This past weekend, Q103 celebrated the holiday with the Thanksgiving Hangover show at The Armory in Albany, which featured headliners Staind, as well as openers Egypt Central and Pipebomb. Hopefully you and your friends joined us for the event, and if you didn't, then you missed out on an amazing show that included beer specials, mosh pits (yes, that is what I said) and bras being thrown on stage. All three bands put on a performance of their lifetime and Albany was lucky enough to be part of it.

Prior to the show, Q103 and a group of lucky winners got to meet both Egypt Central and Staind, and watch Staind's soundcheck as well! I had never really watched one before so it was pretty exciting. There were about 20 of us or so and it was as though the band was putting on a show for us only, which was very special. The band warmed up by singing "Eyes Wide open" and "Paper Wings," both which are from their newest, self-titled album which released on September 13.

Poughkeepsie natives Pipebomb started the night off. This hard rock quintet tried out for Q103's Play for the Stage back in July. They made it to the finals but came in second place, so they were chosen to perform at the Hangover show for rocking so hard. They played for only a half hour, but were awesome. They were loud and powerful and even from the back where the Q-Tease and I were sitting I could feel them throughout my body. They have a great, cohesive sound and were the perfect openers for Staind.

Tennessee quartet rockers Egypt Central took the stage next. These guys were here in August for Q-Ruption, so having them back in town so soon was quite the treat- probably the sweetest I had all Thanksgiving weekend. As soon as they got on stage they erupted with powerful energy and blasting sound. Both guitarists and the vocalist were hyped up and moved and jumped all over the stage. The front man poured his energy onto the crowd, as he got everyone standing up and moving around. His raw and melodic screams and voice were refreshing and enjoying, and as I watched them perform my mind narrowed and it was like I was the only one in the arena and they were playing solely for me, which would be amazing no matter how impossible it is.

Egypt Central played for about 45 minutes, playing both old and new songs, including "Taking You

 Down," "The Drug," "Kick Ass," which did 'kick ass,' as they made the lyrics literally come to life as they got people to "stand up" and "put their hands up," and drum sticks were often seen flying around on the stage. They also ended with my two favorite EC songs, "You Make Me Sick," and "White Rabbit." I loved how the band juxtaposed their musical career on stage by playing their first single ever right next to their newest single. I figured "White Rabbit" would've been played first, but I think it was smart saving it for last. It symbolized growth and maturity, which every band needs to do if they want to be successful. Also, In the middle of their set, the vocalist stepped aside to let the rest of the band put on a short musical intermission, which gave the hyped crowd a chance to really hear just the music. It was a great way to showcase what the band can do, as individuals and as a harmonic whole.

It's 9:45 and the crowd has been waiting patiently for Staind since the doors opened two hours prior. Q103 goes on stage to announced the band, and then they finally go on. The Springfield, Massachusetts trio (with touring drummer) promised a heavy show, and that's exactly what was delivered. The drummer was set above everything else, which made for amazing acoustics all around The Armory. Each band member was energized and ready to go, as was the crowd (who included Pipebomb and Egypt Central) who was graciously warmed up by Egypt Central. Aaron was his usual, mellow self and just played his heart out and showed his musical talents by singing and playing both acoustic and electric guitar. Staind played for an hour and a half, and during that time, Aaron's voice was beautiful and resonated throughout the arena. The music grabbed everyone and wrapped them up together, as I looked around to see everyone rocking out together and singing in unison. It was nice to see hundreds of strangers uniting for a common cause and reason, and thanks to Staind that was made possible.

The band performed 17 songs, both old and new. I hadn't heard most of them in a long time, so I was glad to hear those ones as well and their newer ones. Fast and slow songs were included, but even the slower ones were heavy with sound which I loved. Aaron and his guitarists each went from electric to acoustic to electric guitar all night, which I had never really seen any band do. Usually they're performed first or last or just once in between, so it was refreshing to have the best of both worlds during their entire show, and of course the crowd appreciated and loved it as well. The song list was as followed:

  • "Falling Down"
  • "Right Here"
  • "Eyes Wide Open"
  • "Face"
  • "Crawl"
  • "Failing"
  • "So Far Away"
  • "Throw it all Away"
  • "Country Boy"- Aaron Lewis solo song
  • "For You"
  • "Paper Wings"
  • "Outside"
  • "Not Again"
  • "It's Been A While"
  • "Mudshovel"
  • Something to Remind You"- encore
  • As you can see, they perfectly mixed their old and new stuff for more cohesion.

    Often at shows fans throw items and clothing on stage for the band, and Staind was no exception. A few songs into the set list, a rather big black bra was thrown, and somehow managed to land right on the neck of Aaron's guitar! I don't know who the commando culprit was, but I don't think she could've aimed better if she tried. Aaron let it hang there awhile while he played, then he took it off, showed it off a bit and threw it back into the crowd where it was seen the air a few more times.

    The lighting for the show was perfect, and I really noticed them during "Eyes Wide Open." The white lights themselves were like opened eyes looking and shining down on the band, and they flickered to the beat of the songs. It showed the band in a great light, literally and metaphorically.

    "Country Boy" is a song from Aaron Lewis's solo career, and he used the opportunity to perform it for

     the crowd. It was just him, his acoustic guitar and his voice. The song told the story of a country boy from an early stage, and Aaron revealed that it was a true story about himself, which was easily seen with his camouflage hat, jacket and rugged good looks.

    One of Staind's heaviest songs, "Mudshovel" was performed last, and I was surprised to see a small mosh pit break out to the left side of me. It probably wasn't a surprise to most, but as a metal chick, I'm used to seeing pits only at metal shows. Nonetheless it was entertaining to watch! Afterward, the band exited the stage, and came back on a few minutes later for an encore, which consisted of Aaron Lewis performing the acoustic, slow song "Something to Remind You," which he sang live on Q103 not too long ago. It was a great way to calm the crowd down, get out the lighters and sway back and forth. It was the perfect ending to an amazing night and performance by Staind.

    After the show, Q103 hosted the after party at Valentine's in Albany, which welcomed Egypt Central and a slew of concert-goers who weren't quite ready to stop partying and go home for the night. It was no doubt an incredible night had by all.

    Were you at the Thanksgiving Hangover show and/or after party? Who did you think put on the best performance?