On the week when “Dead Don’t Die” became their 20th number-one Active Rock single, Shinedown stormed into the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, Pennsylvania, and delivered a performance that showed exactly why they’re one of the most accomplished bands in rock music today.
Within seconds of taking the stage, it was evident that singer Brent Smith, guitarist Zach Myers, bassist Eric Bass and drummer Barry Kerch were a well-oiled machine. After appearing from within a giant futuristic-looking video board, the quartet displayed a commanding stage presence made all the more impressive by the sheer size of the massive stage itself.
When Smith sang “the story is just beginning” during the chorus of “Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom),” the band’s opener for the evening, it served as not-so-subtle message of what was to come for the roughly 15,000 fans in attendance. At various points throughout the nearly two-hour spectacle, sparklers cascaded down from the rafters like a waterfall. Plumes of fire erupted from the catwalk. Pyrotechnics featured early and often. As someone experiencing Shinedown in person for the first time, it’s safe to say the visuals absolutely lived up to the exceptional soundtrack of the evening.
State College marked the fourth stop of the “Revolutions Live Tour,” with the Jacksonville, Florida, based band performing 21 shows across the country in support of their latest album, 2022’s Planet Zero. While this particular tour is new, the band and their particular brand of music is well established. All seven of their studio albums have earned platinum or gold certification, along with 15 platinum and gold singles, providing an abundance of quality music to choose from on the road.
For their second track of this particular show, Shinedown dove into another uptempo track, the aforementioned “Dead Don’t Die” before slowing things down with a beautiful rendition of “I’ll Follow You” that featured Bass on a neon piano that was lowered from the ceiling.
With more than 6.5 billion global streams and 10 million albums sold, Shinedown’s body of work speaks for itself — which is just fine with the band. They’ve got much more important things on their mind than patting themselves on the back. For this tour, Shinedown has partnered with the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention to donate one dollar for every ticket sold.
As Smith said during the show, they’re not shy about talking about mental health. They’ve been ambassadors for suicide prevention for more than a decade to bring out awareness and lesson the fear of the topic.
“A lot of people don’t want to talk about people who have suicidal thoughts. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Give them reassurance. Give them love. You can potentially save someone’s life,” Smith said before diving into the band’s next single, “Symptom of Being Human” roughly halfway into their extensive set.
May 27th will be the 20th anniversary of their debut album, Leave A Whisper. In honor of that impending occasion, Smith and friends took it all the way back to the beginning with an inspired performance of “45” which had the entire building swaying and singing along. Another joyous sing-along moment came when the front man was off stage, taking a well-deserved break while the rest of the band delivered an acoustic rendition of “Don’t Look Back In Anger” by Oasis that would make the dynamic duo of Smith & Myers proud.
As the show began to wind down, the boys once again embraced the softer side of rock, with a medley of “Daylight/Get Up” followed by “Simple Man.” As the band paid homage to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s smash hit, Smith’s powerful voice reverberating throughout the venue, accompanied only by Myers on an acoustic guitar. They then closed out the show with “Monsters” and “Cut The Cord.” After 20 songs over an hour and 45 minutes, Shinedown ended the way they began — with fireworks, flames and explosions — literally and figuratively leaving it all on stage.