3 Doors Down and Seether bring live music back to Pelham

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

PELHAM – During a normal year, the Oak Mountain Amphitheater keeps the city of Pelham alive with live concerts and events.

The venue has developed a reputation as one of the top locations for shows throughout the state of Alabama. Many big-name artists and bands choose the amphitheater each year as a stop on their stadium and arena-style tours.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the city to fall silent for over a year. Many planned shows were canceled, and the 10,000-capacity amphitheater sat empty for approximately 15 months.

This changed on Saturday, July 24, when 3 Doors Down and Seether put on the first major concert there since the early months of 2020.

3 Doors Down embarked on its “The Better Life 20th Anniversary Tour,” which celebrates the release of the band’s debut album that propelled it to two decades of chart-topping hits and success.

To celebrate the occasion, the band played the album in its entirety before breaking into a slew of its other hits.

“Especially after the last year everyone has had, I am really looking forward to rocking out and celebrating with our fans this summer. It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since we released The Better Life,” 3 Doors Down’s Brad Arnold said. “That album drastically changed our lives, and we are incredibly excited to celebrate the 20th Anniversary with our fans by playing The Better Life front to back this summer.”

That feeling was mutual among the fans who made their way out for this first show. Live music clearly brings out something in people, and it seemed like they were making up for more than a year of that energy.

The amphitheater was filled with nearly 6,000 fans who were screaming at the top of their lungs, dancing and singing along to some of their favorite songs.

Seether opened the show at 8 p.m., playing an energetic 12-song set opening with some of their most notable tunes like “Fine Again” and “Broken,” and closing out with their hits “Fake It” and “Remedy.”

Later, the lights came up and 3 Doors Down took the stage, kicking off the set with one of the band’s most well-known songs, “Kryptonite.”

The eclectic set featured a number of hits that casual fans could enjoy, and also deep cuts that hardcore fans have longed to hear.

Concertgoer Kinsey Haynes said she fell into both of those camps, and was willing to make a two-hour trek to have that experience.

“I’ve loved 3 Doors Down and Seether for a long time, like at least 15 years or more. Getting to hear the first 3 Doors Down album ‘The Better Life’ in full was a huge nostalgia trip for me,” Haynes said. “My parents and I used to listen to it all the time and one of my favorite songs is ‘Down Poison,’ which they don’t play as much. Getting to hear that album and the hits from both bands was a nice comeback to live music for me, since this last year has been lacking. It was worth the two-hour drive just to have my favorite hobby in full force again.”

The band closed its set with an encore featuring two of its most famous songs, “Here Without You” and “When I’m Gone.”

After the final note played, Arnold thanked the crowd he lovingly referred to as “my friends,” and the band exited the stage.

The thousands of fans made their way out of the amphitheater. Even though a large number of these attendees had done it before, the concert was a moment in history and marked the return of live music in the city.