It was both an anniversary and a funeral at Arizona Financial Theatre this week with 3 Doors Down and Candlebox. A huge crowd turned out to celebrate the 20th year of 3 Doors Down’s classic album Away From the Sun while Candlebox is going out on their own terms after 30 years on stages around the world.
Candlebox’s victory lap was perfectly timed and beautifully received by the Arizona audience as they ripped through favorites from their catalog. Singer Kevin Martin got up close and personal with the crowd, throwing out handfuls of commemorative guitar picks and roaring the hits in their faces for 11 tracks. “Far Behind” and “Cover Me” were obvious favorites but the energy in the room soared for “Blossom” and new single “Punks” as well. The band capped off their final performance in Phoenix with smash success “You” and exited with all the flowers their career has richly earned them.
3 Doors Down has been a rock radio staple for decades and their celebration of Away From the Sun further cemented the band’s staying power. Fans of all ages, families and more crowded closer to the stage as the band kicked things off with “Pop Song”, a new number that still had everyone rocking out. The cheers intensified when singer Brad Arnold announced they’d be playing nearly all of the album, sprinkled in with songs from the rest of their extensive discography.
Even the most casual 3 Doors Down fan knows the words to “When I’m Gone”, “Here Without You” and “Not My Time” but it’s the songs that never hit radio that also made a huge impact on the audience that night. “Ticket To Heaven” had hands raised to the sky as Arnold made a heartfelt speech about combating feelings of loneliness and inadequacy that drew praise from starry-eyed fans.
After a marathon 16 songs and a journey through the band’s back catalog, they returned for an encore of “Landing in London” and “Kryptonite”. Even though we’re mourning the loss of one band while celebrating a milestone for another, the entire night was uplifting for the generations of fans represented in that room- here’s to another 20 years and beyond.
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Story and photos by Olivia Khiel