Shinedown showed their softer side Monday night, bringing their “Anything and Everything Tour” to The Egg in Albany for an intimate acoustic show. The notorious, alternative, post-grunge band unplugged from their usual high-wattage performance, and took the time to explain the meaning of each song. They even took questions from eager audience members.
With the band dressed in sharp suits and ties, singer Brent Smith crooned to a sold-out audience with crowd favorites like “Save Me,” “Devour,” “Shed Some Light” and “Sound of Madness,” which quickly brought the house to its feet.
Smith’s storytelling tone swung dramatically from bar-room buddy to Sunday school teacher, but the adoring crowd didn’t seem to mind the sometimes drawn-out explanations, hanging quietly on every word. “45” was a favorite, with Smith explaining how there was initially a lot of drama when the song was released, but he clarified that the song was, in fact, not written about a gun, but about “the world.” He then launched into a personal story about a friend who had attempted suicide, but how ultimately “the will to live will always out-weigh the ability to die.”
When it came time for the question and answer section, a pre-selected radio winner wanted to know what bands had influenced Shinedown’s members. Their answers ranged widely from Poison and Elvis to Jimi Hendrix, Iron Maiden and of course, Metallica.
Highlights included a dynamic cover of the Foo Fighters’ “Times Like These.” Opener Will Hoge and band also came out to join them for “With A Little Help From My Friends” and “Call Me,” which was beautiful and bare with Smith’s smooth vocals and Eric Bass on keyboards and harmony.
Saving the best for (almost) last was the much anticipated “Simple Man”, their version of the Lynyrd Skynyrd favorite that helped launch Shinedown to fame back in 2003, and then rounded up the night with the popular “Second Chance.”
It was overheard that many local rockers had never actually been inside the famed Albany hall before, and many were seen wandering around wondering how to get into the actual seating area of the venue. But at the end of the night the crowd was not disappointed, proving that you can take the rockers out of the bar and into more intimate and formal setting, but they will still find a way to fist-pump, holler and rock n’ roll.
Opener Will Hoge complimented Shinedown’s show nicely with his country-blues voice straight outta Nashville, as he delivered such tunes as “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” “Lover Tonight” and “Someone Else’s Baby.” The whole band went serenading into the audience on the last song, “The Highway’s Home,” to the delight of the fifth row. And the crowd erupted loudly with a surprising standing ovation, showing that he was obviously a perfect pick for the special night.
Review and photographs by Lindsay Malachowski