Friday, July 24, 2015

Shinedown at the Beacon Theatre

Zach Myers and Brent Smith
In the 1990s, vocalist Brent Smith fronted several local bands in his native Knoxville, Tennessee, and his last band there seemed poised for the big time. In the end, the record company retained Smith but dropped the band. Smith then formed Shinedown in 2001, based in Jacksonville, Florida. Shinedown has sold over 10 million records worldwide. The band's fourth and most recent album is 2012's Amaryllis, but on June 29, 2015, the band released a new single, "Cut the Cord," from an as-yet-untitled fifth album due for release in September 2015. Shinedown presently consists of Smith, guitarist Zach Myers, bassist Eric Bass and original drummer Barry Kerch.

Shinedown opened its concert at the Beacon Theatre tonight with its most daring move -- the melodic hard rocking quartet introduced "Asking for It," a mid-tempo banger from its forthcoming album. From there on, the 19-song set was loaded with radio staples. Smith recently recovered from three nodules on his left vocal chord and a fungus infection in his esophagus, but his vocal thrust was as powerful as ever, crystal clear and up front, leading the band through a series of chart-topping songs. Midway through the set, the band mellowed its stampede with a mini-acoustic set, featuring "I Dare You", "In Memory" and  "Through the Ghost"; later in the show, Smith and Myers would return to acoustic music for their duo rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man." On the other end of the spectrum, a second new song, "Cut the Cord," might have been the evening's hardest mid-tempo rocker. Shinedown's performance was ripe for fans of commercial radio rock; rock fans seeking something more adventurous or radical would have to seek elsewhere.

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