Madison rattled by Shinedown, Three Days Grace, & P.O.D.

The increasing popularity of double headliner tours has been generating some interesting parings over the past few years. Touring costs have gone up and the record industry isn’t what it once was, so artists have to improvise.

Double headliners can be tricky though. Put the wrong act before the other and you’ll have fans leaving before the show is over. Pair two bands that don’t compliment one another and, well, you get the idea. It’s tough, but often promoters hit the nail right on the head.

Shinedown and Three Days Grace are similar in genre, but differ when it comes to style. Three Days Grace has a bit more glam and Shinedown, a little more class, though they cross when it comes to connecting with fans through rock n roll.

Opening for the double headlining powerhouses was P.O.D. Although they’ve been around for years, P.O.D. wasn’t welcomed by much of the crowd and had a tough time getting them going. Despite the crowd’s cold shoulder, P.O.D.’s thick skin allowed them to rock on for the fans who did show interest.

Towards the end of their set vocalist Sonny Sandoval boasted about P.O.D.’s twenty years of music, and celebrated with new singles in addition to old hits, “Boom” and “Youth Of The Nation”, songs that define P.O.D.’s nu metal style. Sonny and the band left with smiles on their faces without worry about the unresponsive crowd.

Three Days Grace overcame a major speed bump in the past month. With long time vocalist Adam Gontier’s sudden departure from the band, Three Days Grace was tasked with finding a vocalist for the upcoming tour with Shinedown, and will also be tested when it comes to finding a permanent replacement. Surely there are some fans questioning the future of this widely popular band.

Fortunately, bassist Brad Walst’s brother Matt Walst of My Darkest Days accepted the challenge of touring as their lead vocalist. Three weeks to learn a catalog of songs is no easy task, but Matt Walst has somehow managed to do it.

“Some people like to drag this band’s name through the mud,” Walst stated early on in the set, possibly hinting at other troubles that may have lead to Gontier’s departure.

Matt Walst was fantastic. He fits right in with his brother and the rest of the guys of Three Days Grace. Belting out the signature vocals that Adam Gontier coined with Three Days Grace wasn’t an issue and Walst was great with improvising and interacting with the fans.

“C’mon it’s Saturday fuc*in’ night!” Walst yelled to the crowd’s enjoyment.

Three Days Grace drummer Neil Sanderson also blasted out a killer drum solo loaded with pyro.

Towards the end, fans were getting antsy for the band’s smash hit “Riot” prompting “we’ll get there” from a grinning Barry Stock. He then proceded to invite Shawn Hamm up to join Three Days Grace in a cover of Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff”.

Shinedown had a high bar to hit after Three Days Grace. Knowingly so, they brought out some massive stage additions along with some firepower of their own.

Drummer Barry Kerch kicked off Shinedown’s set, taking the stage as Brent, Zach, and Eric snuck out to a mini-stage at the soundboard.

You could say that fans were largely confused when they heard the whole band playing, but only saw Barry on drums. It took most of the people at ground level to figure it out, but eventually many people, including photographers, charged over to the soundboard to check it out.

Midway through the first song, the three stopped and ran up on the main stage to finish.

All three sported similar suits and vocalist Brent Smith’s new clean-cut look drew a lot of attention. He lost the ponytail and went after a slicked over style that really suits him. It’s quite a change from his Ozzyish look that’s evolved from a few years ago.

I’m not the biggest fan of Shinedown or this style of music, but all I could think was “wow”. They played their hearts out and without any sort of hick-up. Since their last Eagles Ballroom show and Rock USA performance they’ve excelled a lot.

Zach shredding on the guitars and Eric thrashing around on the bass matches the kind of energy we see time after time out of Brent and his amazingly powerful vocals. There’s just so much fullness and respectability there now.

Brent enjoyed seeing the amount of hands that went up when he asked who’s first Shinedown show this was. “That means we’re evolving, that means you’re evolving”. “Rock n roll brings us together”.

The show really takes off when Shinedown brings out “Diamond Eyes”. The chant, the fists, and the power that emits from that hit is electrifying.

Shinedown eventually made it back out to the soundboard for an acoustic version of “Simple Man” and ending with their more recent single, “Bully” off 2012’s Amaryllis. 

Shinedown

Enemies – Devour – Unity – Crow and the Butterfly – Save Me – I’ll Follow You – Diamond Eyes – If You Only Knew – Amaryllis – 45 – Sound of Madness – Second Chance – Simple Man – Bully

Three Days Grace

Chalk – Just Like You – Pain – Home – High Road – Get Out Alive – Break – Good Life – Drum Solo – Misery – World So Cold – Hate – Animal – Never Too Late – Break Stuff – Riot

P.O.D.

Lost In Forever – Boom – Set It Off – Murdered Love – Southtown – Higher – Youth Of The Nation – Alive

 

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