Errols Weekly Music Update.

April 1, 2009

Concert Review: Shinedown at New York Fillmore at Irving Plaza on 3/31/09

Concert Review:  Shinedown at the New York Fillmore at Irving Plaza on Tuesday March 31, 2009

A Night of Fearless Passionate Energy

I can feel them approaching, just picture those old cowboy western movies where you can see a few horseback riders emerging from the horizon as the sun is setting. Then little by little, you start to see many more riders and before you know it, your screen is engulfed by a sea of bodies. The Shinedown experience is up-and-coming filled with a promise to deliver passion as well as energy along with a message of having no fear to blaze your own trail in the game we call life. As they trek across the U.S. on their current tour, the sense is that they are hitting their stride and before long they will infiltrate a larger listening audience that will recognize what the Shinedown fans already know- this band doesn’t stand on its laurels, they continue to grow on the inside. I witnessed this growth last night at the New York Fillmore at Irving Plaza flourishing all around me as I could see the appreciation from everyone in the crowd who were singing back the lyrics to every song just as passionately as Brent Smith was delivering his commitment to the audience.

Prior to Shinedown taking the stage- Paul, Rich and I tried to maneuver our way towards the front of the stage. We didn’t get too far but at least we had a spot in the center of the floor. I was back in my element-right smack in the middle of the excitement with no thoughts of “standing on the sidelines.” The Fillmore fits about 1,000 and it was packed to the gills. It has two floors, with the second floor containing a guardrail on one side where people can stand over and look down (visualize the crowd in the AC/DC video “Thunderstruck” or the Lenny Kravitz video “Are You Gonna Go My Way”). The other side of the second floor included tables for the dining portion of the crowd. The main floor had a circular outline of a large barrel with the stage elevated just to the right level so as to make the band appear larger than life. The set-up contained about three speakers that were approximately seven feet tall to the left of the stage, the drum set was tucked away in the right hand corner of the stage and above that were three sets of lights that were red before Shinedown came on. The crowd was a mixture of young and old (myself) along with seemingly more females around this time than when I saw them last summer at the Highline Ballroom. The energy and excitement was already in the air but was further ignited by the “pre-game” music being blasted over the speakers which included RATM, AC/DC and Soundgarden. Then quickly at 9:35 p.m. the lights went out and it was on. The drummer, Barry Kerch, came out like a bandit, literally as his face was covered by a red bandana and then followed by Zach Meyers (guitar) and Brent Smith (vocals) with Eric Bass (bass) being the last to emerge. The crowd was going wild as they knew the roller coaster ride was just about to begin but don’t strap yourself in too tight because Brent will have you breaking those chains by asking you to jump around and have a good time. After an instrumental introduction (“Foot in the Dark Meat”), they blasted off with “Cry for Help”- a perfect song to catapult the crowd into oblivion as one felt they were flying away and fittingly the backdrop had a large screen depicting the cover of their latest masterpiece- “The Sound of Madness.” As previously mentioned, I immediately recognized that more people knew this song because they were singing it word-for-word strengthening my observation that this band is growing and will continue to flourish.

As the night was just beginning, one could sense that maybe Brent Smith has another career in motivational speaking, as I can personally state that he has inspired me through his drive and passion. Before they went into “I Dare You,” Mr. Smith stated that most in the crowd did not know each other but he asked everyone to extend their hands and greet each other. In all my years of attending shows, this is something that I never experienced and I was pleasantly surprised that everyone followed his instructions. How could we not? We all had something in common, right? They went right into my favorite song off of the new album “If You Only Knew” as Brent rightly stated that women are to be treasured as his love for his wife speaks loud and clear in this song. “Call Me” was a moving, almost an a cappella version done by Mr. Smith accompanied by a keyboard. Now they did sprinkle in songs from “Leave a Whisper” and “Us and Them” but the majority was from the new disc. However, the highlights (before the encore) came from their first album and they were “45” and “Fly from the Inside.” I’m at a loss for words to describe how good “45” was and as with any band whose initial album is typically the best work (because of the effort that is needed to finally break down the barrier to gain access to the music industry), this song will forever remain on their set list because it’s that special. Brent asked for and received much audience participation for this event as he keenly stated that it was only “Us and Them” that were inside the four walls and the outside world did not matter at that moment. “Fly from the Inside” was a flat out party as the audience spiritedly sung at every juncture while bouncing with their feet trying to reach the intensity level of the band. As the band seemingly disappeared into the night the only thing left were the apparent sound of “feedback” and the roar of the crowd. The feedback lasted a few minutes and this time around it was clear that Shinedown was coming back for an encore.

Now getting back to the theme of how this band is growing, the first of four encores was their monster hit “Second Chance.” Last summer, this song was near the beginning of the set but for now (and probably for future shows) it had to be an encore. This song is spreading to classic rock radio stations around the U.S. and rightfully has caught the attention of the general public. The video for this song is the best one out right now. They performed it to perfection as everyone, including moms with their kids, was singing like they were up on the stage with Brent. The last two songs to close out this fantastic night were “Save Me” and “Devour.” I still can not get the words and the vision out of my head as Brent is powerfully singing “somebody save me, somebody save me…” “Devour” was pulverizing and I knew they were ending it on that note. I was aching for more but I knew there will be a next time to soak in the Shinedown experience. The members of the band stayed around for a pretty long time after the song ended while accepting the gracious cheers from the crowd (no one left until the lights went on). I was not only impressed with their performance but Brent has left a mark on me. Like I said previously, this band is in my “DNA” and its all because of their passion. It was like we were all in a cocoon and just like in the Ron Howard movie, my prediction there will be many more people looking to join this “band-wagon.”

Set List:

1.        Cry for Help

2.        Heroes

3.        I Dare You

4.        If You Only Knew

5.        Junkies for Fame

6.        Burning Bright

7.        Call Me

8.        Left Out

9.        Sound of Madness

10.     The Crow & the Butterfly

11.     Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide

12.     45

13.     Fly from the Inside


14.     Second Chance

15.     Prelude to Save Me- Musical Narrative

16.     Save Me

17.     Devour


1 Comment »

  1. Hey the 15th track was a new version of the Save Me Prelude. Brent does a sort of musical narrative to set the stage for Save Me. Great review!!

    Comment by MB — April 10, 2009 @ 10:11 pm

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