As most are well aware, Shinedown have been torching the globe with their own sound of madness. Six albums in, Myers, Smith, Bass and Kerch have found themselves at the top of their success. Not to say that it took six records to get here. No. Each one have landed them on the top of the charts and to the top of our playlists. Brent Smith and his bandmates pride themselves on one of the most important things. Unity. Ideally the one thing that unites us all in the world, our one connection in all of the chaos this world creates, is music. The music has always been important, not without the single thread that makes us feel alive other than our empathy for one another but music. That is our constant connection, it binds the broken and lifts us to a place that few bands can. Shinedown released their sixth studio record Attention Attention, on Atlantic Records on May 4th 2018, and from it’s release, spawned an outpouring of wide recognition for it. Hailing four singles, “Devil”, “Get Up”, “Monsters”, and “Attention! Attention!”. The band set their sights on a world tour, not to be taken lightly, this would be a massive tour spanning over four countries. Shinedown highlight the struggles of mental health in the songs on this record, while also archiving their personal path towards recovery. Something all of us can relate to. Having set things into motion for this world tour, Shinedown has enlisted the help of Savage After Midnight, Asking Alexandria, and Papa Roach. This is a tour to behold and we are going to bring you along for the ride to their stop in Evansville Indiana, at The Ford Center.
Arriving to the venue early we caught up with Savage After Midnight to discuss what this tour has been like for them, what they are up to after it’s over, and we even got a few exclusive details about some exciting things they have been working on while sitting down with drummer Derek Bjørnson and James Thomas.
Savage After Midnight Interview - October 4th, 2019 - Evansville, Indiana
As The venue doors opened, it was like a floodgate for a sea of screaming fans who were all headed for the barriers to settle in for the show of the year! Not long after it was time for the first band of the night, Savage After Midnight. Natives of Memphis Tennessee, Shi Eubank, Jeremiah Lipscomb, Landon Fox, Derek Bjørnson and James Thomas set their sights on a crowd who may not have known about S.A.M, but they were about to. Opening their set with the powerful song “Unleash”, the band performed as if they were recording this song and it was ready to be mastered in a studio. Each piece of music seemingly working in tandem for the entire set. The crowd ate it up like the hard rock piece of candy it was. Making their way through about midway of a stellar set, they threw it back. Way back, with a cover of Alanis Morissette’s classic hit “You Oughta Know”. I can only hope they keep this as a staple of their live performances in the future. It was everything you would hope it could be and much more as they infused their own brand of savegry into it. They would close their explosive set with their hit “10 Feet Tall”. Bjørnson pummeled the drums with the most sensational playing, on time and never out of pocket. Keyboardist and screaming vocalist James Thomas was very engaging to the Evansville crowd who had already accepted the energy the band poured into the capacity venue and reciprocated it back to the band. This was one of those moments when the first band needed to set the room up for an entire night fueled of chaotic energy, adn Savage After Midnight did just that!
Stage hands quickly began to deconstruct the stage and prepare it for the next band of the evening, Asking Alexandria! Metalcore fan favorites, Asking Alexandria are no strangers to massive tours, this showed right out of the gate when they opened up their hellacious set with their current new single “The Violence”, which has since it’s release been explained by lead singer Danny Worsnop. “Thematically the song is about the way mainstream media and politicians manipulate and spread mistruths amongst the people to encourage and create anger, fear, and conflict in their quest to control and acquire power.” So one could say that this song was a clear statement to anyone who would oppose the opposite of anything that is not good and right. Asking Alexandria was locked in to the crowds already tapped energy, thrilling guitar riffs and heart pounding drumming from James Cassells, the band marched into song after song keeping everyone jumping and singing along to their favorite songs. Playing into the middle of this monstrous set, the band played a person favorite song off their recent self titled album Asking Alexandria, “Vultures”. As the lyrics state, “Everywhere I look, these vultures burn the life right out of me, do I run or lay down and die? Is it time to close my eyes?” A powerful yet relatable song we all know sometimes all too well. Asking Alexandria displayed a very wild yet composed performance that The Ford Center would soon not forget.
The hour had come for our direct support act with Papa Roach. Jacoby Shaddix, Tony Palermo, Jerry Horton and Tobin Esperance came to show Evansville, Indiana who they trust to melt their faces right off the bone. “Evansville Indiana, how the fuck are you?!” exclaimed Shaddix. The crowd screamed back at the top of their lungs giving the only answer the band needed. The beginning of “Who Do You Trust” began playing and we were all locked in for a thrill ride fueled with frantic excitement for what was about to pop off with Papa Roach. Horton swayed back and forth exuding the essence of the song, Shaddix engaged the crowd so much it was infectious to be a part of that moment.There aren’t a lot of words in the English language, or any language for that matter to describe the static energy of the vibes Papa Roach was giving off to the faithful Evansville crowd. However that didn’t mean the band wouldn’t find their own supply to distribute to them anyway. Jacoby Shaddix hopped off the stage and made a B-line for the audience to sing and scream with them as they played their song “Elevate” off their newest record Who Do You Trust. Papa Roach have been touring the world over more times than I can count. These veteran rockers really are pioneers these days, as many others follow suit and draw inspiration from the band. Shaddix and his band kept bringing the heat by plowing through a crazy set ‘full of energy and had us all buzzing, song after song. From “Getting Away With Murder” to “Scars”, Papa Roach had so much fire in their eyes that you didn’t want it to ever end. I spoke with a fan who explained that this was her 40th Papa Roach show and how important the band was to her and her girlfriend. They traveled all the way from Springfield Illinois to see this show. That’s dedication if you ask you us! Earlier on, she would get the surprise of a lifetime when Jacoby came out into the crowd to sing to the fans! The band would round out their set with the iconic song “Last Resort”. Leaving everyone singing along to their favorite Papa Roach song. This was my first time catching a show by the band and I can only hope it isn’t the last!
The time had finally come for the main event. Shinedown was about to get all of our Attention. The stage crew threw up the massive white curtain, loaded the killer stage plot for the band, with arena music still playing, the buzz in the air was electric, much like the performance to follow! Waiting side stage for the banner to drop and for us all to pile up in the photo pit, it didn’t take long until the intro for “Attention Attention” to begin playing, hairs stood up and fans began to scream. The intro stopped and with a loud pop and flames blazing, Brent Smith, Zach Myers, Barry Kerch, and Eric Bass took to the stage to quickly begin playing the first song “Devil”. It was a fiery performance to say the least. The band would soon introduce the fans to the show. “Hello Indiana! Welcome to the show, we are Shinedown, we thank you so much for taking your hard earned money and time to come spend it with us.” said Smith. The band didn’t skip a beat as they went on to play into their next thrill ride song called “Diamond Eyes”, fire and pyro was firing on que to each beat and the right moments to take our breath away while keeping us feeling alive with a massive performance. Kerch, Myers and Bass all stood out on this one, well, all of them really. However each member of the band had their own moments to shine bright as the pyro going off. Brent Smith took the time to get fans acquainted with not only the band but the other fans to the left and right. Later on he would address something very important to the band. “We are on this beautiful planet together, and this is what we don’t want you to lose, we don’t want you to lose your empathy for one another”, “myself, the band, the people who put this show on want you to not be a bully, be a mentor, don’t be disrespectful, be a friend. Don’t forget you’re human, your going to make mistakes, that’s part of it, don’t focus on a plan b, focus on plan a, no matter what you want, no matter what it takes to get you there. If you came into this building feeling alone, look in front of you, look behind you, side to side. Because you have a family here, forever. And I do mean forever, It’s rock and roll people it isn’t about genre, it’s about forever.” This speech moved alot of people, including myself. Don’t get it twisted, this was very much a rock show and over the remaining hour and a half, it would transform from an arena for sports and events to a full fledged explosive rock and roll show! Shinedown played a feverous set which included their mega hits “45”, “Bully”, “The Crow And The Butterfly”, their amazing cover of “Simple Man” and closing their huge set out with “Brilliant”. Shinedown came to play and play they did! This was a show for the ages that no one wanted to end.
Be sure to catch this tour in a city near you on the band’s respective websites and buy or stream their music from any platform you can get! The Attention Attention World Tour 2019 will likely go down in history as the most fun and exciting tour in years, as every band on it brings their on version of savages, violence, blood brothers and monsters to each venue they play! With a lineup like this you can be sure of one thing, when you buy your tickets to this tour, you are not ready for the amount of fun and excitement to be had.
Photo Gallery - Shinedown: All photos by Brandon Scott Hanks
Photo Gallery - Papa Roach: All photos by Brandon Scott Hanks
Photo Gallery - Asking Alexandria: All photos by Brandon Scott Hanks
Photo Gallery - Savage After Midnight: All photos by Brandon Scott Hanks