Shinedown Orlando Concert Review
Admittedly, I’m a bit late to the party as it relates to these Jacksonville rock icons. Sure I was familiar with their bigger hits over the past decade, but didn’t truly begin to appreciate them until reviewing their excellent 2012 release Amaryllis, which was one of RARA’s Farm’s Top 5 Albums of 2012.
I was anxious to catch them live to see whether their live show matched the fantastic sound of Amaryllis and to validate the accolades I had heard from my peers. Saturday night at The Amway Center left no doubt, these guys are rock legends in the making. They embody everything that makes Rock And Roll Animals, like us at RARA’s Farm, tick.
Led by dynamic singer, Brent Smith, this quartet puts on an entertaining, polished show. All four members are excellent musicians and consummate entertainers. They made every song memorable and wrapped up a fantastic night that also included strong sets from Three Days Grace and P.O.D.
As the curtain dropped on the show, we saw a close-up of Smith’s face on the large screen, acting like he was lost somewhere, trapped on the other side of the camera. With drummer Barry Kerch the only band member on stage, Smith shouted “Hey You,” from the screen. Then the spotlights found the sound board in the middle of the floor, where the remaining three members stood upon risers and kicked into an explosive version of “Enemies.”
There were a few other early highlights; Smith implored the crowd to introduce themselves to the folks on their left and right before kicking into a rousing version of “Unity,” the crowd lit up the arena like a starry night for “45,” guitarist Zach Myers and aptly named bassist Eric Bass, swapped places on stage during “Save Me,” and the band moved to the stage’s upper level for “Crow and Butterfly.” Throughout the set, Bass, Myers and Smith were in constant motion, racing around the stage and playing to the crowd throughout.
There were nice pyrotechnics during the show, including a killer waterfall effect during “If You Only Knew,” and a great choreographed sequence that highlighted the powerful “Sound of Madness.”
Before kicking into “If You Only Knew,” Smith shared “A girl told us earlier today that it’s been 962 days since we played Orlando and that’s too long.” And then offered a memorable moment, “Rock ‘n roll music is about guitars, bass, drums, bad ass vocals and a killer song. The beauty of rock ‘n roll is that it has always been there when you needed it; it’s not a genre, it’s a way of life.” That would look nice on a RARA’s Farm T-shirt, eh?
The core show was great, but the encore absolutely ratcheted the experience up a notch. It kicked off with a powerful version of “Sound of Madness,” and up until then the song of the night, “Second Chance,” which had the fans at a fever pitch, pumping their fists, on a tune that Smith just nailed vocally.
What happened next was my highlight of the night. Smith and Myers slipped out to the riser near the sound stage and offered up a fun, interactive acoustic set. Smith offered “What should we play now? Maybe something we can all sing along to? Take me back to that beautiful place in high school where I first kissed my girlfriend,” and Myers kicked into “She Talks To Angels,” followed by fun snippets of other classic hits including Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Violent Femmes, Bon Jovi and more. Super cool stuff, that morphed perfectly into Lynyrd Skynyrd’s legendary “Simple Man.”
Myers and Smith absolutely did the Southern Rock classic justice, playing the first half of the song from the floor, before returning to the stage for a rousing finish with the entire band.
Their closing track was another memorable moment. They kicked into a scorching version of “Bully,” which again sounded absolutely great. However, what happened on the big screen behind the stage was just as riveting. The video showed a high school aged girl sharing her moving battle against bullying. It was absolutely captivating, and an emotional message that complemented the lyrics to the 2012 hit perfectly. Sadly, as the song ended, we learned that the young girl, Amanda Todd committed suicide shortly afterwards. As the screen morphed into “Stay Strong,” the song came to a moving finish, closing with some more powerful pyrotechnics.
A great, passionate ending to a complete rock’n roll experience.
See the setlist below
Check out our photos on the RARA’s Farm Facebook page. (Please Like Us while you’re there)
You can find our Review of Three Days Grace here.
Crow and the Butterfly
I’ll Follow You
If You Only Knew
Sound of Madness