The 2019 installation of Shinedown’s ‘Attention Attention World Tour’ got off to a running start with a sold out crowd in Estero, FL at the Hertz Arena on Wednesday this week.
Opening act Asking Alexandria was scheduled to hit the stage at 7:00 PM, but ended up going on slightly early while attendees were still filing in the arena. The England based rock band kicked off the show with their 2017 single “Into The Fire,” which included large blasts of CO2 that caught the crowd’s attention quickly. Although they have a five album discography, the majority of Asking Alexandria’s setlist consisted of songs from the 2013 album release ‘From Death to Destiny’ and their latest 2017 self-titled album. Vocalist Danny Warsnop was the first of the night to make use of a large catwalk, venturing out on it and encouraging the crowd to sing along with “When the Lights Come On.”
By 9:00 PM, the arena looked appropriately full and ready to rock out. Papa Roach went for a new tactic, immediately catching fans off guard and getting them riled up by opening (rather than closing) with high energy throwback “Last Resort.” They kept that energy flowing through their 2017 chart-topping single, “Help.”
Papa Roach released their latest studio album ‘Who Do You Trust?’ just a couple weeks ago in January, making it the 10th album of their discography. They are currently touring in support of the release, and the title track of the album was next in the set. The band easily bounced around between new songs and old, one minute playing “Getting Away With Murder” and the next fast forwarding to “Renegade Music.”
At the beginning of one of their setlist staples “Between Angels and Insects,” vocalist Jacoby Shaddix hopped off stage and walked along the barricade, sharing hand shakes, high fives and singing lyrics up close and personal with fans. He proceeded to take a stroll through the entire crowd, even walking up through a few rows of seats before cutting across general admission and doing the same on the opposite side of the arena. When he returned to the stage, he proclaimed, “It’s a great day to be alive!” and followed up with new and upbeat songs, “Elevate” and “Not The Only One,” which Jacoby concluded with a mic drop.
Papa Roach then slowed the tempo down some for “Forever” and “Scars.” During “Scars,” Jacoby let the crowd take over for the last verse, the entire arena singing their hearts out. With 20 years of touring behind them, Jacoby has plenty of experience hyping up a crowd. He had no trouble doing just that when he said, “It’s gonna be a fuckin’ great night… but my question is, do you want some more Papa-Fuckin’-Roach?!” Needless to say, the audience responded with a ripping roar that left Jacoby smiling. Estero was then treated to the live debut of “Come Around.”
Although not a headliner or even a co-headliner, Papa Roach got a respectably long time slot to play during. They rounded out a 14 song setlist with “To Be Loved…,” “Crooked Teeth,” and “Born For Greatness.” Jacoby screamed, “We fuckin’ love you!” before exiting stage and letting the concession stands flood with people getting refreshments between set changes.
A white sheet had been draped over stage by the time everyone returned to their seats and standing areas. The overhead lights dimmed right around 9:45 and a voice echoed through the speakers saying, “Don’t be afraid.” Strobes flashed and a large blast of pyro promptly ensued while the curtain fell, officially kicking Shinedown’s headline set off with “Devil” and following up with “Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom).” During “Enemies,” frontman Brent Smith, accompanied by Zach Myers (guitar) and Eric Bass (bass) strutted down the giant catwalk to a smaller stage positioned in the middle of the general admission crowd, able to interact a more close and personally with fans.
Shinedown’s current tour is in support of their 2018 album release ‘Attention Attention’ and as such, many of the new songs were incorporated into the set. Amongst those new songs was “Monsters,” which made it’s live US debut during one of Shinedown’s last shows of 2018 at the House of Blues in Orlando back in December. Shinedown’s discography now encompasses six studio albums and showcases an array of talent, with the band flitting from hard and heavy hitters to uplifting, anthemic themes (“Get Up”) and melodic ballads like “I’ll Follow You,” which featured Eric Bass on a piano solo.
Following a (literally) fired up performance of “Bully,” each member of Shinedown picked up flashlights, beaming them around as they all walked down the catwalk back to the B-stage. A secondary drumkit had risen up out of the center of the smaller stage, awaiting drummer Barry Kerch’s arrival. The guys set their flashlights down at each corner of the stage before taking their positions and performing a more intimate version of “Amaryllis,” with cathedral-esque stained glass windows pictured across large video boards behind the stage. At the conclusion of the song, Brent thanked the crowd and asked, “Estero, are you having the greatest time tonight?!” The crowd let out a cheer that the band carried into “Misfits” and “How Did You Love,” maintaining their positions on the small stage.
With charm and eloquence, Brent took time to express his gratitude to everyone, explaining, “The state of Florida means a great deal to this band. We never take it for granted. All of you here tonight is the greatest gift we have ever been given.” He proceeded to ask a small favor of the crowd, “…For this next song, make sure Haley’s Comet sees exactly where you are. Ladies and gentlemen, this one is called ‘Second Chance.’” Understanding the lyrical reference, fans more than willingly pulled out their cell phones and the arena lit up beautifully like stars in the sky. The crowd was so loud you could hardly hear Brent over the sing-a-long, and Brent seemed to acknowledged that when he proclaimed, “Estero, you sound absolutely beautiful.”
While Barry and Eric made their way back to the full stage, Zach and Brent remained standing side by side on the small stage. Zach broke into an unplanned jam session, playing a snippet of “Stairway to Heaven” and Brent said, “What’s interesting is that most of the 15 year olds in here KNOW that song.” He then asked Zach to throw something crazy in. Cheers erupted at the first chords of “45,” and Brent joked around saying, “That’s Cheap Trick, isn’t it?!” before he joined in to sing just the first verse and chorus. Brent tossed a compliment to Zach saying, “That guitar sounded good!” Zach agreed, showing off his white electric PRS guitar while Brent lent him the mic to announce, “I’m gonna do something a little different. I’m gonna play the next song on this guitar.” Brent quickly nodded and said, “Okay,” but must have realized Zach’s intentions and quickly added, “Oh, OH, wait a minute. You mean like the… Oh, shoot. Okay. Well, everybody gets to see something that hasn’t been done in like eight years.” The crowd cheered in excited anticipation and Zach proceeded to strum the opening notes of Shinedown’s beloved “Simple Man” cover. Anyone who has seen Shinedown before knows that this isn’t a new addition to the set, but typically it’s performed on an acoustic guitar rather than the electric one Zach was playing. Halfway through the song, Zach and Brent returned to the full stage where Eric and Barry joined in for the last two verses.
Shinedown opted not to waste any time leaving the stage since encores have come to be expected these days, and instead dove straight into “Cut The Cord.” The song featured all the highlights of this tour’s visually stunning production – kicking off with a laser light show synchronized to the beat, a blast of fireworks and colorful exclamation points dancing across the video boards. The night ended with “Sound of Madness” and the uplifting newer track “Brilliant” off ‘Attention Attention’. Brent imparted his usual message, “Ladies and gentlemen, we’re Shinedown! And remember… it’s never goodbye, it’s just ’til next time!” then helped the rest of the band toss out setlists, guitar picks and drumsticks as various tokens to remember the show by before departing.
The ‘Attention Attention World Tour’ will be taking the US by storm, spanning over 55 dates across the country. Shinedown will also be making appearances at numerous summer festivals such as Welcome to Rockville and Inkcarceration, with the tour officially concluding in late July in Washington. Be sure to check out a date near you!