Staind’s Tailgate Tour hits Grand Rapids, Michigan with Seether & Saint Asonia

If you were someone that loved early 2000s rock, The Tailgate Tour would be your vibe. The night I experienced in Grand Rapids, Michigan felt like pure nostalgia for a 90s kid like myself.

I was actually shocked about Tim Montana. I heard his music and voice, and I said out loud “Wow, this guy is so good!” I soon realized he was a country artist. I would have never expected a sound like his… and that’s an entire compliment. Tim Montana’s an actual country artist I was willing to check out, listen to, and recommend to people who don’t like country to give him a try.

Saint Asonia never quits, it seems.

This was the third night in a row with Seether and Staind, but Saint Asonia hit just as hard as the other tours, even changing their setlist — to my surprise! I am never sick of seeing guitarist Tavis Stanley shred it onstage. He knows how to capture the crowd’s attention. Drummer Cody Watkins is such a goofball, making silly faces while playing and keeping up the energy as he headbanged through the entire set behind his kit. Lead singer Adam Gontier will always be an icon, being also the lead singer of Three Days Grace; he even played some throwback songs this night, like “I Hate Everything About You” and “Riot”.

I had to do a double-take when watching Seether, as lead singer Shaun Morgan wasn’t front-and-center. It took me a moment to realize he was off to the left, almost standing on top of a smoke machine! Third song in, Seether decided to pull out an acoustic guitar and perform “Broken” for the audience. It was also so cool when these guys let someone from the audience come onstage and play “Dangerous” with them, trusting a random stranger would play it well… and he did! Right after “Dangerous” was “Fake It” — a single popular since 2007. You wouldn’t expect a band like this to hit super hard, but Shaun Morgan came through, throwing some screaming into the songs.

I definitely underestimated Staind before they came onstage.

My eyes were drawn to guitarist Mike Mushok immediately. They jammed through their music harder than I expected, with Mushok all over the stage, hair in his face. During “Here and Now”, one of their slower songs, the crowd didn’t even need instruction to pull out their flashlights. After, Staind performed well-known songs like “It’s Been Awhile” and “Outside”. Everyone knows those singles like the back of their hand. They ended the night with “Mudshovel”, in which lead singer Adam Lewis does a low, aggressive growl, which drew me to the song in the first place.

This night took me back to my teenage years. My little 14-year-old self would have never fathomed being able to see the bands she listened to in the flesh, but better late than never! I was able to see my favorite songs performed live after watching the artists grow musically. Take my word for it: if you haven’t gotten to see the bands you loved as a teen, take the chance to do it. You won’t regret it.

Photography by Kayla N. Rising

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