Clarkston,Michigan(September 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, 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 career defining machine like execution.
The Shinedown machine was at full throttle Wednesday night as it made its way into Michigan for their stop at the world famous Pine Knob Amphitheatre. The Planet Zero World Tour is out in support of their last album of the same name, released to the public on July 1, 2022. Along with the new record, this tour also features a brand new production for Shinedown. They have retooled their performance, freshened up the visuals and taken the intensity up a few levels. 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 badder than any previous tour.
Kicking off the set with a video showing how the world descended into the humanitarian 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 together, first in silhouette then 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. 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 “America Burning,” the most recent single off the latest LP. 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 Wednesday evening. Radio favorites “How Did You Love,” ”45” and “Bully,” anchored by “The Crow and Butterfly” and “Get Up,” 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 imagine all those cuts were performed in the first half of the fan-centric, 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 of the show 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.
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 “Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay,Boom-Lay,Boom” is remarkable, yet seeing him perform songs such as radio favorite “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,” spotlighted 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 pulled the reigns back on the the show a bit 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 dealing with the effects of the pandemic 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 in the middle of a work week.
Shinedown did an overall impressive job of balancing their hard-rocking songs with moments of tenderness throughout 18 song setlist. But the acoustic offerings at the end of the evening elevated tonights performance to a level that many in the sold-out amphitheatre had not experienced in the past. Starting with a cover of the Oasis cover “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” that featured some “creative approaches” along with some looks of bewilderment from the fans quickly turned into a rousing sing-a-long that had thousands of cellphones illuminating the dark night sky. Another cover, the well loved legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd classic “Simple Man,” silenced the venue to a point that you could almost hear Brent Smiths resonating lyrics without any amplification. Under most circumstances, that alone would simply be enough to satisfy the most ardent fan, but when special guest Jelly Roll joined strolled onstage to join in, the spontaneous adulations were deafening and could only be described as “blowing the roof off!” Definitely memory bank fodder.
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 Planet Zero tour carries on through late October 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 on 2022!!
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1. The Saints of Violence and Innuendo
3. America Burning
4. How Did You Love
7. The Crow and the Butterfly
8. Get Up
11. Planet Zero
12. Cut the Cord
14. Second Chance
15. Diamond Eyes
16. Don’t Look Back in Anger (Oasis cover)
17. Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover performed with Jelly Roll)
18. Sound of Madness