Candlebox // Cleveland, OH // 07.09.2023

Candlebox w/Mona
House Of Blues Cleveland
Cleveland, OH
July 09, 2023

The Cleveland House of Blues was packed with fans of all ages to catch the band’s final Cleveland show as part of the Long Goodbye Tour.  The tour name reflects the final tour of the band while celebrating the band’s thirty-year career since their debut release in 1993.

Opening the show was Mona, a three-piece that easily rivals and out rock most bands with double the members.  Hailing from Nashville with Ohio roots, the band was excited to be opening the show in Cleveland because “once we get to Ohio, people will lose their shit,” referring to the state’s appetite for music.  The band’s set consisted of nine songs including a new tune, and ‘hits’ in which lead singer, Nick Brown, joked with the audience, “[these songs] are all new to you.”  The highlight of the band’s set, and to the surprise of all, came during the band’s new tune, “Mermaid“, in which Candlebox’s lead singer, Kevin Martin strolled onto the stage during the first verse and joined in with Brown, singing the second verse.  After a roaring response from the crowd for not only the surprise of an early performance from Kevin Martin, but catchy tune that would fit into today’s modern rock scene, the band joked “ This is how you save the second half of your shitty set, you bring the lead singer of the heading band.”

Shortly after nine on a Sunday night, Candlebox took the House of Blues stage and delivered a high-energy ninety-minute set consisting of classic hits, new songs, and a rarely performed, unreleased song.  The setlist was heavily filled with songs from the band’s 4-time platinum 1993 debut album, celebrating its 30th anniversary.  Most albums were represented in the set with the exception of “Lucy“, which according to Kevin’s polling of the audience, resulted in only about 20 people cheering.

Kevin Martin took the stage sporting a yellow, Hawaiian-like button-up shirt, almost to play up his impending retirement at the end of this tour.  His energy was infectious through the set, as if to leave everything on the stage and go out with his very best and quite possibly final performance in Cleveland.  The band opened up with two favorites and staples in most setlists over their impressive career, “Bitches Brewing” and “Arrow“.  Shortly after, the band followed up with “Blossom“, a song Martin dedicated to “all the foxy mammas out there.”  

Throughout the set, while singing, Kevin would also sign drumsticks and throw them into the audience, sign albums passed up on stage from the audience, throw handfuls of guitar picks into the audience and shake hands.  One lucky audience member in the front row got handed a black guitar in which Kevin strummed attempting to play ‘Jane Says’ by Jane’s Addiction.

For the second time live, the band performed “This Time Tomorrow“, a song written for the This Time Tomorrow Foundation which provides direct financial support for people fighting cancer.

Nick Brown, Mona’s lead vocalist, joined Candlebox and sang with Kevin on “Elegante”, an upcoming track on the band’s final studio album and upcoming August 25th release.

In addition to loud cheers, and singing along, the band was also gifted with a few bras being thrown up onto the stage.  Jokingly, Kevin asked whose bras they were.  Humorously, one was claimed by a long-time male fan and friend of the band in the front row.

The end of the night was rounded out with the band’s two biggest hits, “Far Behind” and “You”.  After asking the audience if they wanted one more, the band played Rain, a groovy favorite off of the debut album.  Talents of all band members were showcased in this dynamic cult classic.  Guitarists Brian Quinn and Island Styles took center stage, as if singing to each other via guitar strings.  Kevin Martin, drummer BJ Kerwin and bassist Adam Kury all contributed to the drum break at the end of the song, ending the night in Cleveland, leaving the hundreds in the audience wanting more.

For more information on Candlebox, including tour dates and to find out more about the upcoming final studio release, visit


Candlebox Setlist 

Bitches Brewing
What Do You Need
Let Me Down Easy
Best Friend
This Time Tomorrow
Cover Me
Far Behind

Mona Setlist

In the Middle
Ain’t it Sick
Don’t Make it Weird
Shooting the Moon
Came Here to See You
Lean into the Fall

Candlebox Gallery


Words by Tracy Tedrow-Pinter
Photos by Steffi Wegewitz // Concert Scene Photography

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