Hello, neighbor

Photo: Randi Radcliff

Pop-rock juggernaut 3 Doors Down is coming to Oklahoma with an acoustic interpretation of its live show. The band will be playing a variety of its catalog ranging from its numerous No. 1 hits to some songs never played on stage until this tour.

Feb. 1, the group will bring its Songs From the Basement tour to Grand Casino Hotel and Resort for a 10:30 p.m. show in the Grand Event Center.

Guitarist Chris Henderson spoke to Oklahoma Gazette in advance of the show and said the acoustic tour is, in a variety of ways, unlike anything the band has done in the past.

“It’s really intimate; it’s not like a regular show,” Henderson said. “It’s something really special for us.”

The band is using the tour to support its own charity, A Better Life Foundation, which supports children and young adults in need of basics like food, housing and medical needs. Henderson said it is a good cause and it’s satisfying to be in a position to help others, but he added that there is another motivator.

“We’re going out to have a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s like playing at a party. (Singer) Brad (Arnold) is so approachable, and he’s such a nice guy, especially on stage. And he’ll talk and talk, and he’ll let people interact.”

Henderson also characterized this tour as a way for band members to slow down a little bit and take inventory of their careers. As they enter mid-life, the days of chasing fame and fortune are behind them. Since the group formed in 1995, 3DD has amassed a treasure trove of accomplishments, including sales that top 16 million records and a half-dozen No. 1 hit songs. But now, the musicians are looking forward to being close to their music and their fans.

“The crowds are more quiet, and people can communicate with you if they want to,” Henderson said. “It’s not the typical show where it’s loud and there’s lights and all that.”

To accentuate the intimacy, the tour is making couch seats available on the stage.

“People can sit on the stage with us while we play,” Henderson said. “I wish one of my favorite bands when I was a kid would have done something like that.”

In light of some unfortunate situations that caused the band to lose two founding members, Henderson alluded to a sense of growth and maturity that comes through age and experience.

“With this kind of situation, you can live in the moment instead of living for the next song or the next bus ride,” he said. “That’s something that this band really needs to do. It’s time for us to get back to enjoying and being and playing and all that stuff.”

Tickets start at $35 (964-7777, grandboxoffice.com). The show was recently moved to Grand Casino in Shawnee from WinStar World Casino due to a Chickasaw Tribe government change and subsequent cancellations.

Oklahoman Greg Upchurch is the third hired drummer for 3 Doors Down, replacing Daniel Adair, who was poached by long-time touring buddies Nickelback in 2005. Upchurch, who grew up in Kingston, Okla., has a strong OKC connection, having received the key to the city in 2001 for his work with his band Puddle of Mudd. He is passionate about his love of Sooner football and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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