Shinedown hammer the O2 – Bristol – 6th November
In the converted cinema on Frogmore Street, Bristol, now the O2 Academy, Shinedownbraced themselves for the penultimate night of their Attention AttentionUK tour.
The venue was reaching full capacity when British trio, Press to MECO,started the gig. This young band’s fresh vocals tickled the crowd’s eardrums and contrasted with a satisfyingly menacing undercurrent maintained throughout their short set.
It was then time for welder’s masks, violin, two cello, electric guitars, intricate drums, a black-hooded singer, and roaming spotlights. Starset had landed! And they impressed the crowd with a hugely entertaining, theatrical performance of cyber-rock fuelled with passion and angst. The blending of strings creating a rich, layered sound.
With a huge surge of thanks for the support bands, the fans were suitably stoked and ready for the main event. Shinedown were up, lights were strobing and things were about to get heavy with ‘Devil.’ Phone footage was being had as the band pounded out anthems.
Third song in and singer, Brett Smith,encouraged the fans to greet their neighbour. Now they were all friends. His admission that the night was a rock‘n’roll event and Shinedown were honoured to play there earned him a massive roar from the crowd.
The short, hard blast of ‘Bully’ had the crowd jumping as one. Then ‘Unity’, complete with hands in the air as the crowd was lit up, followed by a raw-sounding version of ‘Get Up.’ Smithwas now on a roll. While lead guitarist, Zach Myers and bassist, Eric Bass jammed, he divided the crowd into two so he could stand among them, demanding the fans jump. It worked: the hard, heavy ‘Enemies’ saw the crowd shake the venue’s solid foundations. Of course, the band had worked the fans up so much, that they then had to engage in some crowd control to stop people being crushed against the railings.
After three more ear-pummelling tracks, during which the fans were treated to skilful guitar teases from Myers, and the execution of precision-drumming from Barry Kerch, the guys decided to slow the tempo and both Myers and Bass picked up acoustic guitars for ‘Crow and the Butterfly’ – a track dedicated that night to two female fans the band had met earlier in the day. This was then followed by the mighty Lynyrd Skynyrd song, ‘Simple Man.’ Never faltering throughout the set, Smith’s strong vocals did justice to this southern classic.
Smith again addressed the audience, this time to talk about the love of rock‘n’roll, while Myers, Bass and Kersch kept the fans simmering, leading into a crowd heavin’, air punchin’, foundation shakin’ ‘Sound of Madness’ and ending with ‘Brilliant.’
Smith, Myers, Bass, and Kersh were maestros at harnessing the energy of their fans.
They may have fitted more songs into the night, if Smith hadn’t talked so much, but they would possibly have lost the special connection. After all, Shinedown were there to incite; they were there to smash it.
Cut the Cord
Kill Your Conscience
I’ll Follow You
State of my Head
Crow & the Butterfly
Sound of Madness
Review: Eric Nash
Eric Nash (www.eanash.wordpress.com ) writes dark fiction which has been published in various magazines and anthologies. He is a member of the Horror Writers’ Association. Join him on
Photography: Emma Painter