Splice Magazine

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Shinedown: The Revolution Tour at The Huntington Center in Toledo,Ohio

Shinedown©John Swider

Toledo,Ohio(April 21,2022)- Over the last two decades, Shinedown has cemented their legacy as one of the most vital and forward-thinking powerhouses in modern rock. A rare feat for an artist of any genre, the record-breaking band has achieved astronomical success and recently been named #1 on Billboard’s Greatest Of All Time Mainstream Rock Artists Chart, while fully embodying the kind of creative dynamism that defies expectations and transcends boundaries with machine like execution.

The Shinedown machine was at full throttle Thursday night as it made its way into Ohio for their stop at the Huntington Center in Toledo. The Revolution Tour is out in support of their upcoming album Planet Zero, which is now slated for a July 1, 2022 release. Due to supply chain demands, the record’s original release date of April 22 was scrapped and pushed out making sure ample product would be available for the launch. Along with the new record, this tour also features a brand new setup for Shinedown. They have retooled their performance, freshened it up and taken the intensity up a few notches. When considering how to describe the transitions along with the new stage design, costuming, and pyrotechnics of the show and without spoiling the anticipation of witnessing for yourself, just know it’s bigger and better than any previous tour.

Kicking off the set with a video showing how the world descended into the chaos of crisis and lockdown two years ago, Shinedown opened with a triumphant return, with frontman Brent Smith, guitarist Zach Myers, bassist Eric Bass, and drummer Barry Kerch coming out, first in silhouette, shoulder to shoulder, all the way to the front of the stage. It was the sort of walk you see a band make to close a show, but it seemed to be these four welcoming the audience back in a grand but direct fashion. After a quick moment of waves to the crowd, the band retreated to strap on their gear as it was finally time get the show fired up, literally.

Shinedown came out swinging with their hard-hitting new single “The Saints of Violence and Innuendo,” ensconced with enough pyrotechnics to torch a small town. What the fans hadn’t quite realized was they were witnessing Shinedown’s biggest production to date behind one of their best new songs in years and that it was just the start. Without giving the crowd a chance to catch their breath, Shinedown doubled down on the heaviness for the next two songs “Devil” and the all-new “Planet Zero,” the lead single from the forthcoming album of the same name. The relentless raw power and presentation of the first three songs in succession was stimulating and worth the price of admission by itself.

Long time fans know what to expect at Shinedown concert and Smith and the band delivered by the truckload Thursday. Radio favorites State of My Head,” ”45” and “Get up,” mixed with “Bully” and Fly From the Inside,picked up from where the fire breathing start left off. A brilliant run of career defining hits for any band, but this is Shinedown and with music library as vast as the one they possess, it is hard to believe all those cuts were in the first half of the distinctive, high intensity show!

Throughout the night, the songs were enhanced by lasers, fireworks and yes, more fire. The only thing greater than the overall production was the band themselves. It’s not every concert that you can tell that a band is genuinely having the time of their lives on stage and truly love what they do. Shinedown is one of those bands. Whether it is the ongoing banter between bandmates during “Second Chance” and the mega hit “Monsters,” or Smith continuously thanking the crowd, it’s obvious that Shinedown lives for this.

Shinedown©John Swider

Smith’s natural talent of being a captivating frontman is indubitable, but it’s important to acknowledge the aptitude of the rest of the band. Drummer Barry Kerch, put quite simply, is a badass. His drumming on “ATTENTION ATTENTION” is remarkable, yet seeing him perform songs such as “DEVIL” and “Planet Zero,” was mesmerizing. Bassist, pianist and producer of the new album Eric Bass is one of the most energetic rock bassists you will ever see live. His performances during “Cut the Cord” and “Simple Man,” highlighted his immense talent. Finally, Zach Myers is not only an incredible guitarist, most notable with his smoking clean riffs and solo during “Bully,” but a lot of fun to watch. His facial expressions, sprinting across stage, and interacting with the crowd while playing are hard to ignore and easy to love.

Smith slowed the show for a minute before “Daylight” and gave a heartfelt speech about what the last two years have been like for the band and the world in general. He explained that we are still in the middle of it and that we are so much stronger when we are working together to have a brighter, better future. You could hear the emotion in Smiths voice as he continued to express how much he was touched by the turnout that had come to see the band that evening.

Shinedown paid tribute to the recent passing of Foo Fighters’s drummer Taylor Hawkins with Bass and Myers covering that band’s “Wheels.” Mesmerizing yet beautiful and serene, the pair stood at the top of the stage while a portrait of Hawkins was displayed on the video panels that anchored the rear of the stage. The main set of the show wrapped up with an acoustic performance of “Call Me” and signature cover performance of the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic “Simple Man.”

After a few words from Brent Smith thanking the sold-out venue for spending their evening with them, the full band returned to the stage and tore through a thunderous version of “Sound of Madness,” ending the two hour plus set and sending fans home with memories they won’t forget anytime soon.

The Revolution’s Live tour carries on through the early part of May before Shinedown moves across the water for a run of European shows.  If you’ve been thinking about getting out to see one of the shows near you, get off that fence and take the plunge. Shinedown is proof rock and roll is alive and well.

Shinedown©John Swider
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