I’ve been listening to Shinedown for a number of years now, but at some point I lost them in the shuffle of the piles of new music. With the release of Amaryllis, my attention was once again grabbed and brought back in by many strong tracks including “Bully” and “I’ll Follow You”. With this renewed attention on the band, I was eager to finally see them live along with Canadian rockers Art of Dying.
Art of Dying is a band I am really not familiar with, but with being an opener for the well-known band, Shinedown, their lesser known status could change soon. They put on a pretty solid show, certainly very mobile on stage and were a hard rock outfit, but not as hard as I would have thought with the name. AoD broke into their second big song “Sorry“; first appearing to be “Die Trying“; and changed things up a bit before one more hard rock song for the road. And by road, I mean they went back to their mercy booth and visited with people.
Shinedown wasted no time with getting the party started again, bursting out of the gates with “Sound of Madness” and “Diamond Eyes Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)” from The Expendables soundtrack and the new song “Enemies”. Nothing makes me happier than the first three songs of a set being loud, fast, and light-filled extravaganzas and that is exactly what I got.
During “Save Me”, the song goes from a driving bass line and steadily picks up and hauls ass right though the chorus. Everyone on the floor was bouncing, pumping their fists and singing along like it was a planned music video shoot. Brent sounded spot on with vocals, amazingly close to the albums. He is obviously a very powerful singer and with his position on a riser in the front middle of the stage, they make no bones about it.
The set list went up and down in intensity, certainly keeping you on your toes and most people were down for singing along with every song. Before Nowhere Kids, Brent had everyone in the audience look left and then right, meeting people around them, probably to kill some sense of self-consciousness in the room.
If you listen to a Shinedown album, you may notice several different instruments being played outside of the electric guitar, bass and drums. Eric Bass showed much versatility in the band as he would not only spend half of his time in the air on stage while playing the bass, but would step up to an acoustic guitar during songs like “The Crow & the Butterfly” and played the keyboard in a few others.
Encore started with Bully which is on rotation on the local rock station 93x. People back by the bar were dancing, fist pumps were not in short supply either. “Rock and roll is not a genre, it’s a way of life…” Brent started in after “Bully”. He spoke about Rock and Roll always being around to help you through any situation or even to help clear your mind. “Promise us that you will keep your fists in the air and never let Rock and Roll die.” After such a speech, how can one go anywhere but classic rock land?
The first few cords of Lynyrd Skynyrd’ssong “Simple Man” kicked in and people were hooting, yelling, hollering with excitement. There was even one gentleman in front of me wearing a Skynyrd shirt, hows that for luck?!
One thing I would be remiss without mentioning is that the merch sold by either band was not over the top expensive. T-Shirts were $25, CDs were $10, this is in stark contrast to some recent shows I have attended. These bands get it and that is just one of many reasons why. They performed with so much energy and intensity, and expressing their appreciation many times over.
Sound of Madness
If You Only Knew
The Crow & the Butterfly
Simple Man (Cover)