By: Nakita Barakadyn
After five years, Breaking Benjamin is finally back in the game, playing to sold-out crowds across the nation. This is easily the most anticipated tour of the year, for many fans young and old alike… The line started before ten am, filled with teenagers as well their parents -both equally as excited for the show- and wrapped around the block long before the doors opened at seven. Every person in attendance was a die-hard fan who never thought they’d get the chance, but the night was magical.
Inside, the energy was electric- the audience responded well to British alt-metal outfit Young Guns, who in a rare move were the only other act to take the stage that night. Young Guns played a short set, cross-sectioning their career and earning more than a few new fans. Breaking Benjamin took the stage to excited shouts and screams, starting out with fan-favorite So Cold- by the end of the song Burnley was visibly choked up, amazed by the crowd response. It is obvious the man loves what he’s doing, and is beyond touched that his work is received so well. His sensitivity and compassion shown through in other areas during the night- notably when he paused halfway through the concert to personally distribute water bottles to the concert-goers, and also when he stopped in the middle of a song to break up a fight on the floor.
The songs played spanned from the early days with tracks off of Saturate (Polyamorous, and Shallow Bay) all the way up to the just-dropped single from the new album (Failure), the words to which most of the crowd already knew. There was a brief breakdown where the band sped through a few covers, including Metallica, Tool, and Nirvana (who Burnley cites as being a critical influence in his musical career). Much to the entertainment of the audience, they even included a drum-heavy rendition of The Imperial March from Star Wars. All members were on point, never losing a thread through the mind-boggling 23 songs performed during the evening, and Burnley himself transitioned seamlessly from his tenor-voice to the deep growls peppered liberally throughout his discography, hitting every note and twisting his face into a sharp grimace with every scream. The night ended with The Diary of Jane, much to the delight of the crowd, and then with a collective bow (and a cheeky spray of the audience from a left-over water bottle) the band was gone and the night was over. It was time to go home.
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