P.O.D. Rocked the City of Baltimore with Ferocious Sounds and a Message of Hope.
On Sunday, May 6, P.O.D. visited the Baltimore area by playing a near sold out crowd at Ram’s Head Live accompanied by fellow headliners RED. Both bands were supported by Icon for Hire and Brian “Head” Welch’s band Love & Death as opening acts for this leg of the tour.
Many know P.O.D. to be a Christian band; same as RED and Head’s project. Me, I am a fan of music. I do not endorse stereotypes nor promote theological labels. For those very same reasons and out of respect for those attending and having a good time too, I will refrain from commenting further in that sense. I attended for the love of music and because I am a huge P.O.D. fan. Needless to say, the night felt a bit long as I did not know any songs from Icon For Hire or RED.
Out of the two above mentioned, I have to give it to the fellows -and lady- from Icon for Hire. Their energy and drive captivated all of those in attendance. Yes, they are a bit more pop for my taste, but they did a fantastic job of starting the pace for the night. If you like bands like Paramore, Firelight and Anberlin, I suggest giving Icon For Hire a listen.
Coming off his impromptu reunion with Korn the night before at the Carolina Rebellion stage, Brian “Head” Welch, took the stage with his newest musical offering, Love & Death. Head’s set was balanced enough to engage those new to him and those who knew him from his days in Korn.
Head’s band is solid and raw enough that they are not overshadowing his persona but strong enough to add to the music and carry the show through.
After Head, RED was next to take the stage. The band is a solid quartet fueled by a power duo of twins on bass and guitar. The vocals are strong and the lighted drum kit is a nice attraction, but they are not my cup of tea.
I will give them credit where credit is due and say that RED fans can get quite crazy when revved up by the band. Getting on your knees and jumping up when the singer says “Jesus is love” does in fact take courage. Props to y’all! I just stood and took it all in and waited for P.O.D.’s turn.
Finally the time came for my re-do show after last year’s early ending at the Spring Jam Fest due to heavy rain and thunderstorms. The energy in the venue was already thick and eagerly awaiting the arrival of the boys from Cali. I made sure to secure my spot in the pit and finished losing all sense of personal space as one has to do in order to survive in that environment. FYI for all you fellas in the pit- girls CAN hold their own in there too, just sayin’. The lights dimmed and the game was on.
To the tune of Murdered Love from the upcoming album release of the same name, the fellas took to the stage and wasted no time to get everyone riled up and roaring. The explosvie Boom was next in line and shortly after it was the turn of Set It Off. Just like the chorus says, we all rose up and let our spirits fly along for the remainder of the night. The adrenaline kicked up a notch thanks to lead singer Sonny Sandoval’s aggressive vocals and close interaction with the fans.
The set consisted of a mix of classic P.O.D. songs like Southtown, Youth of the Nation to newer material like the roaring first single On Fire and Lost in Forever from the new album. It was during post 9-11 national anthem Alive, that the Baltimore crowed stepped it up and impressed the members of the band. A unknown gentleman over the age of 50 -that kind of reminded me of a cross between Jerry Garcia and Kenny Rodgers, managed to get on the stage, sing with Sonny and stage dive back into the crowd. The expression on each of the band members face was priceless. Just goes to show music has no age limit.
After Alive the band left the stage only to return shortly after for two more songs. I am not only a fan of the band, but I am also a fan of guitarist Marcos Curiel‘s style and backing screaming vocals on many P.O.D. tracks. Like a good fan and social media enthusiast, I follow him on Twitter and by doing so, requested (more times than I would like to admit) that the band play one of my all time favorite P.O.D. tracks; Satellite. This song has been out of the rotation for some time now and I was really looking forward to experiencing it live. I can’t explain why, but there is something about that riff and the lyrics that always get me insanely pumped up. It’s just one of those songs that grabs you and is all-consuming.
Suffice to say that upon their return to the stage I was not only able to grab a hold of the barricade, allowing me to be truly front row for the last leg of the show, but I noticed that Marcos returned to the left side of the stage in front of where I was standing, with somewhat of a sneaky smile after finishing their cover of Sublime’s What I Got. Proceeding to play the opening notes to that unmistakable riff, he looked and pointed his guitar to me as I began to jump and enjoy my song, Satellite. Again, thank you Marcos!
More than I expected or even hoped for, P.O.D. delivered a night full of energy, power and provided a release for those present looking to enjoy some good music and fellowship. Those of us that waited for the crowd to dwindle were able to get in line and go to the meet and greet with the band on the second level of the venue. It is always a treat when bands take the time to actually talk to the fans and exchange more than a signature or picture.
If P.O.D. happens to pass through your neck of the woods, give them a try. You might end up really surprised at how hard these guys from Cali can deliver a high decibel power punch wrapped up in a message of hope in the voice of rock.