Candlebox was one of the last to enter the fray that was the Seattle grunge movement of the early nineties. Their debut album of the same name presented an eclectic collection of songs that set them apart from many bands within the genre.
In a sea of power chords and trippy lyrics, Candlebox never dropped anchor as did many of their peers, instead choosing to do it their own way and on their own terms. While this may have delayed the accolades, in the end, we were treated to some of the best sounds the decade had to offer.
Friday evening at the Welmont Theater in Montclair, New Jersey, Candlebox took the stage with an energy and enthusiasm that belied the fact that the setlist predated many in the audience. As “Don’t You” broke in with its classic hard rock riffs, one thing was certain; if father time was supposed to show, he must have missed the exit.
As Candlebox played through their set, the atmosphere never lost any of the intensity of that initial moment. 2019 was gone and the Welmont might as well have been the Off Ramp. Staples such as “You” and “Blossom” still moved the crowd in all the right ways and “Far Behind” played with the sound and fury that made it one of the best songs of the decade.
When all was said and done, and it was 2019 in Montclair again the air still sparked in tribute to the experience. So strong the sounds, so pure the feeling behind it Candlebox played to more than a packed theater in New Jersey but also put next generation on notice. This sound, this band, is back to stay.
Review by John Tupper | All photos by Nick Scalera