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10 out of 10
Shinedown are a new discovery for me. Sure, I've heard the name bounced around whilst travelling in the USA, but it never occurred to me to get involved with them until someone suggested the live review and my interest was immediately caught when I discovered they were the tour support for US metal giants Disturbed. So with that in mind, I trundled off to Carling Academy Birmingham to be confronted with one of the busiest venues I have ever seen and I was totally surprised that in amongst the sea of Disturbed tour shirts, a loyal Shinedown t-shirt following was present and obvious. It seemed that the rockers from Jacksonville, Florida, had brought some fans of their own for the night and this was going to be a night to remember.
The majority of the crowd though, including myself, were about to pop our collective Shinedown cherry and as the house lights went down and the first pounding rhythms kicked in, I was converted in seconds. Set highlights included the awesome anthem 'Devour' and the crowd pleaser '45' which triggered a true lighters-in-the-air-sing-along moment which sent a wave of shivers down the spine. We became lost in hefty grooves, sledgehammer riffs and mammoth melodies and by the time the too-short set was over, the sell out crowd had been truly won over.
In the end, Shinedown were the band of the night outclassing their more established heavyweight peers and despite the gig being over by 9:15pm (yeah, rock'n'roll Friday night in Birmingham) I was not the only one left gagging for more of the Shinedown set. Come back soon lads, there'll be a lot of more Shinedown tour shirts in the crowd next time.