Tried-N-True Tour Featuring Hoobastank / Lit / Alien Ant Farm / Kris Roe Of The Ataris – Musikfest Cafe – Bethlehem, PA – 10/16/22

Every year a late 90’s/early 2000’s revival tour happens that brings back the essence of the music of that time, most notably the Everclear “Summerland Tour”. The lineups are usually dream worthy and all their favorite bands under one roof is too good to be true. That can be said about the Tried-N-True Tour featuring Hoobastank, Lit, Alien Ant Farm, and Kris Roe of The Ataris. A tour that runs from October 14th to November 8th hitting a little of the East Coast, South, and Texas. The only issue with this tour is that it isn’t a full U.S. tour unless this is just the first leg with additional date announced later.

Opening the show is Kris Roe who is the lead vocalist and guitarist of The Ataris. Kris’ set tends to be on the short side and only acoustic, but he manages to play his two major hits which people will recognize from So Long, Astoria. Just like any of his live shows, Kris makes his set as intimate as possible by sharing stories and taking song requests. Obviously with Kris’ amount of available songs, picking one request might be hard to do, but he handles it well. Also during his set he played a new song call “Car Song” about his hometown in Indiana which he felt would be very relatable to Bethlehem since they both are similar being an old industrial town. Before Kris ended his set with his Don Henley cover of “The Boys Of Summer”, he mentioned that The Ataris have some things in store in 2023 and to keep a look out.

When the Tried-N-True Tour was announced, Alien Ant Farm was noted to not be playing the Bethlehem date. It seemed as they had a date in Northampton, PA a few days before this tour started. However, after that Northampton show happened it was announced that Alien Ant Farm was indeed playing the Bethlehem date. With only a short set and except for one song, all the songs Alien Ant Farm played were from their popular album ANThology. Even with a short set, Alien Ant Farm still put on a fun and comical show. It should be known that Alien Ant Farm don’t take themselves too seriously and lead singer Dryden Mitchell will have some funny banter and hand gestures on stage. Like Kris Roe, Alien Ant Farm closed their set with their well known cover originally done by Michael Jackson, “Smooth Criminal”.

Out of all the bands on this tour, Lit has the most recent release which is Taste Like Gold that came out on June 17 of this year. The album itself has been praised as an album that sounds like it could’ve been released when their biggest album A Place In The Sun was released. It is also mentioned that it is a return to form, since their last album These Are The Days was more country driven, however, if you listen closely Taste Like Gold still has a few country elements in it mostly notably “Yeah Yeah Yeah” and “The Life That I Got”. I wouldn’t say this is a return to form, but an encompass of all of Lit’s sounds in one album making it their best work to date. How these new songs portray live? They fit perfectly in Lit’s set to which the energy from them is like watching them during their Woodstock ’99 performance, high energy and youthful smiles. Of course the majority of Lit’s set list was songs from A Place In The Sun, but besides new songs a lot of songs from Atomic were played at the Bethlehem date. Didn’t think “Over My Head” would be played, but the fourth song in it was and the crowd was overly excited to hear it live. Being a band for 30 years, Lit may joke that they are old, but their live shows say otherwise. Let it be the excitement of playing new songs or the crowd singing along to every song, Lit is a band that sounds better than ever and continue to put on one of the best live shows.

After a few minor sound issues, Hoobastank took the stage and managed to play something from each of their albums. Even though guitarist Dan Estrin was in a foot cast, he was still able to kick around with his other foot and still give 100%. Singer Doug Robb was constant smiles throughout their performance and connecting with the fans as much as he could. A few months back Dan Estrin was on Chris DeMakes A Podcast, singer of Less Than Jake’s podcast, where he discussed the meaning behind “Crawling In The Dark” and talked about how Doug Robb is the “anti lead singer” meaning he wasn’t built to be a singer, but pulls it off very well. The other aspect is that Doug and the band are just grateful to be performing music and it shows in their live performance. Throughout Hoobastank’s performance the band did not slow down, except for the song “The Reason” which is their ballad of sorts, but each song they played was hard hitting and the crowd didn’t skip a beat in singing each song back. Prior to Covid, Hoobastank celebrated 15 years of their album The Reason and when this tour ends there is no additional tours on the horizon, but maybe that means we will finally get some new music.