Walking into the MotorCity Casino Sound Board the other night, I didn’t have to look very far to realize that something special was going to take place this evening. It is about an hour and a half before 3 Doors Down is scheduled to take the stage and perform their much anticipated acoustic show “Songs from the Basement” and there isn’t an empty seat in the house. The stage was set up to resemble a furnished basement complete with couches, lamps and a few of the bands personal touches. Being familiar with their live performance I was doubtful they could pull off the same energy acoustically as they have maintained throughout their storied career. The transition of songs from electric to acoustic tends to make each sound similar to the next so with an attention span that falls short of the average person I wondered how long will I last before I’m begging for this night to end.
House lights came down and members of the crew escorted some lucky fans to the stage and placing them on the couches that line the perimeter around the band completing the look and feel of a basement jam session. The sold out venue erupted when 3 Doors Down took their places and settle in. Lead singer Brad Arnold welcomed everyone to his classic jam session as he pulled that familiar chain chord that would be found in a basement dwelling to aluminate a single light bulb hanging from the rafters at center stage.
As they lead off with their song “Father’s Son” the fans instantly increase their volume to a structure shaking level and begin singing and dancing. Continuing through their songs “Let Me Be Myself,” “Be Like That” and “Not Enough” I became aware of the fact that I knew quite a few more songs than I had thought. While interacting with each other like they were literally sitting in their practice pad, 3DD made sure to let us in on the insight of writing material and the passion that took part in creating the signature sound that each song has been stamped with. It is hard to deny the enthusiasm and energy within not only the band but the Detroit crowd as they continued with hits like “Landing in London” and “The Dance.” Between songs, Brad tells the story of a career highlight when Michigan’s own Bob Seger had joined them on stage to perform some of their songs and had the excitement of a school boy while doing so. They are ready to continue as he looks to his left and begins to laugh as he notices that the reason they haven’t started the next song is because the guitar player is engaged in a conversation with fans seated on the couch behind him. The crowd joins in on the laughter as the guitar player notices that he is delaying the show and with a smile begins to play “When you’re young.”
I could’t help but notice a young lady next to me singing every song word for word. I leaned over and jokingly said “You seem to be a bit of a fan.” Sharla Davis of Zealand, MI begins to laugh and says “I think so, I just drove 2.5 hours just for this. When I pulled into my moms house she looked at me and said 3 Doors Down must be in town.” That was the kind of fan dedication I ran into all night.
3 Doors Down ended their jam session with their most recognizable hit “Kryptonite.” But they were not going to get off that easy from this crowd. While the decibels continue to increase they re-entered and started their encore session with a surprising rendition of Metallica’s hit “Nothing Else Matters,” then closed out the night with 2 more of their stand out hits “Here Without You” and “When I’m Gone.” So, one hour and 45 minutes, 17 songs and a whole lot of insight into this legendary band, I realized I passed my attention span problem and fell into their underground dwelling “Songs From The Basement.”