Rock Music, Kindness, and Leaving An Impression

This post is about a band.  And while music plays a huge part in my writing process, it isn't really related to that side of things.  So it won't hurt my feelings if you don't want to read this.

Last night I went to a 3 Doors Down concert at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe, WA.  Big deal for me.  Because they are my favorite band.  Yes, this means they have shoved the Goo Goo Dolls out of my #1 spot, because while Goo Goo Dolls have awesome, fantastic older stuff that I will love and cherish forever, they are starting to sound older and more tired to me.  In the meantime, I think 3 Doors Down keeps getting better and better.

Me and my husband at the concert!

Anyway, back to last night, 3DD played all their greatest hits, old and new.  I sang along to every single song and pretty much nothing could wipe the smile from my face.

I was very observant during this concert.  I like to see how a band works with the crowd, how they interact, what they will say on stage.  I was a bit surprised by how things went last night.

Brad Arnold
Brad Arnold is the lead singer for the group.  He hails from Mississippi, and his southern accent shines through his singing live.  But he has a great amount of southern politeness on stage.  After every single song he would say "Thank you so much, my friends."  After literally every single song.  He didn't really say anything else between.

Then they played their latest hit "One Light."  This is a song about changing the world for the better, about being the one light to shine for everyone else.  After this song, he elaborated on the lyrics, talking about how we can be the change in the world.  He also said how this is his favorite song they've ever written, even though it wasn't their biggest song, not by a long shot.  He had everyone raise a hand in the air, with one finger up, and had each person shout "I can be one light!"  It was very affective.

I kept observing him as the concert continued, and realized Brad didn't have a single visible tattoo on either of his arms (he does have one though).  Not that this is a reflection on his personality, or that I'm saying I look down on those with them (at all), but for a guy who has been in a rock band for 15+ years, I found it very impressive.

Even more impressive, none of them used a single curse word then entire night.  I went to a Theory of a Deadman concert last year and I couldn't begin to count the number of F*bombs that were used that night.  I appreciated how clean the entire show was.  I would have felt perfectly comfortable bringing my 5 year old.

But the thing that got to me most last night was when they played the song "It's Not My Time."  This has been my favorite song of theirs for a long time so I was stoked when it was the third song they played.  But sitting two rows in front of me was this woman.  I noticed her when she sat down.  She looked to be around 50 or so.  She had very little hair on her head, and what hair she did have was fuzzy and downy looking.  You could tell it was just starting to grow back in.

When they started playing this song, she stood up with a poster, raised above her head.  On that poster were the words "It's Not My Time" and the O in the word not was a breast cancer symbol.

Justin Biltonen
As soon as I read this, I got chills and tears welled in my eyes.  They didn't leave my eyes throughout the entire song.  This woman stood through most of the song with this poster raised above her head.  She pumped her fist in the air about half way through, and to my surprise, Justin Biltonen, the bands bassist, pumped his fist back in the air back at her, multiple times throughout the song.

When the show ended (sadly, everyone wanted them to go on longer), everyone started filing out of the stands.  I was walking down right behind this woman with her poster.  It took some courage, but I let her know how much I appreciated her that night.  She then said she was hoping to get the poster signed by the guys in the band.  I watched her ask someone working the show, and was sad when the woman basically was told no.

I went and got in line to get a t-shirt but my husband pointed back to the stage when I was finished.  Justin,
who had responded to this woman during the song, had come back out to talk with her and sign her poster.  I walked back over in that direction and got teary eyed again when I saw them in a big embrace that lasted quite a long time.  When she was finished, he then stayed to sign stuff and take pictures with anyone for at least 30 minutes.

Me, Justin, my 15 year old sis-in-law, Kassie

People notice kindness.  Sometimes your actions speak even louder than your music.

They don't care about singing about being rock stars, getting drunk, sleeping with women, or any of that fake crap.

These guys are real.  They are genuine.

And this is why I love 3 Doors Down.



Anonymous said...

Great article, but you're not right about Brad having no tattoo. He has a tattoo on one of his upper arms. A crucifix. It's not a realistic drawing but more like a tribal tattoo.

Holis3DD said...

Thank you for such a great article Keary!

3Doors may not be the biggest rock band by far, and they don't mind at all. As long as they stay true to themselves and continue to play for their fans/friends (of any age) who will come to see them then that's all that matters!


Here is a picture of Brad's tribal crucifix:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing such a beautiful article. Justin is my brother, and I am so proud that he is showing the world his kind heart. Justin leaving to go on tour with 3DD has been bittersweet for the family, but we are so proud.

Thank you,

Danielle Biltonen-Henry

jwhitus said...

That is so amazing! I Love 3DD and this just makes me so happy to read such good things about them. I know they've done a lot for our military troops as well. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

Anonymous said...

One word.... Legends!!!!!!!


Keary Taylor said...

You're right Anonymous and Holis3DD, what I meant to say was that he has no visible tattoos. To me this says something too: it's something that is just for him and he doesn't care for the entire world to have to see it.

And how neat to hear from you Danielle! You really do have a wonderful brother and I made sure to tell him how much I respected him that he came out for that woman. People notice kindness!

Lady Valere said...

Danielle, My friends and I had the distinct pleasure of talking to your brother after two of the Daughtry / 3DD shows that we were at. He was SO sweet and was out with us for quite awhile both times! We came away from those times totally in love with him :-) I pray that he will be a permanent member of the band because he is a HUGE asset :-)

Keary, thank you for writing this blog :-) It does not surprise me at all what Justin did for this lady :-)

I was very fortunate to see 3DD four times on their co-headling tour with Daughtry. I am now a huge fan! I had M & G for all of those shows so was able to meet all of them too! They are all great guys and so genuine!! Really looking forward to their tour next year!!

Anonymous said...

We had the chance to talk to Justin for several minutes after one of their concerts on the acoustic tour, we had waited for the guys to come out after and he was the only one who came out and he said that the venue didn't want them to come out but he was looking for family who had gone to the concert, he is such a sweet and sincere guy and took the time to talk to us, it was like talking to a friend, he talked to my best friend's teenage daughter who had stars in her eyes, he was just so sweet to her, the guys in the band are so humble and classy, they definitely don't get the recognition they reserve but they have some devoted fans who love them, we go and see them as often as we can and are never disappointed, and Justin is a great addition to the band !! So is Chet he is a sweet guy too