As I entered Cardiff tonight, it is about the magic that Shinedown will bring on their return here, headlining for the first time at the Cardiff International Arena. Their tour of mainland Europe was cancelled, except for the UK, so we are feeling very lucky and privileged to attend tonight.
Shinedown – Cardiff International Arena – 26 November 2022
Words: Jade Colvin
Photography: Georgia Brittain
The CIA (Cardiff International Arena) is the capital’s largest venue apart from its stadiums. A capacity of 7,500 were ready for tonight’s triple bill.
Two screens were joined together on stage now. 2019 flashed up, with a story playing on the screens of the pandemic, quickly followed by 584 Days Later with Shinedown on the road. Cheers roared from the crowd, then music, guitars hitting first, then a loud bang of fireworks, explosions and pyrotechnics, jolting you upright.
The crowd were singing along from the get-go to The Saints Of Violence And Innuendo. Next up were Devil and America Burning, with red lights and red lightning shooting across the screen and stage.
In between, in the darkness, you hear a voice creepily dragging out a whisper, probing the crowd, “We can’t hear you.” It wasn’t until after the third song Brent Smith introduced the rest of the band. He raises his hand, waving it about chest level and says, “we’ve got you about here,” hinting for more as they perform more hits.
Wearing a black suit with the Planet Zero album cover on his back, Smith is the epitome of cool. The rest of the band have their own styles, too, dreadlocks and checked trousers.
Back to bantering with the crowd, “we know where the loudest voices are. They are 1000% in Cardiff,” and I don’t think a single person didn’t scream. They all looked like they were having a great time on stage, thoroughly enjoying what they do. Drummer Barry Kerch is on his feet at times, striking the drums hard.
I was fascinated by Brent’s swagger, so confident in his actions. He moved up the ramp to the drummer or down the steps with such ease. Confidence oozed just from how he sauntered from one place to another, and I was mesmerised.
It wasn’t all new album, Planet Zero, though. It was a lengthy set filled with past and present hits, such as Enemies, Monsters, Cut The Cord, and of course, Second Chance. With surprises thrown in like Dysfunctional You, Cardiff was the first audience to hear this live. What a treat!
Acoustic guitars were incoming! From one side of the stage to the other, a string of acoustic songs slowed the evening down. But to watch how talented they were, Eric (bassist) switched from bass to acoustic guitar, keyboard to piano. Then a cover of Oasis, Don’t Look Back In Anger, followed by their famous take on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man.
There was a speech, and the tone that was set was positivity, inclusiveness, to not give up, fight for your dreams, and that you are not alone. It was very inspirational and emotional. Everyone should hear it. I love that we can all relate to music, and when you’re on a platform as big as this, with the influence Shinedown have, to send out such uplifting messages of hope, reaching so many, we can’t even comprehend how many people that will reach and how many lives that will touch. It is just incredible and admirable.
Everyone put their phones/lighters in the air, lighting the CIA up to mimic the stars. It was unbelievably bright and heart-warming, listening to soothing strings.
Unfortunately, this beautiful night had to come to an end, but Shinedown ended big with Sound of Madness. Everyone was dancing to these rock giants almost twenty years since their debut album.
Shinedown finished on positivity, hope, love, smiles and, of course, how they started this night with ear-popping fireworks! What a night.
To read the Asking Alexandria and Zero 9:36 report, visit https://www.metaltalk.net/asking-alexandria-and-zero-936-show-cardiff-there-is-nothing-quite-like-live-music.php