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Saving Abel

Saving Abel, who opened for Nickelback five years ago at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum, headlines their own Castle Theatre show Saturday night. (Courtesy photo)

The first time Saving Abel made a stop in Bloomington, lead singer Jared Weeks realized his band had “made it” before taking the stage at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.

The Corinth, Miss.-based Southern rock quintet was touring with proven rock groups Nickelback, Shinedown and Avenged Sevenfold and seeing mainstream success on the Billboard charts.

That was five years ago.

Now, Weeks said, “Things have changed.”

“We’re not as in demand as we used to be; let’s just be honest,” Weeks said of his group’s slow decline since 2008.

But now, free from a sub-par label run and self-promoting a new album and tour, Saving Abel is coming back to Bloomington for a 7 p.m. Saturday show at The Castle Theatre with something to prove.

“We all talk about the Shinedown and Nickelback (tour) days … the glory days, as we call them. But we have options now, the world is in our hands in a sense,” Weeks said. “We’re on this tour to let all of our fans know that Saving Abel is still here and that we aren’t going anywhere.”

Formed in 2004 by Weeks and lead guitarist Jason Null, Saving Abel hit its stride with its eponymous 2008 album debut on Virgin Records.

Fueled by the popular, sexually explicit single “Addicted,” the album peaked at No. 49 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Top Rock Albums chart.

The band later released a second album, “Miss America” (2010), before dropping “Bringing Down the Giant” under E1 Music last year.

But what Weeks cited as a “lack of commitment” from E1 brought an early end to the relationship late last year. Weeks, Null, Scott Bartlett (rhythm guitar), Eric Taylor (bass) and Mike McManus (drums) soon opted to begin a trek back to the top on their own.

Saving Abel released its “Crackin’ the Safe” EP on Aug. 6 as a “show of gratitude” to fans. Weeks said the current tour will promote the EP, a new single, “Mystify,” and a fourth album set for early 2014 release.

The tour and future proceedings are being handled by Saving Abel and Weeks’ wife, Nikki, leaving the group’s fate in its own hands.

“The last album we had, our label didn’t even promote it. A lot of people didn’t even know we had a third album,” Weeks said. “But now, if Saving Abel doesn’t succeed, it’ll only be Saving Abel’s fault.”

Saturday’s audience should “expect old favorites and new songs,” loaded with “very big choruses and epic ballads,” said Weeks, who added: “We have so many funky grooves and rhythms going on; our music can be really diverse. We can go from rocking your face off to making you cry.”

Before it does that, Saving Abel will be backed by suburban Chicago rock act Aterra Tale and Peoria rock trio Drugs Delaney.

“We guarantee anyone coming to see us is going to get a great show,” Weeks said. “We still love our fans and appreciate the hell out of them, so come out and expect a rock show.”

At a Glance

What: Saving Abel with Drugs Delaney and Aterra Tale

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Castle Theatre, 209 E. Washington St., Bloomington

Tickets: $15 to $18

Box office: 309-820-0352

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