What. A. Show. The “Tried-n-True” tour features multiple multi-platinum bands sharing the stage for a night of good ole fashioned rock and roll! The stage production was noticeably impressive with a full scale lighting rig with lasers, LED displays, and even a disco ball! Not to mention the massive air cannons on stage to really amp up the energy throughout the evening.
The “Tried-n-True” tour has something for everyone with the show kicking off with an acoustic set from Kristopher Roe of the band “The Ataris”. It was a short, but sweet set that included hits like the cover of “The Boys of Summer” and “In This Diary”. It was the perfect introduction to the evening with Kris telling stories about his songs and what the future holds with The Ataris. The band plans on celebrating the 20 year anniversary of their breakout record “So Long, Astoria” with a tour and new music!
Alien Ant Farm opened their set with the rocking track “Courage” from the massive hit album “ANThology” from 2001. The band has the energy, vigor, and stage presence like they’re performing for a sold-out stadium. Frontman Dryden Mitchell thanked the crowd for coming early and stated, “Rock-n-Roll starts at 7pm sharp!” before kicking off the track “Movies”. The slower tempo “Attitude” had Dryden talking about how it is his Mom’s favorite song and how much he loved her. They finished the set with the cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” which has the signature Alien Ant Farm sound incorporated.
What can we say about LIT? This is the 7th show I’ve attended over the course of their 20+ year career and for good reason. The band was all over MTV’s Total Request Live top 10 countdowns and played a blistering set at Woodstock in 1999. You may remember their music video of a giant Pam Anderson in a bikini with the miniature band performing on her back for the song “Miserable”. But the live show is what keeps fans like myself coming back for more decades later. The band kicked off their set with a song called “Kicked Off the Plane” from their new album “Tastes like Gold”. After a foray into country music, the new LIT album goes back to the band’s roots with guitar-driven melodic rock. Lit showcased their new music by performing “Mouth Shut”, “Do It Again”, and catchy anthemic “The Life That I Got” which features the band American Authors as well.
Bandmates and brothers A. Jay Popoff and Jeremy Popoff have undeniable chemistry working the stage, sharing vocal harmonies, and throwing out guitar picks to the crowd. A. Jay’s vocals were powerful and on point while Jeremy ripped through guitar solos on top of the monitors. Another original member, bass player Kevin Blades, spoke about having the best job in the world and thanking the fans. A band with this discography must make it tough to narrow down a setlist, but the 13 song set showcased every era of Lit. “My Own Worst Enemy” closed the set with everyone jumping, dancing, and singing along to the iconic song of the 2000s. Lit is not a humdrum, shoegazer type of show! You do NOT want to miss them if they’re coming to your town.
After a quick breather after Lit’s set, the SoCal rockers Hoobastank hit the stage opening with the hard-hitting track “Same Direction” off of the 2003 release “The Reason”. They picked up right where Lit left off with frontman Doug Robb running around on stage while belting out “Born to Lead” from the 2006 release “Every Man for Himself”.
Doug has a unique presence that engages everyone in the crowd with a lot of on-stage banter. He hit the nostalgia factor bringing up memories from high school and middle school and explained how shows in Indonesia needed to be postponed due to guitar player, Dan Estrin, breaking his foot. But Dan’s broken foot in a boot didn’t stop him from shredding through crowdpleasers like “Running Away” and “Out of Control”. He would point out fans in the crowd singing along with a big smile on his face. Doug pulled a page out of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury’s book with a call and response during the song “My Turn”. Half of the crowd would sing the harmony while the other half screamed out “When’s it going to my turn!” making their show a unique and communal experience. It’s impossible not to have a good time at the “Tried-n-True” tour. All the bands on the bill sounded tight musically, highly energetic, and brought a party to Tampa, FL on a Wednesday night. Do not miss any of these bands when they come to your town!
PHOTOS FROM THE TRIED-N-TRUE TOUR FROM TAMPA, FL: