Shinedown: SAP Center – San Jose, CA. 10/31/16
Shinedown are easily one of the best live bands out today. Not only do they have great songs but they play them perfectly live. Brent Smith is a commanding front man who owns the stage. The band has come a long way since its origins and like all thing great, always evolving.
Something I truly noticed this time around is how much Smith, along with guitarist Zach Myers, bassist Eric Bass, and drummer Barry Kerch all play an important roll in creating more than a concert performance but an actual memorable experience.
The music is always the foundation of any Shinedown show. At the same time the members of Shinedown seem to inspire, break down barriers, and entertain all at the same time. This is done by the way Smith communicates with the audience and bringing the lyrics to the songs to life.
In the darkness of the SAP Center a nursery rhyme pumps through the speakers while the stage is covered with a giant curtain with the Shinedown “S” logo on it. As the rhyme ends, guitar power chords are struck and the curtain drops. The band are already standing onstage and a flurry of lights and pyrotechnics cover the stage as the band plays ‘Adrenaline’.
Shinedown continue to light up the stage as they go directly into ‘Fly From the Inside’. Before the band goes into ‘Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom – Lay Boom), Brent Smith unites the crowd as he talks about all the fans who might not know the person beside them but he’s going to change that. Smith says to shake hands with the person beside you. As he says this he reached down into the photo pit and shook my hand. I continued to snap shots as he did this but I was moved. There was sincerity to this action. At this point the band rips into the song.
Shinedown continue to play other tracks such as ‘Unity’, ‘How Did You Love’ and ‘Enemies’. During the show Zach Myers is all over the stage yet never missing a note. Shinedown decided to change the set as the band play ‘I’ll Follow You’ as a dedication to a couple that traveled from Australia to see tonight’s show. Smith has everyone take out their phones and light up the SAP Center like the days when it was done with lighters.
To change the mood, the band brought back up the energy with ‘State of My Head’. One of my all-time favorite songs was played next, a song that I relate to that touched me deep. The beautifully written ‘Second Chance’.
‘Cut the Cord’ off of THREAT TO SURVIVAL kept the roller coaster ride of great songs going. The pyrotechnics came back in full force during this stage of the show. Zach Myers walked to center stage wearing a Michael Myers (Halloween) mask to join Smith. The band went in Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Simple Man’. It was so clean to just hear vocals and a steel string acoustic guitar do justice to such an iconic song. The two also turned it into a sing along that resonated with the crowd participation throughout the SAP Center.
Shinedown finished off the night by playing their classic ‘Sound of Madness’. This was one of those rare bands that you don’t think can outdo the last time you seen them but they did exactly that. Shinedown proved that it is possible to have a flawless performance.
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