. The band eschewed all theatrics and showy solos.
Wade — a former Seattleite with a penchant for Eddie Vedder's
mushmouth enunciation — seemed most comfortable when discarding his
guitar, as he did on Lifehouse's latest single "Sick Cycle Carousel." It
was the band's penultimate tune and the first time Wade started jumping up
Tantric, otherwise known as Days of the New with singer Hugo Ferreira in
place of Travis Meeks, opened the night with a set that included the
singles "Breakdown" and "Astounded," which Ferreira dedicated to "all those
stupid f---ers that didn't believe in us."
Not that he didn't hand his critics grist on a silver platter. In a moment
right out of the Spinal Tap episode of "The Simpsons" ("Hello ... [awkward
pause] ... Springfield!"), Ferreira mistakenly shouted, "Alright,
The audience seemed forgiving of the flub, though it probably didn't hurt
that he went on to shout "Seattle" no fewer than 12 times during the rest
of the show.