Article and Photos by Andrés Alvarado
Jacksonville rockers, Shinedown, took to Atlanta’s chic Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre for two consecutive nights of rock-n-roll craziness with some twists. While night one consisted of the usual dose of that Shinedown live circuit madness, night two was more intimate feeling, stripped down, and rather tamed; when compared to the reputation of the quintessential Shinedown shindig. On this second evening, the dapper looking quartet gave onlookers a serving of acoustic deep cuts, impressive covers, and some tales behind the tunes. In short, Shinedown served up a rock concert with an MTV Unplugged type of flair.
At roughly ten minutes to nine, lead singer Brent Smith makes his way onto the deck. Sporting a striped maroon blazer, black jeans and some Doc Martens, Smith is by his lonesome, yet smiling. Under a wave of cheers and chants, Smith dials in an A cappella rendition of Otis Redding‘s famous “(Sittin’ On) The Dock By The Bay” before being joined by his mates. A short skit ensues about the theme for this presentation and how it would play out. Two hours of showmanship was promised, two hours were delivered.
Sticking to their word, the Shinedown chaps played below their customary live circuit energy; nonetheless, what was obtained was pure magic and curbed enthusiasm. Sing-along snippets replaced the habitual moshing, raised-up lit cellphones ousted the head banging, and applause supplanted the wildness. Even drummer Barry Kerch — whose braids flail in every which direction at a typical Shinedown throwdown — oozed a pacifistic demeanor. This get together was absolutely different, yet mesmerizing and highly inclusive. Through the anecdotes preceding certain melodies, and Smith even laughing off a botched vocalization of “Burning Bright,” Shinedown was in complete control; albeit in a whole new sense.
Among the night’s more notable moments were a Zach Myers cover of INXS‘ “Never Tear Us Apart,” an array of dynamic lasers intertwined to gorgeous strobes, elevated drum kits, and a hyped rendering of closing track “Sound of Madness.” All said and done, the Shinedown chaps may have changed things up a bit, but the intensity, musicianship, soul and showmanship remained as lit as ever. The gang’s temporary metamorphosis was well received by aficionados and straightforwardly proved how musically diverse these alt-metal cats really are. In layman terms, it was a grand ole time.