The Midlands Rocks
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Shinedown + Halestorm @ Rock City Nottingham – 9th February 2012

Review and pix by Mark ‘Tosh’ Davies

Shinedown have come a long way since I first discovered them on a holiday to Florida back in 2004. A support slot with Disturbed way back in October 2008 was the U.K’s first introduction and the rest as they say is history.

I followed the instructions and got there at the specified door time but much to my dismay had missed Liberty Lies, sorry chaps but I was looking forward to your set, maybe next time.

Next up was the aural or oral, whichever way you want to look at it, Lizzy Hale and her cohorts Halestorm. Lizzy has one hell of a voice; however, many will agree this is not what she is going to be primarily remembered for. Making the front row sticky with the drool of pubestant boys and men alike she is certainly eye candy for the flashing cameras hoping to get a ‘revealing’ shot. The music is pure hard rock and the sight of a gorgeous front woman in hold ups strapped to a guitar that can play the damn thing is a sight to behold. ‘I Get Off’, ‘Freak Like Me’ and a cover of Skid Row’s ‘Slave To the Grind’ were all delivered with true conviction. Going down a storm (no pun intended), they certainly made many new fans and on this performance have a bright future.

Shinedown on the other hand are old hats at this gig lark having toured extensively for years. Front man Brent Smith is leaner and looking like he’s got something to prove. New album ‘Amaryllis’ is recorded and ready to go and we don’t have to wait long for our first taste. Kicking off with ‘Sound Of Madness’ it’s then straight into the new material. ‘Enemies’ is heavy and weighty ‘Adrenaline’ pretty much follows the same formula and they are sure to become live favourites. Shinedown excel on having catchy radio friendly hits combined with the heavy presents of guitar and stunning vocals, this is a potent mix which is delivered right on the chin tonight. Rock City is crammed to the rafters; the energy is simply electrifying with the band feeding right off it with a stellar performance. With encores of ‘Bully’ and Skynyrds ‘Simple Man’ the night belongs to the audience who simply stun the band with their participation on ‘Second Chance’. Shinedown have forged a strong following in the U.K which I’m sure will grow with performances of this magnitude, arena’s await Brent and the boys…you have been warned!

Shinedown’s album, Amaryllis, is released 26th March 2012 on Roadrunner Records. Watch their video for ‘Bully’ below…

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