On a humid but beautiful evening, Shinedown finally made their way back to the Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh, after three years away from the City of Oaks. This last time here they were they were on their third year of the Carnival of Madness tour that they famously brought across the US every summer, but this time around they are supporting their newest record, ATTENTION, ATTENTION. Fueled by the rambunctious crowd, their single “Monsters” going number one, and a beautiful Raleigh night, the band proved yet again that it’s impossible to leave a Shinedown show without getting your money’s worth.
As mentioned during the show, guitarist Zach Myers crafts a new set-list every night, to ensure each show is at least a little bit different, and exciting. This was apparent throughout the night, as the band had an unusual fire to them that seems to have been attributed to the spontaneity of the songs that they were playing. This plus the occasional roars from the crowd as a lesser known song blared through the PA’s created an atmosphere that is missing at a lot of rock shows today.
The band, lead by their masterful vocalist Brent Smith, roared through songs from 2003 all the way to 2018. The minute that the opening chords of “DEVIL” screeched from Zach Myers guitar, the band and audience gave it their all. Barry Kerch’s drums were on point as always, as he smiled and stuck his tongue out as he effortlessly powered through some of their more percussion-heavy cuts like “Diamond Eyes”. The main producer of ATTENTION, ATTENTION, Eric Bass, also happens to be the bands bassist/piano player, who’s friendly smiles and ability to get lost in the music as he played the keys for “I’ll Follow You” is one of the most underrated musicians in the rock community, who deserves a lot more credit than he gets.
About halfway through the set, the band parted ways to stand on various B-stages sprinkled throughout the back of the venue, ensuring that even fans on the lawn had a good experience. Every time that the band has come to this specific venue, their set has been cut short by either a rain delay or the cities extremely early curfew. As the band prepared their gear, Brent explained that they specifically pushed all of the openers up by a few minutes, so the band could ensure they gave Raleigh the full experience of their show. The sentimental speech quickly turned comedic moments later as Brent joked: “we haven’t played this next song in so long that I don’t even know if I remember”. The song, “Save Me”, from their sophomore outing Us and Them, is an often overlooked song in their live-show, so fans (including myself) were happy to hear it played live.
The band of course had to go out on a high note after playing their acclaimed cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man”, so Brent had to taunt the crowd one last time during the second to last song. “Are y’all ready for the real thing?” he asked, as he instructed the crowd to put one fist in the air. Seconds later, “Sound of Madness” began, and the crowd went insane. For a band that frequently explores sub-genres and pushes the envelope of what’s considered “rock”, they sure know how to put on a kick ass rock show.
I’m happy to say that I was able to experience Shinedown with a killer show and an amazing lineup, and would love for you to say the same. The ATTENTION, ATTENTION Tour is rolling through all the major US cities, and if it’s anywhere near you, I implore you to check them out.
DEVIL / Diamond Eyes / Enemies / MONSTERS / BLACK SOUL / I’ll Follow You / Unity / 45 / Bully / Amaryllis / Call Me / Save Me / Second Chance / Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd Cover) / Cut the Cord / GET UP / Sound of Madness / BRILLIANT