Candlebox with Dead Original live in Milwaukee 2019

It was apparent that winter tried to take hold of this already cold Wednesday night in Milwaukee, but that didn’t stop any Candlebox fans from showing up to Turner Hall. As the upstairs venue filled rather quickly, you could see that there were nostalgic fans and newcomers alike that wanted a great night of Seattle grunge inspired music. Looking over the stage, Dead Original had their stage backdrops and gear set to start things off. The Candlebox tapestry loomed over the stage in the background, waiting to be the main attraction.
Candlebox Milwaukee Show 2019 poster
The Illinois based Dead Original was founded by Paul Wandtke, and consists of Rob Lerner on Drums, and Sean McCole on bass. They recently released their album “Bought and Paid”.
Opening up with “Circles”, it was clear that they are driven by nineties influences. Songs like “Move”, “Fade to Light” and “Let it Burn”, gave the crowd the energetic primer that got night moving. As they powered through their set, Paul took on an almost Curt Cobain personna. And in fact, they came to play Nirvana’s “In Bloom”, roughly midway through their set.
During the ending of one of their songs, Paul used monitor as a slide, and crashed Rob’s Cymbal in time to the beat of the song with his guitar.
Intermission covered everything from Joe satriani to Alice In Chains to Nirvana and Hole, which playing those close together… yeeech. (Who’s the DJ?!?)
Fans of Candlebox may have had their heyday in the 1990s, but the group has certainly been making up for it in recent times. In the past year or so, Candlebox celebrated the 25th anniversary of their debut album, and this evening’s show is very much a retrospective look back at their debut. Tonight was definitely a page turner in the book of Candlebox.
At the beginning of the show, it felt as though the band shot back in time to 1993, as they start the night with four classics from their debut release such as, “Don’t You”, “Change” (Kevin Martin mentioned that Change was a love song for stoners), “Blossom”, then shot forward a few years with songs like, “Simple Lessons”, “Happy Pills”.
As these were the last 4 shows of 2019 for the band, they were not going to leave Milwaukee without driving home some new songs and adding in fan favorites to end the night on a high note. Running through their set like a freight train, the band would enjoy stops to tell the story of some of their history and how a song developed into what we hear as a finished piece.
At one point, they touched on the Kiss favorite, “I was Made for Loving You”, then cutting into 2016s “Supernova” off of their “Disappearing in Airports” release. There was a fan, which some thought it was staged, that came up and sang with the band on a couple of their songs.
At one point, Sean Hennesy came out, which Sean was one of the band’s guitarists from years ago and acoustically backed the song, “He Calls Home”. Closing out the night, they didn’t forget, “You”, and “Far Behind”.
All things said, the night was a time capsule. With Dead Original coming out strong to make grunge alive again, and seasoned artists and musicians of Candlebox, no one looked disappointed when they left for the night.