Early supporters just loved 'em
By GUY D'ASTOLFO
VINDICATOR ENTERTAINMENT WRITER
When Youngstown first met Hinder 14 months ago, it was love at first sight.
It was in November of 2005 at The Cellar in Struthers. "There were 170 paid admissions that night," recalls Eric Ryan, concert promoter and owner of the rock club. "But when I first saw them, I knew they were going to blow up."
Apparently, the people in attendance that night also knew they were seeing something special. "Everybody was singing every word to every song," said Ryan. "It was amazing."
Ryan brought Hinder back two more times, a few months after the first show and again in June of 2006. Both shows sold out The Cellar with ease.
"Lips of an Angel," the group's ubiquitous mega-hit, hadn't even hit radio rotation when Hinder last visited the Cellar. Now it's the most downloaded song in the nation, Ryan said, adding that Youngstown has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to Hinder.
Early sales of Hinder's debut album, "Extreme Behavior" in the Youngstown market were among the strongest in the nation, said Ryan.
The relationship between Hinder and the Valley will be consummated Friday at the Eastwood Expo Center in Niles, where the band will play before its biggest crowd local crowd ever.
"We could've sold out the [6,500 capacity] Chevrolet Centre," said Ryan. In fact, he tried to have the show moved to the downtown Youngstown arena, but the building had already been booked for a freestyle motocross event, which couldn't be rescheduled.
Ryan had to settle for the Expo Center, which holds about 2,500. Every ticket was gone within three weeks.
But fame has its price. Ryan paid Hinder 200 to play at his club back in November 2005 -- basically what a local group might get. He wouldn't reveal how much Hinder commanded for Friday's show, but said it's w-a-a-a-y more than that.