Aaron Lewis comes through Raleigh on his State I’m In Tour.
State I’m In Tour.
As I pulled up the Ritz on this late summer evening, the clouds turned black and the floods started. The line of fans around the venue was soaked and I was praying my camera bag was as “water-resistant” as advertised. The storm finally let up, doors opened, and we were ready for a night with Aaron Lewis on his State I’m In Tour.
As everyone was drying off and waiting in line at the bar, I was headed to the pit as the opening act, Ben Danaher was set to take the stage. The house lights went down and a dark red spotlight came on stage, getting us ready for an intimate set.
Ben came out with his acoustic guitar and introduced himself. He began his set with a couple of songs off his debut record, Still Feel Lucky. After reading up on some of his past, it’s no secret why his performance is so passionate after losing his father and brother within 2 years of each other.
Prior to singing “Hell or High Water” he spoke of his fellow Texan and country artist Maren Morris who co-wrote the song with him. Danaher filled the void on the stage behind him with his powerful voice and catchy melodies. Danaher is one of country’s newest up-and-comers with another full-length album coming soon, so keep an eye out.
Aaron Lewis, to some of you, may be better known as the frontman of the rock band Staind, which is how I remember him. Without having heard much of his country or solo records I was intrigued to see how this show would go. I made my way back up to the pit. As the clock hit 9:00, the house music faded out and the lights again went down.
The center stage spotlight came on as Lewis walked out with a guitar around his shoulder, a cigarette in his mouth, and a drink in his hand. As he got up to the mic, he raised his drink and removed his hat. He opened his show with a rendition of “The Pledge of Allegiance”.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, he played arguably his most known solo track, “Country Boy” from his debut solo album Town Line. The crowd was singing along to every word throughout the show. The set was full of songs from his newest album State I’m In, released in April of this year.
I remember being impressed with Aaron Lewis when I saw Stained live a couple of times in the early 2000s and honestly, I feel like his voice has gotten better throughout the years. It was interesting witnessing the transition from a hard rock vocalist to a traditional country singer. I wasn’t sure if it would translate well but it really does with Lewis.
He did end up playing “Right Here”, “It’s Been A While”, “Outside”, and “Intro” from Staind’s catalog, which was a bit of a surprise but it was cool to hear those songs live again. While I didn’t know much about Aaron Lewis’ solo career, I was impressed with the production of the show and the performance.
If you are at a show and take some photos during the sets, make sure to add #twitfromthepit to your hashtag string to show up on our website and share with the artists!