Tag Archives: Shinedown

Beautiful Tragedy


Last post, I whined about the high costs of going to see live music.

Let’s focus on the good.

The show itself was a lot of fun. New kids We as Human rocked out for four songs. I’ve been listening to them on SiriusXM Octane and recognized two of the four. Oh, sure, their sound was horrible, but that’s part of the rite of passage of being the new kids. That and the two inches of stage they were allotted. Lucky ducks. They got two. (cue Beavis and Butt-head laughter)

In This Moment played next, to a still empty pavilion that seemed not only unfamiliar with the band but also a bit befuddled. Musically, I think they were the most exciting on the bill. They’re doing things no one else has the guts to — but frontwoman Maria Brink looks brittle. Along with the tone change from last album to this, it looks like this poor woman has been through hell and back.

I’d love to have dinner with her.

Back to the show…

Between the knee braces and the way Maria hobbled off the stage for a costume change between each of their five songs (all from the new album. Bummer.), as well as the fact that she never moved, staying put on a platform and flanked by two barefoot, corseted dancers … well, it was bizarre. I expected that from Maria. I did. And I’m all for musical theater, too. But I didn’t expect the lack of showmanship from her band, nor would I have ever imagined that while she was off changing her coat, the band would turn their backs to the audience, almost as if we were only allowed to look on their faces when Maria was there to capture the spotlight and distract us from them.

Next time, Maria, wear the same outfit for more than one song and add Beautiful Tragedy into the set.

Papa Roach played next. Twenty year veterans of the scene, and it showed. They might have owned the best set of the night.

I can’t say the same for Skillet. While they are fabulous showmen (and I met their cellist when he was playing with local Rock Cello band Cello Fourte … and did I mention he used to work with a friend of mine?), their sound was muddied and bass-heavy. The top end got lost, particularly the vocal work by their guitarist. BIG disappointment. And Tate? Dude. I hope that’s not an addiction problem I’m seeing you with because the Tate I met, the one who worked with my friend, wouldn’t let himself turn into the slovenly onstage creature I almost didn’t recognize.

And finally, Shinedown. Ahh, Shinedown. The big draw of the night for me and my concert buddies. They were everything I expected and more — but like In This Moment, they took overly long breaks between every song. They also had long intros for each. Personally, I prefer it when a band flows from one song into the next. That’s when time stands still and all that matters is what’s happening on the stage. We, the audience, never leave the magic you are making.

Shinedown is a band who gets that magic, too. So why they interrupt it, I’ll never know. I wanted more of those moments when the concert buddies and I had our arms around each other and we swayed and sang. There’s your magic, right there. But it wasn’t enough.

Same thing that I told In This Moment: quit with the breaks and play another song. I’d have loved to hear a live version of My Name. That was my theme song for awhile there. It might still be.

And that finale? Powerful. Very powerful, and you’re hitting the exact right audience with the message, too. I loved it … except… the audience is so focused on the video screen and the story being told that the song got lost. Totally and completely. There’s got to be a better way to make the point, guys. You’ve got good people working for you. Put them on it.

All in all, it was a great night. We even jumped in line to meet We as Human and get the concert buddies some autographs. Nice group of guys, with great synergy. And they loved my pink ESP Explorer earrings.

I may have a new crush. I know my iTunes wishlist is groaning with the new additions to it.

But mostly, I realized I was wrong to stop going to see bands play live. That of all the things I gave up and sacrificed, this shouldn’t have been one of them. This is my lifeblood. Always has been and quite probably always will be.

I do need better concert buddies, though. And a few more bucks so I can afford those service charges and those inflated food prices.

But what I’ll give you for those nights out is more and better fiction. I promise.


I wanna see! I wanna see!


Back on July 18 came a headline in my music feeds: there’s a new clothing line. It’s called TatCo and it’s got the power of the guitarist from Saving Abel behind it.

Say what you will about Saving Abel, but Addicted never fails to crack me up. They’re a fun band. Not destined to be my favorite, but you guys know me. I have discriminating tastes.

Word of this new clothing line came with a list of stars who are helping launch it: Members of Buckcherry (okay) and Shinedown. Shinedown!

So. Rock-inspired clothes… yeah. You guys know where I like to spend my book royalties. Before I can, though, I need to go take a look.

Guess what? I’ve been trying ever since I read about TatCo to get in and take a look at the site and … no go.

I am very sad.

Let me know if you manage to connect, and if this is stuff you can see me wearing. Until then, hope springs eternal here at West of Mars… So eternal, we won’t talk about what a publicity gaffe this is…


From a Bully to a Book


It was just a few days ago (okay, a couple weeks now. Whatever) when I posted about Shinedown’s song, Bully.

Now I’ve got MORE Shinedown news (and no, it has nothing to do with my current lust for Brent Smith, which is really odd ’cause he’s not my type, which means it’s all about the lyrics, baby. Maybe I ought to take a page from Ginny and start self-uniting with some of these men. I’m allowed to dream, no?)


Shinedown. Books.

Yeah. That’s the topic of the day.

I pulled this one off Brave Words:

Mashable.com reports that Atlantic Records has taken an uncommon approach to using Apple’s iBooks Author — touted as a creation platform that will “reinvent the textbook” — by building an interactive eBook for SHINEDOWN\\\’ next album, Amaryllis.

The 75-page iPad ebook will be available March 27th, coinciding with the Amaryllis album release. The eBook visually tells the story of the multi-platinum rock band’s new songs, creative process and cover art.

Frontman Brent Smith says the eBook, titled For Your Sake: Inside The Making Of Shinedown’s Amaryllis, revives the complete album experience, which changed when CD booklets and liner notes became less prevalent.

Hmm. Think they’re past the editing stage? If not, if I promise not to self-unite, can I have the gig?


No one’s Gonna Cry on the Very Day You Die…


Yeah. Let’s talk the new Shinedown single.

I adore it.

Parts of it even remind me of King’s X. (Anyone else remember them?)

Anyway… here’s the deal. I’m surfing the music headlines over at Blabbermouth and one of them says “Shinedown Singer says Bully Does Not Condone Violence.”

Huh? What?

Okay. Clearly, I missed something here. That’s not terribly surprising, as I’ve been wrapped up in my own stuff over here.

Or… maybe I didn’t. I mean, isn’t part of the magic of a good song the way a listener can give it their own meaning?

And for me, Bully is more about eventuality. It’s about what’s going to happen in the long run. All you’ll ever be is a fading memory of a bully.

Here’s what Shinedown singer Brent Smith had to say, according to that news from Blabbermouth (link above if you missed it):

Brent Smith told The Pulse Of Radio that “Bully” does nothing of the kind. “I’m not condoning violence in this song,” he said. “What I’m condoning is survival. You want to be able to use your words in any situation, but the reality is, is that you have to make sure people realize that you think highly of yourself, and that you have self-respect and you have dignity. And the song is really about, if you push me, I will push you back, and if you hit me, I will hit you back.”

Yeah. Sorry, Brent. I totally missed it. Maybe it’s my age (perish the thought!) — maybe it’s the wisdom I’ve acquired over the past few years. I don’t know. All I know is that to me, it’s a song about biding your time and letting that bully turn out to be nothing more than a faded memory. While me, you, whoever… we go on to bigger and better.

Now that I’m watching the video, hearing all this… okay. I get it. It’s more immediate. I totally see what Brent’s saying. It IS a song about action.

But I still like my vision better. Payback doesn’t have to be automatic, boys and girls. In fact, sometimes, biding your time and waiting… makes it all the sweeter.

Your thoughts, gang?