SHINEDOWN AT THE TOP OF THEIR GAME

ON PLANET ZERO WORLD TOUR

Words & Photos by Diane DiMemmo

September 16, 2022

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Shinedown took the stage at New Jersey’s Freedom Mortgage Pavilion on September 11th as only Shinedown can. Walking out from behind a huge video display to stand directly in front of their adoring fanbase and give everyone a wave hello. Not wasting a moment of their 2-hour long set, they jumped right into “The Saints of Violence and Innuendo” a hard-hitting, lyrically intense tune from their latest album Planet Zero. This newest addition to their discography was produced and mixed by bassist Eric Bass in his Big Animal Studio in Charleston, South Carolina and was written and recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic. Planet Zero is the band’s seventh studio album but the very first to top the all-genre Billboard Top Album Sales chart, a sign that the album’s message resonates with a lot of people. Lead singer Brent Smith has described it as "controversial" and that it “touches upon subjects that the band has shied away from in the past.”

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As a personal aside, I was lucky enough to catch Shinedown’s set the night before in Holmdel, NJ and then cap off my “hat trick” at NY’s Saratoga Performing Arts Center a few days later. (Looking forward to catching them at the Aftershock Festival in Sacramento, CA this October as well!) It’s safe to say I’ve seen the group perform about two dozen times to this point, so when reviewing them ... I tend to talk about their personalities as much as I do the music. This is because who they are is deeply entwined with what they do. They are an extraordinary quartet of musicians; but more importantly, they are extraordinary human beings. If you are a part of the Shinedown “family,” you understand that the two cannot be separated.

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Shinedown’s show that night in Camden brought a setlist that was the perfect combination of their newest gems “America Burning,” “Daylight," and “Planet Zero,” along with fan favorites (including but not limited to) “45,” “How Did You Love,” “Monsters,” “Second Chance,” and “Sound Of Madness.” As a frequent show attendee, you do sometimes wonder if, at some point, one of their performances will be lackluster … but that just NEVER happens! Brent, Zach, Eric and Barry are dedicated to bringing the most perfect show to their fans night after night. Brent is a born performer talking with fans about meaningful subjects and then delivering his spot-on vocals in each and every song. Barry may be toward the back of the stage and behind the drum kit, but he is fully involved in the show as he interacts with his bandmates and sways to the music while he vigorously pummels his drums. And in addition to Eric’s and Zach’s amazing musicality and technical acumen, we were treated to their impressive vocals when they covered Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back In Anger.” It was definitely one of the highlights of the night, along with Brent’s delivery of “Get Up, “Daylight,” and “How Did You Love.” As they usually do, the band performed their incredible rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” but on this tour they included Jelly Roll on the vocals which was a nice touch. And in somber remembrance of September 11th, the band asked fans for a moment of silence during which you could hear a pin drop.


All in all, this tour exceeds expectations because you go in thinking, “How can these guys top themselves from last time?” But Shinedown always does so in spades. And it’s the reason why everyone (no matter what their preferred genre) should see them perform live. They are, by far, the best musical act around!

OPENERS

I went into the show unfamiliar with the opening acts but can honestly say, I left as a huge fan of each artist.

JELLY ROLL

When you first hear the name Jelly Roll, you go into the show not knowing what to expect. But after listening and watching this rapper/singer perform, I'd say it's like going to church. The expansive range and combination of genres Jelly Roll incorporates into his music makes him one of the most unique performers I have ever heard. The emotions and sentiments he shared on stage made it feel like we were at an intimate show in a small club. I was drawn in and held hostage by his exquisite performance and felt like I didn't  take a breath until the end. Make sure to listen to Jelly Roll's chart-topping single "Son Of A Sinner" and catch him perform the next time he stops in a city nearby!

JOHN HARVIE

Nashville alt-rock musician John Harvie brought a passionate performance of his pop/punk/rock music that is as addictive as it is impressive. Touring on his most recent album told ya., Harvie engaged the crowd with his incredible personality and wit, delivering vocals that were absolutely stellar. A musician to keep on your radar for sure!

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Diane DiMemmo is the founder and editor of Asbury Park Vibes. In addition to hosting the APV Podcast and Artist Spotlight series, she specializes in portrait, promo, and tour photography.

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