February 15, 2003

3 Doors Down Storms Through Town

By Randy J. Klodz

The Grammy-nominated Mississippi-bred rockers 3 Doors Down made a Chicago stop on their “Away From the Sun World Tour” at the sold-out Congress Theatre and gave the fans a one-two punch of previous hits from 2000’s breakthrough album “The Better Life,” and what are sure-to-be hits from November’s “Away From the Sun.”

3 Doors Down—which now includes singer Brad Arnold, guitarists Chris Henderson and Matt Roberts, bassist Todd Harrell and touring drummer Daniel Adair—have received two Grammy nominations for “When I’m Gone,” and showed fans that they will not let success go to their heads. The gracious Arnold made sure to thank the fans after every one of the songs in the band’s set, which included 17 songs, showcasing 3DD’s ability to be a successful rock band yet not forgetting the reason of their popularity: their fans. After all, the show was initially scheduled for the intimate confines of the House of Blues, but was quickly rebooked to the larger, more spacious Congress Theatre, to accommodate the rapid ticket sales.

Arnold even asked the sold-out crowd to participate with vocal duties during such hits as “Kryptonite,” “Be Like That” and “Loser,” with the results putting an “Aw, shucks” grin across his face. The crowd sang and didn’t stop until the last note.

But Arnold wasn’t as successful during the low-key “Away from the Sun,” a song that Arnold said, “Means a lot to me, and I hope you like it,” but the album by the same name has only been out since November. Given time, the fans should memorize every lyric to the album, as “When I’m Gone” has set the charts on fire, with its patriotic, inspirational theme and catchy choruses. During that song, a fan in the front row of the Congress Theatre handed Arnold a large American flag, and he raised it proudly, much to the delight of the vocal patrons.

Arnold also announced that the next single to hit radio may be the up-and-down groove heavy “The Road I’m On,” which should give fans a hint that 3 Doors Down is going to be more than a one-album wonder. Fans even went crazy when the members of 3 Doors Down exited the stage leaving new drummer Adair alone on stage. There he put together a rousing drum solo with lights splashing on the orange meteor backdrop with the band’s logo emblazoned upon it.

Theory of a Deadman opened the show, offering a mix of songs that resembled Nickelback and Puddle of Mudd. The U.S. portion of this tour was scheduled to end on Feb. 22 in Texas. The European leg kicks off on Mar. 14. For more information on 3 Doors Down, or the remaining dates of the tour, be sure to check out www.3doorsdown.com.

Brad Arnold of 3 Doors Down Photo: Randy J. Klodz