Smith & Myers Deliver An Intimate and Powerful Performance
Smith & Myers Night 1 of 2 At New Jersey’s Starland Ballroom
2019 and rock ’n’ roll is alive an well, a sentiment that seems to have stirred controversy the past year or so. It’s a statement that singer Brent Smith and guitarist Zach Myers along with their bandmates in the highly successful rock outfit Shinedown (Atlantic Records) truly believe. If anyone knows this to be true, it is in fact Shinedown. The band isn’t successful because they do nothing, rather they are one of the hardest working bands on the planet. How’s that you ask?
Well, Brent Smith and Zach Myers have been on the road with their band Shinedown supporting the group’s latest album ATTENTION ATTENTION which was released in May of 2018 and their tour was one of the biggest tours of the Summer and in the Fall of 2018 that trend continued selling out shows in both the UK and Europe. When they’re not on tour with the full band, they appear in more intimate settings for shows billed as Smith & Myers, which finds the band performing acoustic versions of Shinedown’s hits as well as some amazing cover versions of your favorite songs. It’s the vocalist and guitarist’s way to not only keep things fresh and loose but also a chance to get up close and personal with fans. Something not easy to do when you play arenas which has become the norm for them.
Now in 2019, the band nor Brent and Zach have any plans of slowing down. They recently performed their hit song “Get Up” on Live with Kelly and Ryan and have been nominated for two iHeart Radio Music Awards for Rock Song of the Year for the track “Devil” plus they’re nominated for Rock Artist of the Year. The song “Get Up” has been quite a milestone for Shinedown as well, the single has more than 25 million streams and still counting, it’s #1 on Rock Radio, and is quickly climbing the charts at Alternative Radio. The track also broke a record for Shinedown themselves, giving them the most Rock Airplay Top 10’s ever and their 13th #1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs Chart, the second most in the history of the chart tied with some little band called Van Halen.
The band will be hitting the road beginning on February 20th headlining their ATTENTION ATTENTION Tour with Papa Roach and Asking Alexandria providing support on the run. But not so fast before Smith & Myers head out on the road they made some time to play two very special shows at New Jersey’s Starland Ballroom, I couldn’t miss this so I made my way to night one. New Jersey has a special relationship with the Shinedown guys and particularly Brent Smith and Zach Myers as Jersey always comes out to support and this time was no different as Starland was sold out for not one but both of these intimate shows.
As I arrived at the venue the sight was as expected, absolute madness! Droves of fans wrapped around the entire building deep into the parking lot for as far as the eye could see. I made my way in and was ready to witness Smith & Myers for the very first time. One thing I must note, Shinedown fans are insanely nice, like really nice. The hold a door — get a thank you, got bumped into received an excuse me. I know it seems minuscule but for the Tri-State this is huge.
On to the show, shall we?
The stage is stripped, no banner just two mic stands, some music stands, guitars and keyboards and of course two gentlemen by the name of Brent Smith and Zach Myers. The only way I can overall describe a Smith & Myers show is like this… It’s like walking into your favorite bar on a Friday night and your favorite band is on stage playing your favorite tunes both their own and classic cuts. That basically sums up what to expect, and it’s great!
Brent and Zach treat these shows more like a fun warm-up sesh, it’s part music and part comedy. The connection between the two can be seen and felt just as easily as the songs they’re performing. They’re just two friends having a blast doing what they love and it shines brightly. The duo make for hilarious banter in between songs and have a great time interacting closely with the crowd.
The duo rolls through Shinedown tracks like “Bully” with guitarist Myers introducing the song as “a song about hate,” while maintaining an ear to ear grin.
Then there were moments of cover versions of songs like Soul Asylum’s “Runaway Train” which Brent Smith talks about how the song “changed his life”. He jokes “I started to smell different around the time this song came out” with a smile referring to what it’s like being a teenager. He then goes back to a serious note about how “you think you know what you want when you’re 15”.
There’s something special about an artist that can play an almost two hour long acoustic set to a packed house in NJ of all places and on a Friday night no less. It’s a whole other thing to keep that crowd engaged, entertained, smiling throughout and singing along the entire night. These boys are showman and top notch pros. If you were there I know you probably agree. If not, you better make sure you catch them the next time through. It’s completely different than seeing a Shinedown show but just as special.
Until then make sure to go out and support Brent Smith and Zach Myers along with the rest of Shinedown as they hit the road next month, check out all the dates below!
Shinedown U.S. Tour Dates:
01/26 – Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom *
02/20 — Estero, FL @ Hertz Arena +
02/23 — Knoxville, TN @ Knoxville Civic Auditorium & Coliseum +
02/24 — Huntington, WV @ Big Sandy Superstone Arena +
02/26 — Dayton, OH @ Wright State University Nutter Center +
02/28 — Baltimore, MD @ UMBC Fieldhouse +
03/01 — Hershey, PA @ Giant Center +
03/02 — Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena +
03/05 — Youngtown, OH @ Covelli Center +
03/07 — Ft. Wayne, IN @ Allen County War Memorial Coliseum +
03/08 — Milwaukee, WI @ Fiserv Forum +
03/09 — Green Bay, WI @ Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena +
03/11 — Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center +
03/12 — Fargo, ND @ FargoDome +
03/15 — Lincoln, NE @ Pinnacle Bank Center +
03/16 — Cedar Rapids, IA @ US Cellular Center +
03/17 — St. Louis, MO @ Chaifetz Arena +
03/19 — Wichita, KS @ INTRUST Bank Arena +
03/20 — Loveland, CO @ Budweiser Events Center +
03/23 – Tucson, AZ @ Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium ^
05/04 – Jacksonville, FL @ Welcome to Rockville Festival
05/06 — New Orleans, LA @ The Fillmore #
05/07 — Atlanta, GA @ Coca Cola Roxy Theatre #
05/08 — Atlanta, GA @ Coca Cola Roxy Theatre #
05/10 — Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues #
05/11 — Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues #
05/13 — Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium #
05/14 — Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium #
05/21 — Madison, WI @ The Sylvee #
05/22 — Kansas City, MO @ Midland Theatre #
* = Smith & Myers shows (not full Shinedown band)
+ = Papa Roach and Asking Alexandria supporting
^ = Asking Alexandria supporting
# = “An Evening With Shinedown” shows