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Concert Reviews: Fuel

Best Buy, Pittsburgh, PA
September 25, 2003
By: Linda Spielman

photo of Fuel vocalist Brett Scallions copyright Linda Spielman

With the release of their latest album Natural Selection on September 23, 2003, the members of Fuel decided to take their music on the road. This wasn't the typical tour most bands go on, but a week long stint of Best Buy Stores on the East Coast. The Harrisburg based band, played their hometown, Philadelphia, Cleveland and also made their way to Pittsburgh via the Robinson Best Buy store.

The tracks are much darker and probably the most musically hard-hitting the band has released to date. All of the songs, which were written by guitarist Carl Bell, were primarily conceived in the almost two year hiatus the band took from touring. As Bell notes, he had started doing so much writing while out on tour that he wasn't able to live in the moment and absorb the highlights of being on tour that were going on around him and the band, so he put the pen and paper away until he was back home. The sometimes exhausting days of working on ten songs at one time brought forth much of Natural Selection. The first radio single, Falls On Me, is by far the most mellow of the all the tracks on the CD. However, VH-1 and most major formats have eagerly embraced the single with open arms.

photo of Fuel copyright Linda SpielmanTo do something special for the Fuel fans who patiently have waited for the release of Natural Selection, the band teamed up with Best Buy for a mini-tour the week of the CD's release. On average, the week's worth of performances attracted between one to three thousand fans at each show. In Pittsburgh, the fans started trickling in to the Robinson Best Buy around three in the afternoon. The fans who hadn't yet purchased the CD had the chance to buy it along with the free bonus single, On The Road Again. By show time at 6 pm, over eighteen hundred fans packed the front of the Robinson Best Buy and snaked through the aisles of the music department to hear the band play a half hour acoustic set.

As the band took stage, they played not only Falls On Me from the new CD, but previous hits such as Shimmer, Bittersweet and Last Time. Following the mini-concert, the members of Fuel remained at the store until well after nine o'clock photo of Fuel copyright Linda Spielmansigning copies of the new CD for all the fans who came out for the promotional appearance. Following the show, the band invited fans to a local club to hang out with them where their friends Sevendust were playing a show that night.

The band is currently out on The Road To Voodoo Tour being sponsored by Play Station 2 and House of Blues. Although the dates are random and widely scattered throughout the United States, the tour wraps up in New Orleans on Halloween weekend at Voodoo Fest and is only a taste of a larger tour the band has planned for the upcoming months.

Photos by Linda Spielman