Avalanche Tour hits Indy featuring Shinedown\’s much-anticipated return

\"\" by Reggie Edwards In 2007, Shinedown brought us Madness and topped it off with The Carnival of Madness Tour. Now they’re back with the beautiful masterpiece of Amaryllis, their latest record and they’re back on the road, headlining this year’s Avalanche Tour with Adelitas Way and New Medicine/ Escape the Fate. As if last year’s Avalanche Tour wasn’t a good enough show with Stone Sour, Halestorm, Skillet, Theory of a Deadman and more, this year’s lineup has been one for the ages (even though the lineup is significantly smaller). The Indianapolis stop of Avalanche Tour was no exception and I had the chance to catch this show. Minneapolis-based New Medicine started the show off and, let me tell you, if you want a good kick-off, these guys are the epitome of a party to start a show. The crowd was slow to get into it but New Medicine had them screaming, jumping and fist-pounding in almost no time at all. I had the chance to see New Meds last year on the Nightmare After Christmas Tour with Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour and Hollywood Undead and they put on a good show then, but there’s no doubt in my mind that New Meds have definitely come into their own since then. After everyone was amped up and ready to continue to rock, Adelitas Way came on and melted faces, playing “The Collapse,” “Scream,” “Hurt,” “Criticize,” their number one hit, “Sick” as well as their classic favorite, “Invincible.” \"\" The cool thing about Adelitas Way’s set was that they gave away some free stuff. I’ll put it how frontman Rick DeJesus did: not a t-shirt, not a CD, not a sticker…we’re talking a free guitar. They even hung out at the merch table to meet fans after the show. Adelitas Way put on one of the most energetic shows I’ve seen this year, with DeJesus jumping around the stage, crowd surfing and the band just destroying every ounce of solitude the building may have had left. Then it was time. Time for the headliner, the reason most of those in attendance came out to the Egyptian Room in Indianapolis- Shinedown’s triumphant return to the stage. The lights went down and the bass started pounding and resounding through the building. The lights started flashing from one end of the stage to the other. Then it hit- “The Sound of Madness” came booming out of the speakers and the crowd went insane…or mad, so to say. It didn’t stop there, as Shinedown went straight into “Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom),” and at this point you could barely hear the band as the crowd was singing at such a high volume. As you would expect, they played a number of songs from their newest record, Amaryllis, which was released not even two weeks before the show, but you would have thought the fans had known “Amaryllis,” “Nowhere Kids,” “Unity,” “Adrenaline” and “Bully” for years with how into it they were. After playing “.45,” the band left the stage for a short intermission before they returned for an epic four-song encore, kick-started with their latest radio smash-hit, “Bully,” which started with an audio recording of a group of children chanting the lines “we don’t have to take this back against the wall, we don’t have to take this, we can end it all,” from the song. Now, what I love about Shinedown is that they don’t just care about the money- they genuinely care about their fans and make it a point to show this and tell them. Before they played their amazing cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic “Simple Man,” frontman Brent Smith took a few minutes to talk to the fans. He told the jam-packed audience how much the band appreciates the fans because no matter what, Shinedown would not exist without the fans and that any band can tell the true music lovers by who comes out to a show on Monday and Tuesday nights. He went on to tell the fans that for the last year they’d been working on the follow-up to their 2007 record, The Sound of Madness, “which we toured on for almost three years,” Smith told the fans. “Then it seemed like rock and roll had taken a back seat for awhile. We, in Shinedown, think it’s time for rock and roll to make a comeback in the United States of America.” \"\" He also told the fans that most bands stand up on stage all serious but they couldn’t do that because they couldn’t stop smiling because of how amazing the Indianapolis crowd had been and thanked the crowd before continuing. With that, they went straight into a very intimate, two-person cover of “Simple Man,” which they followed Up with the final two songs of the evening- “Second Chance” and “Fly From the Inside,” the opening song from their first record (which I was personally very excited to see live). Before leaving the stage, frontman Brent Smith turned to the crowd and left with one simple statement, summarizing the entire night. “Oh yeah, and it feels great to be back,” Smith said with the biggest grin ever.