CANDLEBOX'S UNPLUGGED NY SHOW SHIMMERS WITH EXQUISITE MUSICALITY

Words & Photos by Diane DiMemmo

May 12, 2022

Untitled photo

Chart-topping, quadruple-platinum grunge rockers – Candlebox – brought their intimate, stripped-down “Unplugged Tour” to a sold-out City Winery in NYC on May 7th. Lead vocalist and guitarist Kevin Martin alongside lead guitarist Brian Quinn led the audience through a beautifully crafted setlist of old and new favorites, including two gems - “Sunshine” and “Riptide” - from their newest album, Wolves.


I absolutely love acoustic shows. City Winery was the perfect cozy backdrop for Martin to wax poetic about the history of the band, his love of family, and the special meaning behind each of their songs. The audience was transfixed that night, not only because they were fans, but because of the outstanding musicality that poured from the performance. Martin’s vocals were exquisite; hitting every note with a warmth and quality that drove their acoustic renditions straight into our hearts. And Quinn’s guitar work masterfully covered the musical spectrum with his intricate, dynamic techniques and heartfelt, tender vignettes.

As is true for most Candlebox devotees, I fell in love with the Seattle band’s sound back in the mid ‘90s with the release of their self-titled album (certified quadruple platinum ) and their second album Lucy (certified gold). Over the years, the group released a total of seven studio albums which have produced ten top twenty singles and fueled the growth of a large, dedicated fanbase.


Although I am not an official music reviewer, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Candlebox’s latest album – Wolves. It is, by far, one of the best rock compilations I’ve heard in a very long time; and dare I say should have been nominated for a Grammy this past season. From start to finish, the masterpiece runs the gamut from crunchy grunge ("All Down Hill From Here") to hardline edgy rock ("Nothing Left To Lose") to catchy chorus pop-rock ("My Weakness") to passionate “hair band-worthy" power ballads ("Riptide"). The lyrics are emotional and inspirational and the musicality of Kevin Martin, Adam Kury, Brian Quinn, Island Styles and BJ Kerwin blend just perfectly. I tell everyone that if you listen to just one song on Wolves, you’ll get hooked on the entire album.

That evening at NY's City Winery, the crowd was on their feet and singing to Candlebox favorites “You,” “Cover Me”, and “ Far Behind,” but the most poignant moment of the night came as Martin spoke of the Wolves' single ”Riptide.” He explained that he’s never felt more connected to a song and that it was written for “those who are trying to keep their heads above water.” The song was also the inspiration for the formation of the Riptide Society … a foundation formed to help young adults and at-risk youth through hands-on mentorship opportunities.  Their goal is to identify and implement ways to lift individuals out of the unique riptide they are caught in, and settle them onto a new, safe and healthy wave where they can thrive. Martin passionately spoke about the initiative and encouraged those who could ... to lend a helping hand.


Martin did tell the audience that Candlebox’s current tour will be their last, as he wants to spend more quality time with his family. Their ambitious tour schedule is taking them across the country for the rest of this year with new shows continually being added; so follow the guys on social media to grab tickets when they stop by your town. Various shows will have Candlebox playing on the same bill as Three Doors Down, Bush, Brett Michaels, Everclear, Soul Asylum, and Ayron Jones to name a few. Make sure to catch this iconic band as they make their grungy rock rounds one last time!

SETLIST

SUNSHINE / SWEET SUMMERTIME / CHANGE / BLOSSOM / HE CALLS HOME / COVER ME / ALIVE AT LAST / SOMETIMES / RIPTIDE / YOU /  FAR BEHIND


RiptideSociety.org has a simple, yet powerful mission: to help young adults and at-risk youth through hands-on mentorship opportunities and events by partnering with outreach organizations, professionals and service providers. Working together, we identify and implement ways to lift individuals out of the unique riptide they are caught in, and settle them onto a new, safe and healthy wave where they can thrive. We focus on the long term effects of our recipients by providing options and a tangible way to create a lasting change in their own stories by creating a positive wind in their sails.

  • No Comments
Untitled photo



Diane DiMemmo is the founder and editor of Asbury Park Vibes. In addition to hosting the APV Podcast and Artist Spotlight series, she specializes in portrait, promo, and tour photography.

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In