Shinedown at Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT – April 16, 2022

Shinedown is preparing to release their 7th album, Planet Zero. It was actually supposed to be released next week, but due to manufacturing delays, it will now be out July 1st. In the meantime, they’re heading around the country with Diamante and The Pretty Reckless on The Revolution is Live tour. On Saturday night, they pulled into Mohegan Sun Arena, and let loose on their brand new stage production.

Diamante

When Diamante walks on stage, she grabs your attention. When we last saw her in 2019, she had striking blue hair, that you could see from across the arena. She now has a more subdued hair color, but came out in a sparkling suit that evokes memories of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” video.

Of course it’s not just about the looks, but the music. She’ll be self-releasing her second album, American Dream, on May 7, and she played two of the singles off it tonight. In addition to some songs off her first album, she also played a cover of “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls. She originally recorded this during the pandemic with Ben from Breaking Benjamin. No duet here though, just Diamante’s powerful voice carrying through the venue.

Diamante always puts on a great show, and they were the perfect way to kick off the evening.

The Pretty Reckless

One of the first things often mentioned about The Pretty Reckless is their singer, Taylor Momsen. Taylor started off as a child actress, having played Cindy Lou Who in the live action How the Grinch Stole Christmas, as well as Jenny on Gossip Girls. She has long since left acting behind, though, and her main focus is music. Taylor’s striking figure catches your attention as they kick into “Loud Love,” a Soundgarden song they first covered on Sirius XM a couple years ago. Taylor makes good use of the entire stage, playing their hits like “Death by Rock and Roll” and “Down Below.” The audience loved the band’s performance, who now left them ready for the main feature.

Shinedown

The light’s dimmed, and the Outkast song “B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)” played over the PA. I haven’t heard that song in nearly 20 years! Once the song ended, a video played on the two giant screens at the back of the stage. The video shows the last time the band played, in late 2019, followed by a montage showing what the world has been through, and then showing them loading into their first rehearsals in the Covid-era last summer. The video starts to glitch, and a robotic woman appears on the screen, named Cyren. From what we’ve heard, she’s a character who recurs throughout the Planet Zero album. As she finishes speaking, the Planet Zero logo appears on the two screens, which then start to slide apart. The four backlit members of Shinedown emerge, and make their way down the catwalk.

To call this a stage with a catwalk is not really the best description of the show. This whole production was designed by guitarist Zach Myers, and it’s basically all catwalk, no stage. Rather than going horizontally across the back of the arena, it stretches out across the middle of the floor. It kind of straddles the line between an in-the-round stage and a big catwalk.

As the band proceeds forward, so does a drum riser. The band reaches the end of the stage, and spotlights hit them. Eric, Barry, Brent and Zach greet the crowd, before Barry runs back to the drum riser, and techs bring guitars to Eric and Zach. The kick into their most recently released song, “The Saints of Violence and Innuendo.” Kicking off with some fireworks, the band did a great job of keeping all the sides of the stage entertained, running around from corner to corner. This song was the first of many to feature giant blasts of pyrotechnic flames all around the stage. I’ve been close to some stages with big flames before, but these were definitely the largest that I’ve been this close to. Believe me, it was HOT.

In addition to “Saints,” they also played the first single off Planet Zero, the title track, as well as an unreleased song which singer Brent Smith confirmed will be the official second single, “Daylight.” This one was a piano based ballad, similar in vein to “Get Up,” off of their previous album.

Shinedown has always struck a good balance of rocking tunes vs ballads, and both had their share tonight. Ballads like “Unity” and “Call Me” were great, while songs like “Cut the Cord,” “Enemies” and “Devil” had the crowd jumping around.

From start to finish, it was a powerful set. After a short run of acoustic songs, including Zach and Eric singing lead on a cover of Foo Fighters’ “Wheels,” dedicated to late drummer Taylor Hawkins, and of course “Simple Man,” the band closed out the show with “Sound of Madness.” And as Brent always reminds us at the end, “It’s never goodbye, it’s just ’till next time.” After two and a half years, it was great to have a full-blown Shinedown live show. The Revolution is Live tour runs until early May, while the Planet Zero World Tour will be hitting amphitheaters late summer/early fall.

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