BY JESS BECK | Go Venue Magazine
What year is it again?
Oh, right…it’s 2023. Long gone are the carefree years of our youth 20 years ago when Hinder first gained the notoriety on their way to 4 million record sales. On a rather pleasant evening for a Tuesday, Hinder delivered more than I think we expected at Varsity Theatre on August 15, 2023.
Yes, they’ve been around forever.
Yes, they’ve changed vocalists.
But the great thing about Hinder is that they have just enough staying power to pack a venue a little tighter than you might expect. They’re like Saving Abel in that regard. They won’t be the most expensive show you’ll ever see, but they’ll put on one of the best shows you’ll see.
First up was a band called Via. After a quick few toning issues and a note to the audience of, “Hey now, these are cold! The guitars don’t acclimate to the weather guys,” said with a wink and a nod, they kicked ass and went hard from the first track. They’re a faster paced act based out of Minneapolis, and they honestly were the perfect fit between Goodbye June and Hinder. The vocals are deep and powerful, the guitar work is intricate and interesting, and these fellas just really enjoy what they do.
Next up was Goodbye June, a phenomenal cross between old school sexy Tennessee guitar riffs, ACDC, and raw authenticity. These are one of the rare breeds that don’t have any filler – no unnecessary repetition in their music. Seriously, though, vocalist Landon Milbourn sounds exactly like Bon Scott with a little grit added. They really got the audience involved when they played their hits “Oh No” and “Three Chords.” Hailing from Nashville, this is a band that I don’t see out too often (which, honestly, is a crime) so I was hella excited to finally catch them while they were out on this stretch.
Seriously though, if you’re into Southern blues, ACDC, and old school Gospel, check this group out yesterday.
Now for the weird part.
Well…not necessarily weird, but you know…unusual.
Hinder put on one hell of a show with new vocalist Marshal Dutton at the helm.
And the best part about it was that they didn’t even have to. It wasn’t sold out, the venue wasn’t sardines like I’ve been in before.
And you might take that initially as a bad thing – it most certainly isn’t. Because this means that Hinder put on a great show when they didn’t even have to. They could’ve literally just played their set and left, but what happened was they played this show like they meant it. These shows count for these guys, and they wanted everyone in the Varsity Theatre to know that. From signing autographs mid-show to fist-bumping fans mid-song – I was fucking impressed.
And it wasn’t just Dutton that did great – all of the members were super high energy where it counted the most, and that’s more than you can say for most bands. They hit the ground running with “Up All Night” and moved right into “How Long,” peppered with other hits such as “King of the Letdown,” “Lips of an Angel,” and “Get Stoned,” which the audience ate right up.
And suddenly, we were right back in 2005. A time that was dominated by retro grunge, CD’s, and music videos filled with candles. A time when it only mattered whether or not you had enough necklaces to last the day. A time when things were…well…better than whatever we have right now.
And Hollister cologne everywhere.
A huge thank you to the Varsity Theatre staff for keeping everyone safe and for making sure the evening ran smoothly.
For the lady that asked me to um…sign certain parts of her…I’ll have to take a rain check (seriously, y’all…MN is wild on Tuesday nights). Please remember to wear your deodorant and to keep being excellent to each other.
We’ll catch ya at the next show!
All images © Jess Beck