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Breaking Benjamin gave Youngstown a fix



Published: Thu, March 25, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

Last week, Breaking Benjamin proved why they are the alt-metal band of choice for many. The Wilkes-Barre, Pa.-based rockers headlined a concert at Covelli Centre on Thursday that also included Chevelle, Red and Thousand Foot Krutch.

Ben Burnley, the band’s namesake, frontman and visionary, was fighting a sore throat but still managed to roar through an 80-minute set that included “Breath,” “Sooner or Later,” “So Cold” and “Diary of Jane.” He also pulled “Polyamorous” out of the band’s early catalog.

During the show, a live video feed of the band was shown on supersized video screens above the stage.

Burnley and guitarist Aaron Fink provided a highlight when they sat down midway through the show to play Aerosmith’s seminal song “Dream On,” which was cast as a tribute to rockers who have passed on. A montage of late, great musicians was shown on the video screens during the song: Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Layne Staley, Dimebag Darrell, Jim Morrison, Michael Jackson and more.

Breaking Benjamin could always blend delicate notes and thunderous chords with the best of them. But the band now also seems a little more comfortable on stage.

The last time Breaking Benjamin played in the Mahoning Valley was 2007 at The Wedge in Austintown, and Big Ben (I can call him that because he’s 6 foot 4) was much more subdued in interacting with the audience.

The concert was originally going to be at Powers Auditorium and promoted by a local company. But almighty Live Nation must have realized the band’s rising stature. The national concert-promotion company snatched up the show and put it in Covelli.

It probably worked out for the best, at least for ticketbuyers. Powers, with its 2,300-seat capacity, wouldn’t have been able to accommodate the 4,000-plus who showed up at Covelli.

AMUSEMENT-PARK SEASON

March comes in like a lion — and will go out like a tiger.

The annual I-X Indoor Amusement Park, which opens Friday, will feature the Big Cat Encounter this year. The 30-minute show demonstrates the behaviors and activities of six tigers. It’s included with the price of admission.

The temporary amusement park also has a kiddieland and more than two dozen amusement rides. New this year is Vertigo, which shoots riders 70 feet in the air.

The I-X Indoor Amusement Park runs until April 18 at the I-X Center on Route 237, near Hopkins Airport in Cleveland. General-admission tickets are $19 ($16 for kids under 48 inches). Go to ixamusementpark.com for discount tickets and hours (tickets also are available at Marc’s).


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