Stephanie Sokol for The Oakland Press
Shinedown lead vocalist Brent Smith was a commanding presence Tuesday night, Aug. 27, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, uniting the crowd through both song and story during the fourth annual Carnival of Madness tour.
The group headlined this year’s lineup, which also included Papa Roach, Skillet, We As Human and In This Moment.
We As Human, from Nashville, started the show with a five-song set that included a new song, “Zombie,” which was co-written by Skillet’s John Cooper, and “I Stand,” which frontman Justin Cordle dedicated to U.S. armed forces personnel.
In This Moment followed, with flamboyantly dressed and emotive lead singer Maria Brink leading the group through a six-song set that featured tracks “Rise With Me” and “Adrenaline,” closing with “Blood.”
Its members clad in black, Skillet turned in an energetic 70-minute, 11-song set, encouraging fans to throw their hands in the air during “Sick of It” and finishing with “Rebirthing.”
Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix, meanwhile, asked the rhetorical question, “Do we have any old-school Papa Roach fans in this (expletive)?!” as the group charged through its own 12-song, 55-minute performance. Shaddix got up close and personal with those fans, too, running into the audience during “Give Me Back My Life.”
The best was saved for last, however, as Shinedown opened its pyrotechnic-accented 14-song, 90-minute set with “I’m Not Alright,” bringing a bit of carnival-style madness with dancing carnies and the band members’ carnival-style stagewear.
Tapping into Shinedown’s faith-based roots, Smith asked fans to introduce themselves to each other and paid tribute to the group’s following, telling them they were the bosses — and then seeking to please with performances of “Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom),” “If You Only Knew” and other numbers that turned into singalongs.
Shinedown slowed it down with an emotional performance “Simple Man” dedicated to bassist Eric Bass, who lost his dog of 11 years earlier that day, and ended the show with an inspiring performance of “Bully,” telling the audience to be themselves and not let others get them down.
On Tuesday, Shinedown certainly lived up to its end of that bargain.