Music Videos — 03 March 2011
A Concert Review: All American Nightmare Tour

All American Nightmare Tour
Hinder with Saving Abel & My Darkest Days
Best Buy Theater, New York, NY
February 8, 2011

One of the coldest winter evenings in recent memory bombarded fans entering the former Nokia Theater as the All American Nightmare Tour made its way through the northeast, dropping by New York City along the way.  The tour, featuring show headliners Hinder, with support from Saving Abel, My Darkest Days, and the Ireland based Kopek, was surprisingly undersold considering that tickets were reasonably priced, under $40 all in.  But such is the market for modern rock music in New York, and three bands, all cut from the same cloth refused to hold back in the face of a less than jam packed audience.  And the crowd’s intensity refused to let them.

Whether it was the brisk chill of February, or a local market that has all but collapsed around bands with radio airplay, when so few area stations support the genre, the stadium style seating that lines the back of the venue’s main area was curtained off.  Fans were left to migrate among the general admission floor or the first elevated mezzanine area to watch the bands perform.  Arriving to the main hall after having wrapped an interview with Saving Abel guitarist Scott Bartlett, we entered just in time to catch Toronto’s My Darkest Days take the stage.  The five piece outfit struck gold (record, that is) in 2010 with their single “Porn Star Dancing,” which unsurprisingly capped their some 30 minute set on this evening.  In between solid covers of Duran Duran’s “Come Undone,” and a rocking rendition of R&B classic “Stutter” by Joe, vocalist Matt Walst paraded around the stage handing out shots to the band members as shirtless and mohawked lead guitarist, Sal Costa thrashed his way through a pummeling guitar solo.  When the whaling was finished and the two were comfortably behind their respective microphones, they harmonized together incredibly well and played the role of the rising opening act to a tee.  Whether they become a one hit wonder or are destined for greater things is now up to them.


Corinth, Mississippi’s Saving Abel was out next, only shortly after My Darkest Days’ set finished up.  As raspy vocalist Jared Weeks took centerstage, we could only help but cringe with skepticism, doubting that he would be able to hit the high notes that some of Abel’s live songs require.  But as guitarist Bartlett remarked during our face to face “(Weeks’) vocals are better than ever,” and boy were we surprised.  At no point during the band’s raucous ten song set did Weeks look anything less than capable as he danced the crowd through the southern “Hell of a Ride,” the rocking “New Tattoo,” and their latest single “Stupid Girl.”  Each of these of course acted as a preamble for the bands closing trio of singles- a funky, acoustic “The Sex is Good,” the melodic “18 Days,” and the anthemic “Addicted,” which allowed the crowd to croon every lyric as the band happily reveled in their hit song’s appeal.


It certainly seems like the promoters of the tour knew what they were doing in aligning the three bands together- one as a viable progression of the preceding band.  From the relative newcomers to a band just hitting their stride with their sophomore release, to the headliners, Hinder, clearly the most polished band on the bill.  As the band took the stage, large silver gates sandwiched an elevated drum kit and frontman Austin Winkler and company strutted back and forth, antagonizing the crowd into a fit of noise.  Winkler’s vocals stood up well tremendously during the live performance, often scintillating the crowd with his antics and energy propelling movements.  Our only beef with the headliners was the fact that the set was a mere 13 songs and the fact that the catchy “Homecoming Queen” was left out.  But as a closer, Hinder has clearly found their niche and caters to their fans.  The acoustic “Better Than Me” played a perfect interlude to the relentless title-track from their latest “All American Nightmare,” and “Hey Ho,” only revved the crowd up for “Lips of an Angel,” which the entire building (yes, even the huge security guards) sang at the very top of their lungs.


Manhattaners are always looking for the next big thing musically.  Whether it’s some synth-pop outfit in Brooklyn, or a white girl with a guitar waiting tables while she waits for her big break.  As local radio stations supporting the genre have fallen by the wayside, fan support for these types of bands have waned in New York.  Bands once earmarked as “sure things” have returned only to our city with limited fanfare.  While the live music industry is constantly hanging, it’s nice to know that these three bands keep it real- and deliver vigorous performances despite a non-sold out house.


Hinder- Live at the Best Buy Theater, New York, NY
February 8, 2011
Setlist (Courtesy of

1. 2 Sides of Me
2. Up All Night
3. Use Me
4. What Ya Gonna Do
5. Strip Tease
6. Better Than Me
7. All American Nightmare
8. Hey Ho
9. Lips of an Angel
10. Waking Up the Devil
11. Room 21
12. Put That Record On
13. Get Stoned

-  Jane Van Arsdale

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(1) Reader Comment

  1. Gotta tell u this was a home run article, the interview was right on and the feed back along with the video was just great.

    Congratulations an another interesting, informative video/interview. The additional pictures offer an unusual insights into the talents of the musicians. U captured the essence of LIVE entertainment Music
    Uncle Leo