“I’d say this calls for a toast,” Wes Scantlin said while holding up a beverage to a sold-out crowd at the Midland theater. “To Kansas City,” he shouted before taking a sip.
Thursday’s concert was nearly over at that point, but for the audience and Scantlin — the last remaining original member of the Kansas City hard rock quintet Puddle of Mudd — the homecoming was still going strong.
Throughout the band’s 80-minute set, Scantlin, a Park Hill High School graduate, would wander the stage throwing souvenir T-shirts out to the crowd and high-fiving audience members — many of whom he knew.
But the night was about music, too, and the band opened with “Out of My Head” and followed it up with the intentionally crass single “Control,” both from the band’s 2001 debut album, “Come Clean.”
Three songs from its most recent album, a collection of classic-rock covers titled “Re:(disc)overed,” made an appearance too. A decent take on the AC/DC anthem “T.N.T.” felt at home with the set list, but versions of Neil Young’s “Old Man” and the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” didn’t add much to the original versions and ended up falling a little flat.
If anything, the covers showed that Puddle of Mudd is best when it plays its own songs. Scantlin made mention of a new album set for release within the next six months, and it would have been nice to hear a song or two from that instead. The band closed out the night without an encore — the time was just after midnight — but finished strong with “Psycho,” “Blurry” and the crowd-pleasing “She Hates Me.”
Prior to Puddle of Mudd, Halestorm offered up a 50-minute set that the crowd responded to with some of the loudest cheers of the night, and Halestorm deserved it.
The four-piece from Pennsylvania is the creation of two siblings, Arejay Hale on drums and Lzzy Hale on vocals and guitar. The sound is a good dose of arena rock, with a frontwoman who knows how to act the part as well as anybody.
Songs like the taunting “It’s Not You” and the slower “Familiar Taste of Poison” showcased the band’s diversity and highlighted Lzzy Hale’s impressive voice — one that she is not afraid to show off, like on an inspired a capella rendition of Heart’s “Crazy on You.”
The band supplied plenty of power-chord rock anthems, including “Love/Hate Heartbreak,” the hyper-sexualized “I Get Off” and the catchy “American Boys” that is set to be released on an album in early 2012.