The first and last time I saw Breaking Benjamin was at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum as part of CPR Fest in 2003, opening the main stage for Godsmack and 12 Stones. The band formed in 1999, but didn’t release their debut album Saturate until 2002. The album's sound was composed of many layers and, at the time, the band really couldn’t pull it off live. Thus, audiences were treated to a much rawer version of the record during the show.
Flash-forward 13 years later and band has released four more albums as well as a compilation work. With such a span of time between the last time I saw them and the House of Blues show this past Friday, a great deal of personnel has changed. With the changes, the band has been able to go back and reimagine their material acoustically, thus producing a more mature and heart felt sound. The amazing thing about the acoustic set was the fact that the energy of an electric set was still there on stage. A byproduct of playing a smaller venue (they played a SOLD OUT Civic show last year), the band was able to take the audience’s energy and run with it. As the crowd sang along, lead singer Benjamin Burnley was completely overwhelmed by their enthusiasm, and his passion for the music shined through even more. The set was well rounded and highlighted by the encore “The Diary of Jane,” which made for an amazing powerful ballad anthem.