Last Saturday in Auburn, Wash., right outside of Seattle, the Uproar Festival rolled in to town. With a fleet of tour buses and semi-truck and trailer outfits, the tour converged in farm country to put on a spectacular event. The American Rock Scene was there to cover it but we’ll save our review of the whole show for another post. This particular review is about one particular band, Staind. And more specifically their frontman Aaron Lewis.
For the record I like Staind. I thought they played a great set, filling it up with songs both old and new. They even played my personal favorite, “Mudshovel.” I was lucky enough to have the coveted photo pass, granting me access to the photo pit, so I got to see the first 3 songs up close and personal. I could tell from the beginning that Aaron Lewis was pissed off and not having fun. I pointed my camera at the other members of the band we sort of played off of each other and they hammed it up as I caught the moments digitally. They seemed to be having a blast in front of the large group of adoring fans. Not Aaron Lewis. He scowled and faced the back of the stage a fair amount, back to the crowd. I kept wanting to yell….”hey dude the crowd is out here, you know that crowd that paid a lot of fucking money to come watch your band, yeah those ones”.
After the show somebody backstage took a picture of the following note, scrawled on a whiteboard by Lewis.
“Consider this: 5-50 strangers you have never met or heard of, show up at your office/storefront/whatever…and stand in front of your desk and behind your desk, in front of your door etc…while leaving empty beer cups and miscellaneous trash on your stuff. Browsing through your drawers, etc… All while you are trying to work. You’d hate that too right? SO DO WE..”
Okay so I understand some shit didn’t go your way backstage, but really bro? You are gonna do your fans like that? You owe them an apology. Okay fine maybe not because the set sounded great but I sure as hell see why the rest of the band avoided you like you had a raging and highly contagious case of mega-mono-gono-syphilititis.
Rock and Roll is not a day job, Mr. Lewis. It’s not about just a paycheck. That’s just a bonus. Like the groupies and the drugs. When you start to correlate the thrill of playing in front of thousands of people who paid to hear you play your songs, with a punch-the-clock-at-the-cubicle-farm-desk-jockey-job, you’ve lost touch with reality my friend. Being able to make a living playing rock and roll is a blessing. And it’s important to realize that those thousands of people you ignored are the ones who make it possible for you to live the dream. And you owe them your best.
Alright I’m done talking to him because he won’t read this anyway but damn that felt good.
Stay tuned to American Rock Scene for our full review coming soon.
Photo courtesy of Scott Tanner and Julie Trant Rittman