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Shinedown Launch Evansville Indiana to Planet Zero

Since debuting their first record 'Leave A Whisper' in 2003, Shinedown has gone from local airwaves to high praise, touring the world in support of over 7 studio records, 10 million albums sold, to 17 number 1 singles, the most by any mainstream rock band of all time on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Charts. No simple feat for the band who made ‘Simple Man’ a hit once again, performing to this day, the greatest rendition of that song to ever be done. Brent Smith, Zach Myers, Barry Kerch and Eric Bass have been blazing a trail that will be difficult to follow. With no signs of slowing down, Shinedown looks to actually launch their next outing into space in search of Planet Zero. The new record, 'Planet Zero' is set to debut on July 1st from Atlantic Records.

With a new record, comes the duties of building and constructing a tour to support it. Shinedown is never one to shy from coming up with an amazing tour, featuring devilishly good supporting artists and top-notch production to fully immerse their fans in the experience that is a Shinedown concert. The Planet Zero Tour will be one for the ages and every time they come to Evansville, it’s always a blast!

Diamante performing in Evansville, Indiana

Opening the show and warming up the Evansville and surrounding Tri-State natives was none other than Diamante. A rebel WITH a cause, that cause being to rock and live the 'American Dream.' Since bursting onto the scene in 2017 with her single "Haunted," Diamante quickly garnered the attention of fans all over. Not long after she would release her debut record 'Coming In Hot,' on Better Noise Records, with her hit singles "Haunted" and "Coming In Hot." Needless to say we were ready to see what type of energy she planned to deliver to Indiana. She recently was feeling somewhat under the weather and was hyper focused on recovering and being back to her normal self. If you ask me, that may just be something that’s normal, overcoming obstacles to get back where she wants to be up on that stage. Diamante took to the stage, opening her set with "Ghost Myself ," fans were blown back into the seats by the powerhouse vocals and dynamic range she had. Guitars and drums blazing, the band made its way through a bittersweet short set that left us all wanting just a few more songs. The singer would go on to address the crowd and thank everyone for getting her where she wants to be (on stage performing) and with a smile and rebel “yeah”, Diamante peeled off into the night, finishing off her set with War Cry.

After deconstructing the stage from our opening artist, crews quickly had things ready for our next band of the night and things got

Pretty Reckless when the lights went pitch black. One-by-one each member walked on stage leaving only one person left to grace us with her presence. Taylor Momsen. No stranger to the spotlight, Momsen owned every inch of that stage and every moment as all eyes were on center stage as she started to sing the words to "Loud Love." This performance is one I was particularly thrilled about, as I have enjoyed their ascent into the annals of rock n roll history over the years with a Stevie Nicks/Joan Jett-like sound. Since 2010 The Pretty Reckless have been cranking out scorchers like "Make Me Wanna Die," "Heaven Knows," "Take Me Down" and "Death By Rock and Roll." Seeing this band absolutely break every wall and smash every barrier in their path to get to this point culminated here in Evansville. Taylor Momsen commanded the attention as only she can in her own sultry and seductively badass way. When I tell you this woman has one hell of a voice, I can proudly say that I know from experience. The balance of rasp, boldness and sweetness fell from the lips of this rock goddess and was flawlessly backed up by her band. What a hell of a ride The Pretty Reckless took us on, from older songs to the newer ones, they left no face without a smile.

The time had finally come. Crews worked fast and with tenacity to get things ready for the final act of the night. Our fearless tour guides on this wicked trip to Planet Zero, Shinedown. Once everything was in place, the lights went down and everyone’s attention was drawn to the center of the back of the stage where this incredible structure constructed with this monolithic screen showed us all footage of Shinedown’s last time on tour for the Attention! Attention! World Tour 2019, as well as video archives of fans from all over, the band rehearsing and getting the feel for live music again. It’s truly an immersive experience at this point and the band hadn’t even begun to play yet. You felt as though you have been indoctrinated into this massive wonderful family of Shinedown. If we’re being honest, is that really even a bad thing? We don’t think so.

As the incredibly inclusive and moving montage drew to a close, an artificial intelligence-like woman took over and introduced us all to Planet Zero. The monolithic structure of screens split open and standing there was Bass, Kerch, Myers and Smith standing in unison. They began a slow dramatic walk to the front of the stage to greet us all and welcome us to the show. "The Saints Of Violence And Innuendo" kicked off the night with a bang! “Let’s Go!” Exclaims Smith as pyro and madness ensued. I must admit, it’s been some time since I felt like that at a show. Myers and Bass worked the unique stage designed for this tour, back-and-forth, forward and back, the stringed jump suited members of Shinedown electrified seconds into the beginning of the first song. This show already felt like a radical-rock and roll-Tron-filled experience. That’s a mouthful, but I assure you, this is how it felt. Flames blazing all over the stage and smiles blazing across the Ford Center on every fan's face, as the last line of the song says “Tell The Truth”, well the truth is, none of us were prepared for this fiery display of musicianship.

Barry Kerch of Shinedown in Evansville, Indianna

Brent Smith thanked everyone for the continued support from all the way back to 2008 when the band made its Evansville debut in Roberts Stadium, a once hallowed music venue long since closed and no longer standing. The imprint the band would make that fateful night would carry them to this very moment when they would make their third appearance in the beautiful city of Evansville.

Speaking of interacting with the fans. Smith would go on to explain the new record and what it means to the band. How it in fact is dedicated to the fans and how because of the fans, they decided, not some executive or keyboard warrior, but the band themselves decided to change the date from April to July 1st, so that everyone across the globe could experience the release TOGETHER as one people. Because that’s what music is supposed to do, it’s supposed to unite people and bring us together. Powerful. With that said, Smith introduced the crowd to a currently unreleased song called "Daylight." With words so meaningful to any situation you can fathom, the words seared and pierced the hardest of hearts and opened us all up to this calmness that draped over us all in that moment. For those 3 minutes and some seconds, the entire building had only one thing on their minds. And it wasn’t anything outside those walls. When music has that much power, you listen and let it move you.

Speaking of moving you, Zach Myers and Eric Bass decided to do a touching tribute to the late drummer of the Foo Fighters, Taylor Hawkins. Touching on how music can truly move someone, the shoes to fill are quite large and may never be touched. But an endearing and perfect performance of "Wheels" is just what we all needed. I think for most of us we’re still healing from his tragic passing and the way in which Shinedown honored Taylor Hawkins was done so respectfully that it only raised a bar they had already set.

Moving toward the end of this terrific show the band wrapped up the night playing one of my favorites in Sound Of Madness. Pyro, energy, horns held high and no regrets, Shinedown and all of us in attendance left it all out there in the Ford Center. I can honestly say that this was hands down the most exciting performance I’ve ever seen them give. If you want to know what a tour to see this year is, buy a ticket to Planet Zero and live like there’s no tomorrow.

Shinedown Photo Gallery: All photos by Brandon Hanks

The Pretty Reckless Photo Gallery: All photos by Brandon Hanks

Diamante Photo Gallery: All photos by Brandon Hanks

Fan Photo Gallery: All photos by Brandon Hanks