The first time I ever crowd-surfed was at a Shinedown show. It was an outdoor summer show near Atlanta, GA. They opened for Seether and 3 Doors Down. I was there because I like live shows and it was free. I’d only heard Shinedown’s breakthrough hit “45” a few times on the radio, and I wasn’t super interested in the other bands, but when I found myself unwillingly on the border of an increasingly violent mosh pit close to the stage, I decided up and over was easier than through the violent pit and through the back of the crowd. I made it out just fine and was able to pay attention to the music from the less-crowded lawn area. I was struck by how strong the vocals were, and I bought their debut album Leave a Whisper a few days later.
A couple years later, I was thrilled to see Shinedown not fall into a sophomore slump with the release of Us and Them. With hits like “Save Me” and “I Dare You,” the album was good. But their next album – The Sound of Madness – blew it out of the water. It spent 120 consecutive weeks on the Billboard 200 Chart, spawned hit after hit, and was the soundtrack to many a road trip I’ve taken. I saw Shinedown live several times during this touring cycle, and they are a captivating live band.
Two of the songs from The Sound of Madness – “The Crow and the Butterfly” and “Second Chance” – are in the pack released for Rock Band today. The third song – “Bully” – is the first single off the new album Amaryllis, also released today. “Bully” is a instant classic Shinedown song – it carries the theme of being strong and believing in yourself, not letting others push you around. It’s a theme repeated throughout their music and during their chats with the audience during live shows. Frequently throughout their shows, the band talks to the crowd and tells them no one can hold them down, to believe in themselves, and to take care of each other. I think it's a nice message for a rock band to have.
Shinedown is one of those bands I turn to as a default. Angry during my commute? I’ll listen to Shinedown to calm down and tune out other commuters. Excited about vacation? Listen to Shinedown to get psyched while packing. Fighting with a friend/stressed at work/death in the family/other emotional times? Listen to Shinedown to get lost in the music and feel better. I don’t know what to say – Brent has a voice that speaks to me, and the band’s music seems to carry me through no matter what the emotion.
If you’ve never listened to Shinedown, starting with this pack is a good choice. They’re three of my favorite Shinedown tracks. If you’re looking for further listening, I highly recommend the live CD/DVD Somewhere in the Stratosphere (which was named by a fan!) where you can catch Shinedown doing an acoustic cover of another Rock Band track – Foo Fighters’ “Times Like These.” It’s also worth going back to Leave a Whisper, particularly for “Fly From the Inside,” “Better Version,” “Stranger Inside,” and their cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man.” And if you dig the music and you have a chance, I’d recommend checking Shinedown out live. They’re headlining the Avalanche Tour now and their live show never disappoints.
Get the Shinedown pack for Rock Band 3 today. For more info, visit the Rock Band Blog.