For a band that’s built their career on a global chart-topping single a decade ago, having fans scream for The Reason from the get go at The Coliseum makes a lot of sense. It has been a good decade since the title track off their third album propelled them to significant success worldwide. In 2004, Hoobastank were on everyone’s lips, video game soundtracks and television advertisements.
Hoobastank are best known for The Reason. In fact, I am willing to bet that everyone on this planet has probably hummed this tune at one point or another. You get the sense that everyone was congregated at The Coliseum for just that, which then begs the question: are there any true Hoobastank fans out there? Or are they just concertgoers gratifying the need to listen to a live rendition of one classic hit?
The group tacitly acknowledged that at the pre-concert press conference presented by FIJI Water, asserting that everyone was expecting a rehash of the single.
“It came to a point where record labels and managers were only interested in how we could replicate (sic), to write The Reason part 2 or The Reason part 3”, frontman Doug Robb muses.
Bassist Jesse Charland adds that the band wants to be in the constant process of discovering. It is a stark reminder that Hoobastank are caught between reinventing themselves and trying not to cling on to a perceived formula for success that does not exist.
Don’t get us wrong; Hoobastank hardly stank at The Coliseum. Having flown in from a tour series across Japan, it was no surprise to find that Robb and co. had a tight, honed set to present at The Coliseum. They played a mix of old and new, and provided one of the loudest sing-along moments the Hard Rock Hotel had ever witnessed. Frontman Doug Robb cut an energetic figure on stage, holding the reins on both vocal work and audience interaction on behalf of the band. Taking things across the spectrum, Hoobastank switched between high octane numbers like “Same Direction” and “Part of Me” and soulful ballads like “If I Were You”.
It’s hard to fault a band that plays with infectious vigour on stage and try to dissociate themselves from being wholly associated with a sole chart-topping single in the studio. When it all comes down to the essentials, playing live shows and touring in support of an album acts as a form of assessment for their studio chops. It’s starting to feel like Hoobastank are fast becoming a one hit wonder by virtue of their own fans, a shame considering they have 6 full-length albums chockfull of catchy alternative rock.
“If we had it our way, we would come to Singapore way more often. Perhaps we could see you… next year?” Doug Robb was in a generous mood, trying to appease the Singapore crowd at every opportunity.
The band last played a show here in 2009 for a New Years’ Eve show. Realistically, we have five more years before we catch Hoobastank again. Or “The Reason”.
Image Credits: The Fifth Parlour / concertblogger
Thanks for FIJI Water for having us to the concert.