Shinedown returns to bethlehem after 10 years
After well over a year since initially announced Shinedown finally made their return to Bethlehem with their headlining performance at Musikfest on Monday, August 9. The crowd was near to full capacity as the band’s Bethlehem return was it’s first since the ‘Sound of Madness’ tour in 2010 at Lehigh University’s Stabler Arena. During the past decade Shinedown has gone on to sell 10 million records, release 23 singles that have all charted in the top 5 and as of last year was ranked #1 by Billboard on the Greatest of All Time Mainstreams Rock Artists.
Musikfest’s diverse line up has long been known to include a rock or metal show (sometimes both) but few in recent years can be considered as strong of a booking as Shinedown was for the initial 2020 line up. Notably last year’s festival didn’t occur during the pandemic and the band was among the first confirm to be returning for 2021. During this time lead singer Brent Smith and Zach Myers hit the road for a solo acoustic tour at pandemic safe drive in concerts while promoting a double album the duo produced during their new found time off. In typical Shinedown fashion the majority of those shows sold out as well, a trend for all things Smith & Myers collaborate on.
Shinedown hit the stage promptly before 9PM as they kicked off a heavier than usual set with the echoing guitar riffs of “Cut the Cord” blasting out across the city of Bethlehem. With so many radio successful songs, popular deep cuts and overall singles crafting a setlist at their point in their career is no easy task. The band quickly shifted into “Unity” off their fourth album ‘Amaryllis” before ending the first salvo of songs with an early track from their career “shed the light.”
Across 18 songs Shinedown showcased strongly why they are the #1 ranked band according to Billboard. Their success is directly tired to their talents as musicians and while radio success is important none of that would be possible without their raw talent. There are no singers in live rock touring who are as technically sound as Brent Smith vocally. From start to finish he demonstrated a level of vocal control that just doesn’t exist within the rock touring scene outside of Shinedown. From the heavy screams of “Bully” and “Monster” to the ballads of “I’ll Follow You” and “45” Smith’s vocals carried an already strong performance to even higher heights.
Hopefully the city of Bethlehem won’t have to wait another 10 years for Shinedown’s return, given what the band has accomplished in the past decade one can only imagine where they will be in that time. It is safe to bet that they’ll still be the #1 rockband in the world and even safer to bet that Musikfest will still be drawing massive crowds downtown.