Friday, May 14, 2010

Shinedown and vanilla, an unfortunate combination.

Last night after happy hour I went to the Ogden Theatre for the Shinedown and Sick Puppies show. Unfortunately, I arrived too late and missed Sick Puppies. I wanted to see them, and I’m sure they performed well; they’re up and coming, so I would expect such a band to put forth their best effort.

I got to the show a song or two into Shinedown’s set. As soon as I walked through the door after getting my ID checked I knew it wasn’t going to be a great show. I walked up to the front, tried to find my friend but couldn’t, and found a place to watch the show not too far from the stage. I stood there and listened as Brent and the band sang their usual songs and played their usual music. Their usual music… It was the same music I had listened to all day at work in preparation for the show. Except while at work the quality was much better.

I stood and listened to 3 songs. I watched the band on stage put on their usual, normal show… the same show they put on the last time they were in town after their recent album release, last year. The same carnival-talking-in-between-songs-in-that-carnival-host-kind-of-voice show. Yes, it was old. And no, it wasn’t fun anymore. At that point I realized that this show was not for me. It was a plain vanilla rock show performed by a plain vanilla rock band.

I then did something that I’ve never done in my life. Probably because I enjoy most music and appreciate live performance, and live music of most kinds tend to be tolerable even if you don’t listen to that music in your daily life. It also helps when the performance is an event – a show where the crowd is in it and the vibe is in the air.

Last night was not one of those nights. Last night I walked out on a show.

Of course, Facebook and Twitter heard a comment or two about it… and of course I had responses of surprise from those who weren’t there. I also had a response from my friend who was there, that “they were REALLY good… [and] what I saw of Sick Puppies was awesome.” I appreciate her opinion, and I’ll just leave it at that.

So, what do I have to say to Shinedown? Take some time off from the road, get back in the studio, write some new music, get a new gimmick, and come back when you’re fresh and ready to really rock the crowd. You probably need it, and you probably know that. So, please, do yourselves a favor and take a break. Come back when you’re ready for another tour. I’ll be there when you’re in town.


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