Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Story is Just Beginning

Finally some reprieve from the drama of my day to day struggles. I've mentioned the power of concerts before to you... if you don't remember, then scroll down. But to sum it up, the energy of concerts has this magical way of revitalizing me. When things get shitty (and trust me they do) or out of control I take some of it back by going to a show. Not just any show mind you. Bands that I love. Thank God Shinedown just toured here this week and saved my life, again.

I don't mean to sound dramatic, but I seriously haven't smiled that much and felt such a rush in a long time. Not to say my life is so horrible; it isn't. But it did need to get put into perspective again.

So anyway, the show. The Carnival of Madness is the name of the tour and it features 10 Years, Sevendust, Puddle of Mudd, Chevelle and SHINEDOWN!!!!!!! We missed the first two bands because I had to teach in Woodbridge and then got caught on 495 in epic amounts of traffic. My B.

But by the time we got there PoM was starting up. It was an instant sauna. The temp was around 90 but with the 10k fans there all smashed together it felt like 110. Kris and I were doing all we could to not pass out from heat exhaustion. But trust me, it was totally worth it.

A few notes on Shinedown
Whether or not you listen to this band I feel as though I should give them props separate from their musical ability. First of all, they are the most fan-centric band I've ever seen. Everything they do on tour or on their websites/Twitter etc is for their fan base. They have the innate understanding that we (the "family") control their success. We buy the records and tickets to shows. We join the Nation and request them on the radio. Thus, they give a lot of control to their fans. We even got to submit ideas for the set list (which a few of my choices made it on there. TY BRENT!). Second, they are entertainers. They put on a show worth watching. So even if you don't know all the songs (psh, seriously!?) you can still be thoroughly entranced by their stage presence.

Musically, they are one of my all time favorite bands. It's the type of music I'm into (modern rock like 3 Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, Crossfade, Seether, Red etc) and there is something for every mood I'm in. Aside from that, the lyrics are simply amazing... I need to find a better word for that but I'm struggling here. I just woke up. Shinedown lyrics have had the ability to make me smile, laugh, cry and scream since day one back in 2003. I first started listening to them when my parents were divorcing and found catharsis in Leave a Whisper. When the stress of college and the faltering of relationships weighed down on me I had Us and Them on my iPod Nano (those were the days lol). After riding off the trauma of a horrific breakup and moving to a new place with such high hopes for my future (that I've since had to rethink) I was needing some solace. So now for the past two years I have had Sound of Madness on my iPod Touch and iTunes and in my Jeep cd player almost nonstop. I have to give a lot of credit to Kristen (my roomie) for getting me back into them as much as I used to be. There was a time when I was digging back through my old bands and listening to their newer stuff. And while I knew every song on SoM, after 6 months I put it away for a while. Then Kris put "Call Me" on a burned cd we listened to when we carpooled to work. I was in love again. Rekindling the romance took about a hot second. I pulled Sound of Madness back out of my cd holder and started up the love affair again. This year I saw that they were opening for Breaking Benjamin and Nickelback... SWEET! Kris and I went and I had the time of my life (I already posted on this). However, their set was sooo short. :( So I did some research and joined their fan club - Shinedown Nation to see when they would actually headline.

This summer was my ticket. Shinedown started up Carnival of Madness and are currently touring all over the US ending in late August in Wyoming (I think). Then they are touring again (see a pattern?) this fall and will be in York, PA which I am totally there!

Brent (the lead singer) talks to the audience a lot throughout. Before he started "Save Me" he asked us if we had ever been in a situation where our power was taken from us by something or someone. Kris and I just looked at each other. Once again it hit home. Brent then demanded (not asked) that we take that power back and not ever let that thing or person have control again. If you keep fighting it then you've won. Put lots of things back in perspective. So thank you (like he'd ever read this). :)

If you have not listened to SD much please give it a whirl. If you know you are not a fan I challenge you to find lyrics you relate to. Maybe it's too hard rock for you... if so, download their iTunes sessions which are acoustically aimed. I am promoting them so much because I owe a lot to how this band makes me feel. Brent, Eric, Zach and Barry are such talents and so eager to be a part of their fans lives.

I don't mean this post a propaganda and I hope you have seen my point. Much like my roommate, closest friends, family and role models, this band has had a part in keeping me sane and offering me a way to let go of all the pain and setbacks that life tends to have in store. I hope that you will find a band or artist that can do the same... you never know, it could be Shinedown. :)

Setlist for Carnival of Madness, Columbia, MD (not in order):
Sound of Madness
I Dare You
Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide
If You Only Knew (FAVORITE!)
Diamond Eyes
Son of Sam
Fly From the Inside
Save Me
What a Shame
Her Name is Alice
The Crow and the Butterfly
Simple Man
Second Chance
... and I know I'm missing one in the middle and hell if I can remember it. :(

"Even in madness I know you still believe. Paint me on canvas so I'll become, what you could never be. I dare you to tell me to walk through fire. Wear my soul and call me a liar. I dare you to tell me, I dare you to"



James said...

I totally get what you're saying. I have several bands that fit that bill. There's a quote by Billy Joel that I like. "I think music in itself is healing." Shinedown's work ethic and fan connection is definitely the key to their success.

Anonymous said...

lcgodfrey said...

I know exactly what you mean. The lyrics seem to be written for various situations in my life. I am a 49 year old mother of 2 sons, married for 27 years to the same man, a child of divorce, alcoholism in my family, one of my sons nearly died from a traumatic brain injury, a high school business education teacher, and I absolutely love Shinedown. The first song I heard was Breaking Inside, and I knew I had to get that CD. Since then, I have loaded my iPod with everything Shinedown--all the albums, pull mixes, bonus tracts, etc. Brent's voice just soothes me and lowers my blood pressure instantly. I saw them in concert Sept. 2009 and got to meet Brent, Barry, Eric, and Zach. I was impressed with how very sincere they were. I am going to another concert Aug. 10. My husband likes them as well, but my 24 year old son thinks I'm a little crazy. I probably am, but listening to Shinedown keeps me sane.

LaKesha said...

You know I'm with you. I see Dave several times a year because he is a saving grace. His music has gotten me through many, many bad situations and I need that in my life. His words speak to me like nothing else, and that doesn't mean to say it picks me up or makes me happy. It does at times; but, it also lets me grieve. Music IS healing. I'm glad you had a good time;)