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Hinder — Not So Extreme, Still Enjoyable

The Congress Theater - Chicago, IL, United States - January 29, 2007

by Terra Cooney

HinderHinder is a verb roughly meaning, to slow down or obstruct the progress of. This Oklahoma City band is a contradiction of their name as they've advanced to quick popularity with just one record, Extreme Behavior. The Universal Records album is absolutely no disappointment and likewise was their stage performance on January 29 at the Congress Theater in Chicago.

I wouldn't exactly call the band's behavior "extreme" but it was entertaining. It got couples making out at the right time and the crowd going crazy during the remainder of the show. Though they possess all of the clich é's of a stereotypical rock band, including but not limited to, repetitive displays of the "devil's horns," a sex, drugs and rock-n-roll attitude, and loud screams at the conclusion of almost every single song performed, they know how to capture a crowd.

Before the five guys came to the stage, the elaborate set was uncovered and pieced together as the sound checks progressed. After each mike check was complete, including the one atop a stand donned in women's unmentionables, Bon Jovi's "Shot Through The Heart" blasted through the venue, pumping up the fans.

Next, the real power of the metallic stage setup was proven as the Hinder logos were illuminated. Drummer Cody Hanson waved and took the steps to his throne behind a bass drum adorned with a vixen lying on her back. The other members of the band entered in a similar fashion, flashing smiles and waves before getting in position. A loud, rock scream escaped vocalist Austin Winkler's lips to kick off the performance, during which he displayed many Steven Tyler-like moves. Once the bra-clad microphone stand left the stage though (within the first minute), Austin's signature movements reminded us who we were listening to and why we were Hinder fans.

The lights were intoxicating, dancing in green stars and purple swirls across the ceiling of the dome and the music was right on time. "Homecoming Queen" got the crowd hopped up on Hinder and though another one of Austin's shrieks had me wondering if he would have a voice by the end of the night, he maintained his original, sexy-edged sound throughout a long set.

Hinder set a "chill mood," as they put it, with "Bliss (I Don't Wanna Know)" and "By The Way," but the fans awaited the hit that made infidelity seem so delicious. Hinder added an acoustic guitar for the radio favorite "Lips of an Angel." Though the band had an alluring way of stealing the hearts of the crowd, they also played just enough rock songs in between to keep everyone keyed up. Hinder plugged the song "Better Than Me," their hopeful next single off the tasty-tracked Extreme Behavior, and even did a cover of Eddie Money's "Take Me Home Tonight."

HinderBefore the band left the stage for the first time, the members were introduced, some while taking shots of alcohol. It was surprising to hear that this level of deserved confidence came from a band who had only appeared in Chicago one other time, and in, as Austin recalls, a "pizza place."

The singer's softer side was shown as he did follow-up duets with a couple of the members of the band, one voice and one instrument per song, and then came back with the full band to end the night hard with "Get Stoned." Overall, though they weren't excessive in their extreme behavior, Hinder showed that they are capable of imaginative things. It would be no mistake to go out and buy the CD and it wouldn't hurt to see them live in your town, either.


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