Being timid is THE one thing Shinedown can never be accused of.
Before a single note was played at Wells Fargo Arena Tuesday night, Shinedown frontman Brent Smith, guitarist Zach Myers, bassist Eric Bass, and drummer Barry Kerch strode — silhouetted — from behind a set of digitally-enhanced “doors” out onto the T-shaped catwalk as if to say “Here we are. Get ready.” After some beams of spotlight revealed each member, they turned and hustled back to their instruments and give the the 7,000 + in attendance what they were expecting — a bombastic rock show. And they delivered.
The Jacksonville, Florida four were firing — literally — on all cylinders from the outset, surrounded at times by towering pillars of flames shot from below the stage, and a light and laser show to back it. The band’s 19-song set ran the gamut of the band’s career thus far, from 2003’s “45,” to show openers and brand new tracks, “The Saints of Violence and Innuendo,” and “Planet Zero” from the forthcoming album of the same name, scheduled to drop July 1.
Smith was an entertaining ball of sweat by the second song,”Devil,” from the band’s 2018 album, “Attention Attention.” There were moments of respite, such “Get Up,” another track from the aforementioned album, but the sonic bombast of the jump-filled “Enemies” and thumping “Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)” were the norms of the evening, much to the delight of the crowd. They loved it loud — and they got it. Ironically, the only glaring misstep of the show was just that: the volume.
At first it was fine. Yes, Shinedown’s music this night was louder than most concerts held at Wells Fargo Arena. And through the first half of the set, that was OK. But by the time “Unity” rolled around later in the night, the cumulative effect of the decibel barrage began to take its toll, as was seen in a few post-concert forums complaining of the same. The show was great, they agreed — except for the volume. “If it’s too loud, you’re too old,” didn’t apply here. “If you’re too loud, it gets old,” did. That and the use of backing tracks, an argument that shall be saved for another day.
Openers and female-fronted Diamante and The Pretty Reckless delivered their brands of hard rock without a hitch, but this was Shinedown’s night, and they took full advantage of it.
Timidity just isn’t their jam.