Smith & Myers at the Worcester Palladium – December 8, 2021

Multi-platinum band Shinedown is known for putting on huge shows. Their frontman and guitar player, Brent Smith and Zach Myers, also have an occasional acoustic side project they like to record and tour with. Back in May, after over a year with no concerts, the first live show I got to see was Smith & Myers, up in New Hampshire. While it was great to hear live music, that still was not quite a “normal” show. The fairgrounds had previously be used for drive-in shows, while this spring they sold socially-distanced “pods” for you to enjoy the show with.

It’s fitting that as the year winds to a close, I again saw Smith & Myers, however this time was much more like the normal concert experience we’ve known for years.

Zack Mack and J.R. Moore

Zach Myers has another band that’s a side project of his, called AMMM, which stands for Allen Mack Myers and Moore, the four members last names. Opening the show tonight was Zack Mack and J.R. Moore, both members of AMMM. They quipped during their set that the only shows they had at merch were for the band AMMM, so no matter whose shirt you bought tonight, Zach Myers gets a cut!

This acoustic duo is extremely talented, playing a half hour set to get the crowd warmed up. Amongst all their originals, toward the end of the set they played a cover of The Eagles’ “Heartache Tonight,” which the crowd really loved.

In between acts, veteran WAAF DJ’s Mike Hsu and Mistress Carrie came out to talk to the crowd. Just before the pandemic hit last year, WAAF was sold by the station owner, and suddenly shut down, leaving a hole in Boston rock radio. Mike has since found a new home at The Pike, a Worcester area radio station, while Carrie has her own podcast. Mistress Carrie and WAAF were huge in breaking Shinedown’s career, a fact Brent always mentions when performing in Massachussetts, so it was certainly special to have them here tonight. Toward the end of their appearance, Carrie had everybody raise their drinks in a toast to Dimebag Darrell, who we lost 14 years ago that night.

Smith & Myers

Last year, Smith & Myers released a double album, consisting of Volume 1 and Volume 2. These albums featured 10 originals songs, as well as 10 covers of other artists. Add those 20 songs to the massive Shinedown catalog, as well as a few other covers, and these guys have a huge selection of songs to pick from for their setlist. For that reason, no two Smith & Myers shows are alike. A Shinedown tour features a lot of production, video, lighting, pyro, etc, so they can only change so much from night to night with their sets. On this tour, you see a huge variety in the songs they play. Throughout the night, they even had a few slots on their set where they wrote two songs down, and a gametime decision was made, either by Brent or by an audience vote.

The guys talk to the crowd a lot between songs, and you can tell they are generally having a great time. It makes for a very fun evening, full of great music.

The night began with a cover of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell,” followed by one of their originals, “New School Shiver.” They dedicated that song to how cold it was in New England, especially in the venue tonight.

Plenty of Shinedown songs made it into the set, with staples like “Sound of Madness,” “Second Chance” and “Get Up” being crowd favorites. There were also less frequently played Shinedown songs like “I Dare You” and “Misfits,” the later of which was a highlight of the night for me.

Another highlight was their cover of Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger.” This is a track on Volume 2 on which Zach sings the lead vocals, and it sounds incredible. He got the crowd pumped up before the song, and they were all singing along strong to the chorus.

Throughout the show, Zack Mack and J.R. Moore would occasionally join Smith & Myers on stage, to add additional accompaniment to their sound, with extra guitars, percussion, and vocals.

The day after this show, Smith & Myers canceled their show in Philadelphia. Brent had apparently been not feeling well for the last two days, (not Covid-19, he says) and there was no way he was going to be able to perform. This was a complete shock to me, as I thought his voice sounded incredible only 12 hours earlier. We wish him well, and hope they’re able to resume the tour soon!

Zach has said previously that this will be the last Smith & Myers tour for a while. If you follow Shinedown at all, you know they’ve been working on their 7th album, and as they mentioned during the show, the album is mixed and mastered. I expect very soon that we will get an announcement about said album, and Shinedown is going to be very busy on the road in 2022.

SETLIST

Rebel Yell
New School Shiver
She Talks to Angels
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
Valerie
I’ll Follow You
Get Up
I Dare You
Don’t Look Back in Anger
GBL GBD
Never Tear Us Apart
Misfits
Not Mad Enough
Waterfalls
Fat Bottomed Girls
Sound of Madness
Someone Like You
Bad at Love
Simple Man
Second Chance

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