CHAMPAIGN — The boys from Escatawpa, Miss., will be keeping the South alive in their visit to Champaign with Daughtry.
In a Friday show at the University of Illinois Assembly Hall, 3 Doors Down teams with the North Carolina band for a concert that partially gives a nod to the recent release of its first greatest hits package.
The group will play hits like "Kryptonite," "It's Not My Time," "When I'm Gone" and "Here Without You," plus new tracks "One Light" and "Goodbyes."
But 3 Doors Down also will be celebrating the Allman Brothers and other southern bands in their live sets, founding member Brad Arnold said.
Arnold, the band's lead singer, said the latest songs show growth in the group's abilities.
Earlier this year, the "Gang of Outlaws" tour traveled across the U.S. with ZZ Top and Gretchen Wilson.
3 Doors Down also started The Better Life Foundation, providing assistance to the Gulf Coast region of Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina and later with an accent on helping children.
"It seems like we've had a chance to be a blessing to people. It blessed me," Arnold said. "We have the best fans. They've allowed us to do a lot of things in the community, and we're proud of our fans."
Band members are Arnold, vocals since 1996 and drums from '96 to 2000; Chris Henderson, rhythm guitar from '98 to present; Todd Harrell, bass guitar since 1996; Greg Upchurch, drums, percussion and backing vocals since 2005; and newest member Chet Roberts, lead guitar and backing vocals.
Arnold said the longevity of the band surprises even him.
"We're a longtime band now," he said. "You never would have expected it when we started out. I'm impressed to be putting out a greatest hits collection."
The singer is proud of his Mississippi roots.
"I've tried to get rid of the twang, but it keeps hanging on," he said, laughing.
He was the youngest of seven kids, and his family was heavily into church music, which he still enjoys.
The twang doesn't hurt when Arnold is singing Delta blues-inspired songs, either.
"An incredible amount of music comes from the South. Everybody sings. My brother always played the drums. I started beating out rhythms on wooden spoons," he said.
He grew up as a fan of Bon Jovi and Poison but never forgot his Southern Assembly of God church music — or his Allman Brothers, either.
It turns out Chris Daughtry has some of the same tastes.
"We played a couple shows with Daughtry," Arnold said. "Me and Chris are really good friends. There's a camaraderie between the bands, goofy stuff on text messages."
He said the bands "absolutely" are playing on stage together.
"We actually have a cover song together we talked about in Nashville, (the Allman Brothers') 'Whipping Post' or 'She Talks to Angels' by the Black Crowes."
If you go
What: 3 Doors Down, with Daughtry and P.O.D.
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: The University of Illinois Assembly Hall, 1800 S. First St., C
Tickets: Range from $39.50 to $55 with a $5 student discount (on sale at the Illinois ticket office at the Assembly Hall, at http://www.uofiassemblyhall.com  or at 866-ILLINI-1)