Live Review & Photos: Breaking Benjamin at House of Blues San Diego, March 7, 2016

Breaking Benjamin
Photos by Alex Matthews

Breaking Benjamin, the Pennsylvania-based rock/metal band that rose to fame in the early 2000s, played a sold-out show at House of Blues on March 7.

The hard rock outfit is looking a bit different these days, with namesake lead singer/guitarist Benjamin Burnley the only remaining original member of the group. His new bandmates include guitarists Jasen Rauch and Keith Wallen, bassist Aaron Bruch, and drummer Shaun Foist, who all recently helped reform the outfit in late 2014 after a multi-year hiatus.

The new lineup does hold true to the original sound of the band, only with better vocals. With the addition of his three new guitar players, Burnley has also found himself a chorus of singers ready to take over backing parts and even lead vocal duties on some of the band’s set list. The crowd in San Diego was clearly very excited to see the group, and House of Blues had a huge turnout for a Tuesday evening.

Playing a tight 90-minute set heavy on radio singles, the band touched on material from all five of its studio albums. Breaking Benjamin’s latest release, 2015’s Dark Before Dawn, features songs very reminiscent of their older material — punchy toms, booming bass, crunchy guitar, and a brooding vocal style have always been part of the band’s signature.

New tracks including “Angels Fall” and “Failure” were highlights of the evening. A particularly nice touch came in the form of an auction for St. Judes Children’s Hospital, held just before the opening notes of the concert. The band auctioned off instruments and other memorabilia to benefit the organization in addition to donating money from merch sales.

Breaking Benjamin put on a great show and it was a treat to see them live in San Diego after so many years. The band is clearly giving back as it enjoys its 2016 resurgence, and seeing the band’s avid fan base shell out tons of dough for charity was icing on the cake.

Breaking Benjamin at House of Blues San Diego

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