Smith & Myers at Old National Centre 12/14/21
Eight years ago, I saw Smith & Myers at Pierre’s in Fort Wayne. It was their first tour as an acoustic duet, and I thought it was great. When I got to see them Tuesday night at The Egyptian Room at Old National Centre, it was even better. To sum it up, it was like hanging out in the living room with Brent Smith and Zach Myers (Shinedown’s lead singer and guitarist, in case you didn’t know) and a few thousand friends. The atmosphere was chill, the vibes were positive, and the music was outstanding.
The set consisted of Smith & Myers originals, covers of pop and rock hits, and Shinedown hits. Myers picks the setlist for each show and changes it up every time, so it was a surprise to Smith as well as the audience. My personal favorite was “I’ll Follow You” from Shinedown’s Amaryllis album; they played it live for first time at Pierre’s, and I was thrilled they played it again.Openers Zack Mack and J.D. Moore joined Smith and Myers onstage for several of the cover songs, adding depth with drums, keyboard, and additional guitar.
In between songs, Smith and Myers took time to banter with each other, tell stories about the songs, joke around with the audience, and talk about life in general. Although the mood was light for most of the evening, they did get serious when they talked about mental health. Smith took the opportunity to entreat the crowd to start speaking up about mental health issues, and reminded them that failure is okay, saying, “Your legacy will be built not by counting your failures but by how many times you get back up.” It was a wonderful segue to Shinedown’s “Get Up.”
The absolute high point of night was when they invited a boy named Tripp to the stage. Throughout the show he had been in the front row holding a sign up that said something to the effect of, “Please let me sing ‘Second Chance’ with you on stage.”Smith and Myers gave him a mic and lots of encouragement. The grade-schooler was very timid at first, but by the end of the song, he was belting out the chorus. Tripp, Brent, and Zach were beaming from ear to ear as the crowd cheered and applauded even louder than he had done all night. It was the feel-good moment of the show…and all of 2021, as far as I’m concerned.
The show ended with a fun rendition of Queen’s “Fat Bottom Girls” by Smith, Myers, Mack, and Moore. It was definitely “countrified,” which is something I would have a bit of a problem with, normally. But it was done so well and with such skill that I actually liked it a lot. Well played, boys, well played!
Here’s a link to Smith & Myers videos: