Shinedown Live at the Tabernacle June 17, 2008 – Show Review
By Barb Fara
- Brent Smith – Vocals (2002 – present)
- Barry Kerch – Drums (2002 – present)
- Zach Myers – Guitar (2005 – present)†
- Nick Perri – Guitar (2008 – present)
- Eric Bass – Bass Guitar (2008 – present)
Recently, in the past year, Atlanta – actually the whole state of Georgia – has been suffering from a drought. This season we have had two major twisters. The Tabernacle and the Cotton Club was torn apart by a twister. When the Tabernacle reopened, my second gun Rikki O. wanted to cover a little band called Cat Power and we won’t even get into how hard it was to get her into that show – but it was a bitch. When Cat Power came into town, I really believe they were testing the sound system and to make sure there were no leaks in the ceiling. From what she says, the Cat Power show was great and it will be included elsewhere in this issue. So Cat Power did the warmup concert but when Shinedown arrived a week or so later – they really opened the stage. When Shinedown played they had two openers – 12 Stones and Revelation Theory. Both bands kicked ass and deserved to be on the Shinedown tour. I did not expect the massive repairs they have done to the Tabernacle; sadly, they will try to replace the stained glass windows but no luck yet. The first time I covered them was at the Masquerade with the original members Jasin Todd, Brad Stewart, Brent Smith and Barry Kerch. Due to personal growth the band has made major lineup changes. Brent and Barry are still there but they have added Nick Perri from Silvertide, Zack Myers also on guitar and Eric Bass on bass.
I think the other members were doing their own thing on the side. I did not expect to see the show that we saw. They started out with their first single from their new cd Sounds of Madness called Devour. Then they went into your majesty from their second album and their big hit, Save Me. They sold out the house. I have seen the Tabernacle packed before, but I have never seen it like this. The lighting, the stage presence, Brent was standing on a mighty little podium that everyone is using these days. Nick Perri stole the show with his guitar playing. You hear a combo of Steve Vai and Dave Navarro when Nick Perri plays. Their other new guitarist, Zack Myers did a wonderful job and hearing him play its there, but he has his own style of playing. You can’t compare him to anybody else. The new bass player, Eric Bass, I hear Jason Newstead, ex-Metallic bass player. Barry Kerch the original drummer can’t be compared to anyone. When you hear him play, he is the first drummer that I can compare to Johnny Kelly of Type O Negative fame.
So let’s start from the beginning. The two openers were fantastic. 12 Stones were fabulous. They were a great band to be on the Shinedown tour. What really got me was whoever put this tour together, really picked up three powerhouses for bands. The openers were not booed off stage, not heckled for anything – they were loved. Then comes the mighty Shinedown. I am not going to lie here. When you look at the Masquerade, they could be as famous as CBGB’s in New York. Must give them lots of credit for helping out a lot of local bands. When I caught Shinedown at the Masquerade first time around, they sold out the house. When I heard this time that they were playing at the Tabernacle, I thought to myself, they have graduated. You could tell just from the photos from the writing of the review that I’m about to give you that you will never want to miss another Shinedown show again. This band is going places and they know it. I can see them 20 years from now, still together and as big as Motorhead. There is no vocalist that I can compare Brent to. He puts all his energy into everything they sing. What got me was the similarity between their albums and seeing them live is that they perform just as well live as in the studio. Shinedown went on for two hours and they just kept going. They covered every piece of material they could. I covered Stryper a while back and they did a retrospective of their life and music but Shinedown made it a great mix of all their best work. They also did a tribute to Dimebag called “Simple Man” originally done by Lynard Skynard. A lot of people didn’t show for the openers, but even still, by the time Shinedown came on the place was filled up. The lighting was magnificent. I didn’t think it would be as well prepared as it was. Cat Power was the test show but Shinedown was the true grand opener of the Tabernacle. And that is no insult to Cat Power because I hear it was a wonderful show. Me, I am not a Cat Power person; I am a Shinedown person. The whole thing about Shinedown is that they don’t look at their fans as just fans, they are Shiner’s; they are like family and Shinedown never forgets that. Nick Perri stole the show with his guitar playing. It was like watching Steve Vai go crazy when he played with David Coverdale and when he played with David Lee Roth. But the difference is that in those days, Vai was all in to the spandex thing, but today, Brent comes out in this sexy black get up. It is like watching James Root and Corey Taylor together on stage and that is a magnificent team. I would put the two of them up there with Randi Rhoades and Ozzy Osbourne. And I know they were a heavier sound – but that is the connection they have. It is just like young Ozzy and Randi before Randi passed. You could feel the electricity and psychic energy that went between them that compliments everything that a musician could dream of. If anyone has listened to the radio lately, you can’t even tell who the fuck they are unless they are Shinedown or Buckcherry – everyone is sounding more and more alike. These new bands are sounding all the same and they should be looking at bands like Shinedown who are being unique and put on a magnificent show. It’s an honest hard rock concert. I liked that they did do songs from all three albums, all of which I have reviewed. I love that they went from their new shit to their album Us And Them and to their Leave A Whisper. If it was me and I was not review and photographing the show and I had the chance to see them just as a fan, I would have been at that show. Usually, if I don’t get approved for shows, I don’t go. Not because I don’t like the band, but because I want them to get the best coverage in the world. And this is good press and so far I have not said a bad fucking word. Until now. I believe Shinedown is using 2008 to support Disturbed on their world tour. Let me put it to you this way. The way Seether sold out the Masquarade Park, Shinedown did that plus some. They know what their fans want, how to keep themselves in shape. My question is this, why are guys wearing guyliner again? Is this the 80’s? For a minute when Brent walked out on stage, I swore I was staring at a young Ozzy and when I first put my photos on Myspace, people emailed me asking if that was Ozzy, and I had to tell them, no, Shinedown. Now, I do not know who was handling the sound, whether it was their own sound people or the Tabernacle’s, but the sound was just tremendous – a symphonic metal show. Cat Power did do a wonderful job and they were the babies that opened the Tabernacle first, but it was Shinedown that truly christened the place. Their fans know each of their lyrics by heart and Brent passed the mike to fans to sing, Nick, Zack and Eric were crazy and having fun and jumping all over the place.
This is my answer to anyone who has not heard of Shinedown before – I would suggest to you to go buy all their cds, and join their fan club and street team. Even if you have heard them but thought that they were not your cup of tea, before you judge them, understand that this is the new sound of heavy metal. Go to their sites and check them out. This is one decision you won’t regret.