Shinedown - The Revolutions Live Tour/ 98.9 The Bear Birthday Bash on 04/27/23
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana
Photos by Laura Fox
Review by Dave Fox
It’s no secret that my wife is a huge Shinedown fan. They’re one of my favorite bands, too, but she’s a little nutso about them. In fact, she was so jealous when our daughter was in the photo pit when Shinedown played at the The Bear’s Birthday Bash in 2016 that she decided to get into concert photography, too.
So we’ve been to a lot of Shinedown shows over the years. They’ve all been great, but some have been better than others. This year’s sold-out show for The Bear’s Birthday Bash was one of the best so far. (The very best was when we got to be backstage, but that’s another story.)
What made this show so good? Mainly the energy, the pyro, and Zach Myers. Also some other stuff (see below).
Energy: We’ve noticed through the years that both the band and the audience have matured. That’s not to say that we’re all getting old or mellow, but maybe wiser and a little more sophisticated. The music is deeper and more complex, and while the onstage energy is definitely intense, it’s also more controlled. There’s more positivity and less raw anger. Laura was happy to note that Brent didn’t encourage any moshing this time; there were quite a few kids in the pit and that could have ended badly.
Pyro: Shinedown’s pyrotechnics are legendary. So is their light show. They didn’t have the lasers this time, but they used giant LED screens in the background. I honestly was too busy watching the band to really watch the screens, but the pyro got my attention. As always, it was perfectly timed and dramatic AF. Toward the end of the set, the gently falling shower of sparks during “Symptom of Being Human” was brilliant and beautiful.
Zach Myers: I’m not on social media, but Laura says he’s as open and honest as he is talented. During last night’s set, you could see some of that as he joked around with the band and audience. In the past he never had much to say, other than replying to Brent’s comments, so it was cool to see him come out of his shell (and he did a great job).
Intro: Just before they took the stage, footage of the tour and behind the sceens played on the giant LED screens, causing the fans to cheer. Then the screen parted and you could see Zach Myers (guitar), Brent Smith (lead vocals), Barry Kerch (percussion) and Eric Bass (bass, keys) walking toward the front of the stage. The crowd went absolutely nuts when they stopped and waved. It was cool to see the four of them together, especially since Barry is always way at the back of the stage. Then they took their places and immediately jumped into “Diamond Eyes,” starting off the set hard and heavy.
Mental Health Message: Shinedown has been at the forefront of promoting mental health for long time. Many of their songs express the emotions we all feel but are sometimes afraid to express. They’re also about acceptance and unity. Tonight’s show and messages were about all those things, and especially about suicide prevention. They’re donating a dollar from each ticket sale for the entire “Revolutions Live” tour to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Brent announced that so far they’ve raised over $150,000.
Fort Wayne Connection: Shinedown probably could’ve sold out a larger venue in Indianapolis, but they have strong ties in Fort Wayne and radio station 98.9 The Bear. Several times throughout the set Brent mentioned their connection to the city and their love for Indiana in general. This further endeared them to the fans in the crowd.
The Revolutions Live Tour, with support from Three Days Grace and From Ashes to New, continues in the US through July. Shinedown are also playing at several major festivals. Here’s a link for all things Shinedown, including tour dates: