From The Pit To The Crowd – Shinedown – House of Blues Orlando – Lake Buena Vista FL – December 29th

With two nights down and one night to go, Shinedown rocked the House of Blues Orlando crowd on both nights and still left them wanting more. You can read our review of Shinedown’s December 27th performance here and our review of the December 28th acoustic show here. Media and the fans knew the third show would once again be different than the first two and once again everyone wondered what could they possibly do the top their prior performances.

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. 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, they are one of the hottest rock bands today. And with three sold-out shows over three days in Orlando, it only proves how badly fans want to see them perform.

Much like the prior two nights, the House of Blues Orlando was packed very early on outside. Those fans who were there early learned what Shinedown had planned for the crowd that evening. House of Blues staff walked down the line handing out blank pieces of papers and markers telling fans to write down their favorite Shinedown song. During the performance, the band would select songs based on the fan signs and perform those songs. It was essentially a Fan Choice Night, something I personally have never seen done at a show. As like the other nights before, it was taking a lot of time to get everyone through security so our start time was running behind. But, like the prior nights, Shinedown wanted to absolutely ensure everyone was in the building before they got started. Right before the show started, Mel Taylor, one of the radio DJs from 101.1 WJRR, came out to thank the crowd for attending, for their support of 101.1 WJRR, and for their patience. When the curtains pulled back, outside of the mic stands and two drumsets on risers, the stage was bare. I saw their “setlist” taped to the floor which was a piece of paper that read on it vertically “WHO THE HELL KNOWS”. I laughed seeing that they were serious about the fan choice selection and it didn’t take long for Brent Smith (vocals), Zach Myers (guitar), Eric Bass (bass), and Barry Kerch (drums) come to the stage once again wearing their dark blue matching jackets.

Zach walked out on stage with his acoustic guitar in hand and immediately started playing the opening chords for “Simple Man”. Now, we were in uncharted territory. As far as I can recall with all the shows I’ve seen of them, they never open with Simple Man. Ever. That’s always been a closer for them. The fans looked shocked and surprised too. After the song, Brent explained to the crowd what they were doing that night picking songs based on signs displayed in the audience. The band decided they would each get a pick one at the time and let Brent pick first. He scanned over the crowd and looked to his left locking his eyes on a sign and saying, “I Dare You. Let’s do it.” The crowd erupted as this is not one of the regular songs Shinedown plays at shows. For their next pick, the band went with “Black Soul” from ‘Attention Attention’. I have to admit, when I reviewed the album this was not my favorite song and I think I even called it a “head scratcher”. After hearing it live, I will eat my words because the performance was stellar, engaging, and very energetic. Great pick by Shinedown to perform it that night.

The next pick was one I hoped they would have played during the acoustic show, “Burning Bright” from ‘Leave a Whisper’. It was the first time they performed it live since 2012 and it was perfect. They followed with “Monsters” and then picked another from ‘Leave a Whisper’ in “45”. This was a pretty great selection of songs so far with the crowd also yelling out suggestions. They picked “Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide” from ‘The Sound of Madness’ which they had played on Thursday night and then “Miracle” from ‘Amaryllis’ which was the first time they ever performed it live. And picked a rarity in “Her Name is Alice” that was on ‘The Sound of Madness Deluxe Edition’.

Shinedown did pick one of my favorite ballads in “Shed Some Light” and then “Save Me” both from ‘Us and Them’. “Misfits” from ‘Threat to Survival’ was another great ballad choice that evening. But, I was ecstatic when Shinedown picked “Heroes” performing it this time in full electric version. It is my favorite song from them and got to hear it acoustically the night before. And they were perfectly on point performing it from beginning to end re-energizing the crowd again. The wrapped up the request picks with “Call Me” and “Second Chance” both from ‘The Sound of Madness’.

After a brief break, Shinedown came back out to the stage as they did the other two nights to perform a large group of songs for encore as they did the prior two nights. The followed mostly the same encore list as they did on Thursday night starting it off with “Devil” from ‘Attention Attention’ and followed it up with “Diamond Eyes”, “Cut The Cord”, which has been a crowd favorite over these three days, “Get Up”, the latest single from ‘Attention Attention’, and “Enemies”. They rocked out the crowd again performing “The Sound of Madness”, which was definitely another crowd, as it was played all three nights. And finally, wrapping up the show with “Brilliant” from ‘Attention Attention’. The band thanked the crowd and took a bow before leaving the stage.

Much like the two nights before, Shinedown surprised and entertained the crowd with another phenomenal performance. After three nights, I couldn’t even try to rate which was the best because they were all lots of fun with great energy, great selection of songs, and wonderful performance from Shinedown. I absolutely love that the band took the time to book three straight shows at House of Blues Orlando and truly hope this becomes a tradition the band will do every year. And if they do this in December 2019, I definitely plan on being there to witness and enjoy it.