Shinedown – O2 Academy, Birmingham – 28/10/12

Shinedown are seemingly unstoppable this year. After a short UK tour in February followed by an appearance at Download Festival which was then followed with a full stretch of America as headliners for the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival, they are back for another assault on the UK. Bringing along with them Canadian rock troupe Redlight King and British post-hardcore quintet Exit Ten for the ride.

Now for some reason, the venue’s security is taking a little longer than usual to get everyone into the venue so when Exit Ten hit the stage there isn’t much of an audience to greet them. However they clearly do not let this dishearten them as they flawlessly charge into their set. The guys play with incredible energy to start with but they seem to slow down as their performance progresses. Though it must be said they provide a great degree of showmanship and the crowd react warmly to the flattery provided by frontman, Ryan Redman. A final passionate performance of Lion see’s them leave the stage, and equally the audience, on a high note.

Fresh from our interview with frontman Kazzer, Redlight King hit the stage. It’s clear from the star these guys know how to perform. Perhaps the best way to describe this band is ‘keeping it fresh’; for their entire set, they’re always doing something new in order to keep any repetition to a minimum to ensure a consistent spectacle for the crowd to enjoy. Kazzer is quite simply one of those natural born performers. He constantly engages with the audience and he has the transition from soft to harsher vocals absolutely nailed. By the end of their set it’s clear that many people here have been converted to new born fans, which is no surprise after such a quality performance.

Shinedown have been around for over 10 years now, which anyone would think gives them the advantage of experience when it comes to a live performance. However this isn’t very evident tonight. Once loud and powerful songs such as The Sound of Madness now sound stripped down and completely lack any force. The band themselves fail to show much enthusiasm and this brings down the pace of their set to a painfully slow level. Vocalist Brent Smith seems stuck to his podium and doesn’t make any effort to put any variation into his performance despite his role as the frontman. However it has to be credited to him that he does bring a good level of personality and intimacy to the show as he gets the whole crowd to sing happy birthday to a loyal fan. Their set encourages unity and friendship amongst fans which is an undeniably beautiful thing, but whether this is entertaining is a different matter

About Del Preston

So there I am, in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, at about 3 o'clock in the morning, looking for one thousand brown M&Ms to fill a brandy glass, or Ozzy wouldn't go on stage that night. So, Jeff Beck pops his head 'round the door, and mentions there's a little sweet shop on the edge of town. So - we go. And - it's closed. So there's me and Keith Moon and David Crosby, breaking into that little sweet shop, eh. Well, instead of a guard dog, they've got this bloody great big Bengal tiger. I managed to take out the tiger with a can of mace, but the shop owner and his son, that's a different story altogether. I had to beat them to death with their own shoes. Nasty business really. But sure enough, I got the M&Ms and Ozzy went on stage and did a great show.