Photos and Review by Micah Gummel
I made it out to the Hampton Beach Casino Ball Room last Saturday night to catch Breaking Benjamin’s Acoustic show. The band took the stage without a lot of stage props or special lighting. In fact not much lighting at all, just a simple stripped down show. Their stage highlighted the band without any non-essentials. “Just simple acoustic night hanging out with friends!” Burnley exclaimed.
When it was go-time, the band walked out to start the show with “So Cold.” Burnley sounded great right out of the gate and throughout the night he was consistently solid. You could tell he felt at home on stage. Guitarist Keith Wallen and bassist Aaron Bruch were pushing themselves hard on the vocally demanding material. The result was a pretty consistent effort that was surprisingly well-executed. The song “Give Me a Sign” sticks out in my head as a spot where I was really blown away by spot-on harmonies that melded together and sounded fantastic.
Drummer Shaun Foist was especially talented at both playing and performing, but really, the whole group was solid. You could tell that these guys were no strangers to the stage. I was never able to see the original lineup in a live setting, so my comparison is obviously flawed, but after seeing this show (especially in acoustic mode) I really feel like this group is capable of driving BB for years and years.
In terms of set list – Breaking Benjamin played somewhere in the range of an hour and a half, performing nearly 20 songs, all of which seemed like hits. There wasn’t a single weakness in the song list – high energy, high quality songs, one after the other. Even songs that I don’t consider my favorite, like “Shallow Bay,” and “Unknown Soldier,” were just really strong live. I found myself with no “meh, I’ll go grab a Jack and Coke now” moment. Just a good all go show!
Closing tracks included “The Diary of Jane” and “I Will Not Bow“, which I loved, concluding an hour and 20 minute set. The band left the stage, and the crowd predictably went nuts for an encore. They came back out to do an encore with “The Diary of Jane.” Over all rock solid sound from a consistent band with a lot of great hits we all know and love.
Meet the Band
- So Cold
- Angels Fall
- Sooner or Later
- Blow Me Away
- Simple Design (Aaron Bruch on lead vocals)
- Ashes of Eden
- Never Again
- Face in the Light
- (Keith Wallen song)
- Give Me a Sign
- Down in a Hole
- (Alice in Chains cover)
- Until the End
- Evil Angel (Keith Wallen on lead vocals)
- Shallow Bay
- I Will Not Bow
- The Diary of Jane