From The Pit To The Crowd – Shinedown – House of Blues Orlando – Lake Buena Vista, FL – December 28th

After the first night of Shinedown performing at the House of Blues Orlando, the fans were absolutely clamoring for more. You can read our review of Shinedown’s December 27th performance here. Everyone had been told each of the shows would be different. But, what could they do to top that very first night? Whatever it was going to be, it was for certain something that was going to be a very unique and special performance for the Orlando fans.

Shinedown is a multiple-platinum rock band out of Jacksonville FL. They formed in 2001 and released their first studio album ‘Leave a Whisper’ in 2003. With singles of “Fly From The Inside”, “45”, “Burning Bright” and a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man”, the album was certified Platinum and each of the singles reached the Top 5 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock charts. And this was just the start of their illustrious career. Since that time they released 5 additional studio albums with their latest ‘Attention Attention’ being released on May 4, 2018. The album simultaneously hit #1 on both Billboard’s Alternative, Top Rock, and Hard Rock Charts and debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200. Their single “Devil” from ‘Attention Attention’ hit #1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Chart and became the band’s 12th #1 single. With over 10 million albums sold, 10 million singles sold, 11 Platinum and Gold singles, and 4 Platinum and Gold albums, it’s hard to find anyone who hasn’t heard of the band.

The House of Blues Orlando was packed very early on outside as people had been waiting in line very early in the day. And much like the night before, the mass amount of people for a sold-out crowd to get through security and inside was simply going to take time. Once I was inside, I headed down to the photo pit with the rest of the media crew to wait for the start of the show. It took a lot of time and the crowd was getting anxious to get started, but once again Shinedown wanted to absolutely ensure everyone was in the building before they got started. A few minutes before they were ready to come out, Dickerman, one of the radio DJs from 101.1 WJRR, came out to thank the crowd for attending and for their patience. In due time, the curtains pulled back, the crowd roared, and in front of us, we saw mic stands, two drum sets on risers, and 3 stools. And it hit me they were doing an acoustic set that night.

In the months leading up to the show, there was a ton of speculation as to what Shinedown would include in these shows. After Thursday’s show, we had heard rumors in the venue Shinedown would perform an acoustic set on Friday. That turned out to be true. Brent Smith (vocals), Zach Myers (guitar), Eric Bass (bass), and Barry Kerch (drums) made their way to the stage all wearing matching dark blue jackets with the ‘Attention Attention’ exclamation point embroidered on the left sleeve. Barry manned a much smaller drum set and Zach walked out with an acoustic guitar in hand. Zach and Eric made themselves comfortable on stools while Brent pulled his away opting to stand while he sang. They decided to go back to true old school Shinedown kicking it off with “Fly From The Inside” the band’s very first single off their first album ‘Leave a Whisper’. I’ve never heard the song played this way and absolutely loved it. I could already see we were in for something truly special tonight. They followed with “Unity” from the 2012 album ‘Amaryllis’.

Before Shinedown moved on, Brent looked down at the setlist taped to the stage and looked at Eric saying that was an interesting choice. It appeared that Eric and Zach had put together the setlist for the evening. Eric spoke into the mic stating he had another song he was going to pick instead, but he couldn’t remember how to play it. The crowd laughed along with Brent and Eric and all of us in media were laughing too. Brent looked at the crowd saying “There’s the sign of a true professional, admitting when he can’t remember how to play a song.” The band got back into it with “Through the Ghost” also from ‘Amaryllis’. As we were leaving the photo pit they started into a song truly meant for an acoustic rendition, “Second Chance” from ‘The Sound of Madness’. It was absolutely beautifully performed musically and vocally. In a word: perfect.

As the acoustic set continued throughout the night, I noticed there was a different vibe in the room. The crowd was cheering and applauding, but the crowd didn’t seem as energetic. It was almost as if the crowd felt being excited and energetic wasn’t appropriate for an acoustic show. I recall Brent reminding the crowd it was OK to get loud during the performance as they were at a rock show. I loved the song selection for the acoustic set that night with a great mixture of new and old songs and some I would never expect to hear acoustically. Some of the songs performed included “Pryo” from ‘Attention Attention’, “Bully” from ‘Amaryllis’, which I thoroughly enjoyed as an acoustic rendition, “In Memory” from ‘Leave a Whisper’, which was beautifully done, and “Heroes” from ‘Us and Them’, my all-time favorite Shinedown song.

A situation occurred right as the band had started performing “How Do You Love” from ‘Threat to Survival’. Just as the song got started, Brent surprisingly jumped off the stage and into the crowd. From my standing view, I couldn’t see why he went in there. Within a minute he got back on stage and asked to restart from the beginning and off they went. I heard later he went in there to prevent a fight from starting. I was beyond impressed that he put himself at risk to stop a situation from escalating. It was a totally selfless act. Right after they went into the ever popular “Simple Man” and wrapped up the acoustic set with “Call Me” from ‘The Sound of Madness’ and “Cut the Cord” from ‘Threat to Survival’. Brent thanked the crowd and the band walked off stage.

It was only a few moments later when the band came back on stage and this time getting plugged back in kicking off the encore set with “Devil” from ‘Attention Attention’, which now had the crowd energized like the night before and bouncing on their feet. They seemed to be following some of the encore set from the night before as they followed with “Diamond Eyes” and “Enemies.” They wrapped up the night with their new single “Get Up” from ‘Attention Attention’ and then “The Sound of Madness” the title track from their third album.

For the second night in a row, Shinedown provided the fans with a very unique and entertaining experience. The band sounded excellent during their acoustical performance and it was the first time I think they ever performed an acoustic set that long for the Orlando crowd. Personally, I was beyond thrilled and impressed with the show. I hope they come back another time to do something like it again. Also, I couldn’t wait to see how they planned on topping this night for their third and final show on Saturday, December 29th.