Candlebox at The Wellmont Theater- Montclair, NJ

Candlebox Wellmont Theater NJ

There are certain albums that you hear and instantly fall in love with for a lifetime.

Maybe a close friend gave it to you, it reminds you of a place you love like your childhood home or a vacation you took. All of these memories attach themselves to that album.

I have a few of these all-time favorites in my collection. The cassette tape that you bought over and over because it kept getting ruined in your walkman, or the CD that you kept buffing scratches out of – I know I’m aging myself. Some of my all-time favorites include Counting Crowns August and everything, Ani DiFranco’s Dilate, Sublime Sublime and Candelbox’s self titled debut album from 1993.

I remember a friend let me listen to his CD at my summer camp one day sitting by the lake. Then later that year a guy from school invited me to go see Candelbox at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC, It was my first concert without my parents.

I remember wanting to try crowd surfing so bad, but didn’t have the guts- I was also 12 or 13- I had overly trusting parents. It was an awesome show, we were so close to the stage and I was silently praying the whole time they would play ‘He calls home’. They kept teasing they would play the song we all wanted, but turns out to most of the crowd, that was ‘Far behind’. The band was great and I will never forget the show. 

So when I heard Candelbox was playing a 25th-anniversary show for the debut album at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, I was super psyched.

I had never been to the venue before and my brother lives around the corner. I talked him into joining me and invited an old friend from that summer camp where I first heard candelbox.

We started the evening with an amazing meal at a small Brazilian restaurant up the street and walked into the Wellmont at around 7:30 while the first band was just starting.

The theater is a 3 story old movie theater complete with original balcony and seating. There is a GA area by the stage and bar area.

The 2 opening bands that I had never heard of where not memorable. They were very heavy metal and not quite my thing. 

Candelbox went on at 10 and started with one of the songs from the ’93 album. 

Kevin Martin- the lead singer- said they were going to play some of their other material from the 5 other albums that no one knew they had. 

The crowd, mostly 50 year old men with chain wallets and flannel shirts, were not thrilled by that and started to fade. So much so that Kevin yelled out to the crowd to make sure we were still alive. 

Finally they realized all we wanted was the ’93 album- and that was when all the cell phones went up to record the show.

Kevin’s voice was amazing! His voice sounded great and he still whaled out those shrill screams, I was seriously impressive. 

For me, the best part of a concert is being able to sing along to a favorite song with the band. Especially a song from an album that has been a part of my life for 25 years! Kevin gave some insights into what the songs from that album meant to him, or what drug he was on at the time he wrote it. They did play ‘He Calls Home’ and explained it was about an army vet that he saw on his street one day. Getting to hear that live was worth everything. They’re newest album Disappearing in Airports is pretty good and worth a listen.

I will always love and remember this album, where I heard it first, who turned me on to the band, and where I got to see them live.

It was a mixed crowd, at an old venue, in a great city, with awesome friends and I’m so glad that I got to experience this album live again.


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