Shinedown announced their Revolutions Live Tour in January, and as soon as they did, I knew I had to go! My dad and I have been listening to and attending Shinedown concerts for the past 20 years. While we both have other bands we enjoy, Shinedown will always hold a special place in our hearts because we always go together. We drove to see them in concert from New Jersey to Connecticut! This tour comes after their highly successful album Planet Zero, which came out last year.
The first band to hit the stage was From Ashes To New, and they blew me away. They are from Lancaster, PA, and resemble sounds from multiple genres, such as rock, electronic, and hip-hop. From Ashes To New has been around for ten years and has a song with over 27 million plays on Spotify! I didn’t hear of this band before the concert, but I will be listening to them from now on. Their energy on stage was infectious, and everyone in the crowd was moving around with them. Sometimes when an opener comes out, the crowd isn’t sure if they will enjoy their music, but that was not the case with From Ashes To New. The crowd smiled and enjoyed listening to their set as they opened up for Shinedown!
Next to come out was Three Days Grace, a fan-favorite band from Canada that I have been listening to since they first formed in 2003. It’s hard to imagine that it has already been 20 years since their first self-titled album came out. While they have had some member changes over the years, they still have that same sound we’ve all grown up listening to. The crowd began clapping along as soon as the guitars started playing Home. The guitarists could be seen aggressively strumming their guitars and engaging with the crowd. Once they finished playing Home, the crowd chanted “Three Days Grace” repeatedly.
The lead singer Matt Walst said it feels good to be back, and he was excited to be in Connecticut. He explained that the crowd might know the next one they would play. He said that this song is about when you look at someone with both love and hate in their eyes. He explained that all relationships are like that. You want to stay with them, but sometimes you have to go. Matt said there’s a thin line between love and hate, and this song is called I Hate Everything About You. This is by far their most popular song off their self-titled album back in 2003, with 585 million plays on Spotify alone!
After the song, the crowd erupted in a Three Days Grace chant again. Matt said thank you and can’t believe he’s been in the band for ten years. He introduced the next song, Painkiller, and asked the crowd how they were doing. Matt asked everyone to hold up a glass and explained that the next song was about never giving up. He explained that sometimes we wake up in the morning and don’t know how to go on with the day. Matt said that he goes through anxiety and depression and that we all go through it. He said it’s never too late to turn it around if you know someone is struggling.
Then he asked the crowd if they had a lighter or flash on their phone and said to hold it up so he could see it. After that song, he thanked the crowd and asked if they wanted more! He helped the crowd with the next song by saying to repeat after him. When he said Riot, he wanted the crowd to copy him since it was the name of the next song. Three Days Grace’s album Explosions came out last year, and I highly recommend listening to it! Their song So-Called Life has 42 million plays on Spotify already!
Shinedown came out next, which is a multi-platinum rock band. They have over 5 million monthly listeners on Spotify, and you or someone you know has heard of them before. Shinedown is known for its elaborate tour setups, and I overheard many fans talking about how excited they were to see this tour’s production. Before Shinedown came out, they first had two substantial vertical screens playing videos. To put it into perspective, these screens were at least five times as tall as me. Their production always amazes me because it is unique, bright, and loud to get the crowd’s attention. Their set included but was not limited to fire, fireworks, sparklers, and even a piano that came down from the ceiling! Before the band came out, the video stopped playing, smoke formed, and they walked out between the two giant screens! The crowd exploded with noise and clapping since they were as surprised as I was with their unique entrance. I have attended concerts my entire life and have never seen anything like it!
After playing several songs, the lead singer Brent asked the crowd to put their phone lights on or hold a lighter. He thanked the crowd and said that everyone looked amazing. He said we would go back a little way and asked if the crowd had ever heard of the album The Sound of Madness. The crowd erupted, and Brent joked that a few of us had. This is one of their older albums from 2008 and has multiple songs with over 100 million plays on Spotify! For the next song, he told everyone to hold the person they love if they were with them. He said that the first few songs were a warm-up and asked if everyone brought their singing voices with them.
The song If You Only Knew came on, and these cool bright light bars came down from the ceiling for it! The stage floor even had spotlights underneath it that lit up the band as Shinedown played. At one point in the song, Brent even goes up on the drummer Barry’s platform to sing to him. Brent told the crowd that they sounded fantastic and thanked them again for coming out to see them play. State of My Head came on next, and all of the lights in the entire arena turned red, along with red fireworks, which was cool because a line in the song even says, “all my eyes are seeing red.” Shinedown takes a lot of time to plan the lighting, sounds, and effects during their tours, and it shows.
After Shinedown played Enemies, Brent said for Connecticut’s people to listen up. He said that if you aren’t happy, no one is happy. He explained that he would count to three and then wanted to see everyone in the arena jump. He clarified that he wanted them to do a big jump, not a little one. Brent explained that he wanted to introduce us properly to the Revolutions Live Tour of 2023. He said that it wasn’t a library or funeral. It’s rock and roll in 2023, and the whole place better get up on its feet. He said if the crowd didn’t get on their feet, this wouldn’t work. Following the song, he introduced each band member to the crowd.
Brent did a great job of addressing the crowd multiple times throughout their set. This is what makes concerts so unique to me. We can always listen to the songs at home, but the heart-to-heart conversations from the band can only be heard when you see them live. He said that everyone may not have noticed it when they walked in the door but that no matter what, we were all given a gift to be at the concert together. He reassured the crowd that everyone is a work in progress and that sometimes it’s as simple as A Sypmtom of Being Human, which was the name of the next song. The band posted a video where Brent was asked which song makes him the most emotional to sing on tour, and he said it was this one. You could feel the emotions throughout the entire arena; I even saw a fan in the same row as me start to cry because they could relate to the lyrics. A waterfall of fireworks came down from the ceiling, along with the piano, for the song’s end. Brent reminded the crowd that they sounded magnificent!
For the next song, Sound of Madness, he asked the crowd to make a fist and put it in the air. This is another crowd favorite, and the entire arena was pumping their fists into the air in sync. As they continued to pump their fists, fire came up from the stage at the same beat as the fist-pumping, which was very cool! Before the next song Planet Zero, which their most recent album is named after, Shinedown asked the crowd to clap their hands.
Brent said that next month on May 27th, it would be the 20th anniversary of their debut album, Leave a Whisper. He said he appreciated that Connecticut has been with Shinedown since day one and thanked the crowd. Brent praised the crowd and said it was one of the loudest audiences Shinedown has had in the past 20 years. For the next song, he said we were returning to 2003 with a song called 45. This is one of my favorites; the crowd sang most of it since they were singing so loud. Next came the song Devil along with many fireworks and loud bangs.
Before playing Second Chance, a recording played from when Second Chance was the number one song in the US for the third week in a row. He said that our stop was the first-weekend show of the tour, and it felt like it. It was nice that it wasn’t during the week, and my dad and I could relax and didn’t feel rushed to leave right away. He thanked the crowd for supporting rock and roll. Shinedown played an Oasis cover song called Don’t Look Back in Anger next. After that, it was a mix of Daylight and Get Up combined. This was a unique way to play the two songs together. First, Brent started by laying down on the piano to the slower tempo song Daylight. Then after a little bit, he got off the piano and started to sing Get Up to lift the crowd’s energy back up.
Next, Shinedown played Simple Man, a popular Lynyrd Skynyrd song. He told the crowd he needed everything they got for this song. The second to last song they played was Monsters, another crowd favorite. The lights dimmed, then turned green, and you could hear recordings of maniacal laughing in the background. The crowd went wild because they knew what time it was! Their set ended with Cut the Cord, which is another popular song. It ended with big bangs and fireworks. This is a concert that I will never forget, just like the rest of Shinedown’s concerts! I highly recommend seeing them on this tour to see what all the hype is about!