This week, for your reading enjoyment, we have compiled critical reviews of live performances from Drake in Detroit; Pink in Boondall, Australia; Jeff Lynne’s ELO in Detroit; Alabama in Airway Heights, Wash.; and Breaking Benjamin / Five Finger Death Punch in Burgettstown, Pa.
Drake @ Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich., Aug. 14 – “While the energy was high, Drake’s personality was all but swallowed, and the glorious living meme that is Drake was just another element in an over-busy show that didn’t showcase what makes him today’s most popular recording artist: his individuality and his heart.” – Adam Graham / The Detroit News
Pink @ Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Boondall, Australia, Aug. 14-15 – “Every move, every comment, and every song her fans wanted to hear – she performed about 20 of them throughout the spectacular performance – she took the audience on a wee journey from her early days as the bad girl of pop (‘Get The Party Started’, ‘So What’) through to her more recent hits (‘Beautiful Trauma’, ‘Revenge, I Am Here’).” – Bridget Jones / Stuff
Jeff Lynne’s ELO @ Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich., Aug. 16 – “Lynne and his band, a tight 12-piece (including three keyboard players) that at times sounded twice as large, were pristine, providing studio-quality audio inside a hockey arena. (They must have soundchecked for six hours to sound that clean.) In Little Caesars Arena’s short history, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better-sounding concert, and you might not hear another one this good anytime soon.” – Adam Graham / The Detroit News
David A. Smith/Getty Images – Alabama
Jeff Cook, Randy Owen, and Teddy Gentry of Alabama perform at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center Concert Hall on November 23, 2013 in Birmingham, Ala.
Northern Quest Casino in Airway Heights, Aug. 15 – “From the first note of ‘Born Country’ to the last, the audience was on its feet. Some in the crowd waved American flags and others waved their arms, and it seemed like everyone knew the chorus by heart: ‘I was born country and that’s what I’ll always be. Like the rivers and the woodlands wild and free. I got a hundred years of down-home runnin’ through my blood. I was born country and country’s what I love.’” – Cindy Hval / The Spokesman-Review
Breaking Benjamin / Five Finger Death Punch @ KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pa., Aug. 14 – “Finger Death Punch took the stage first with bright-eyed, enthusiastic singer Ivan Moody engaging endlessly with the crowd. Whether begging the crew to turn off the spotlight — it was, after all, still daylight when he took the stage — or talking to children in the audience, Moody’s interactions felt genuine and earnest.
“This was my fourth Breaking Benjamin show in the past two years, but the first time they strayed from their strict set. ‘So Cold,’ their typical opener, was bumped later in the show, and the medley mixing ‘Star Wars,’ Tool, Nirvana, Pantera and Metallica gave lead singer Burnley a vocal break five songs in.” – Daveen Rae Kurutz / The Times