Alliant Energy Center in Madison hosted a lineup of Shinedown, 3 Days Grace and P.O.D. Saturday evening, February 3rd 2013. This reviewer had not before seen any of these 3 bands perform live and expectations were high. The crowd consisted of people from their late teens to fifties. As the lights went out at just a few minutes after the expected start time of 7:00 p.m. the crowd was on its feet and full of energy.
First up was P.O.D. (Payable on Death) with their song "Lost in Forever" off of 2012’s Murdered Love. Front man Sonny Sandoval called the crowd to get on their feet and the band kept the crowd on their feet with a lineup of songs, including "Boom," "Higher," "Youth of the Nation" and "New Day." The dynamic nature of the band’s music was a clear testament to their passion for music and obvious influence of many different genres. The band closed their line up with "Love Is What I Got."
After a brief break for tear down and set up, 3 Days Grace took the stage, with fans anxiously awaiting what the band would sound like with lead singer Adam Gontier missing from the lineup following his recent unexpected departure from the band. My Darkest Days front man Matt Walst (brother of 3 Days Grace’s bassist Brad Walst) proved to be an incredible presence on stage and fans were quickly relieved and completely immersed in the show. The stage resembled an industrial area with large 55 gallon barrels set up in front of the platform that hard-hitting drummer Neil Sanderson was set up on. The band opened their set with "Chalk Outline," the second song off their 2012 album Transit of Venus. The crowd was on its feet and grew louder with the encouragement of Walst. The pyrotechnics began during the song "Home," with flames shooting out of the 55 gallon barrels. The band brought Shawn “Hammer” Hamm on stage for the song "Break Stuff," which brought a roar from the crowd. 3 Days Grace ended the set with the song "Riot," from 2006’s album One-X.
Shinedown’s drummer Barry Kerch took the stage as the song "Enemies" from the bands 2012 release of Amaryllis, began with projected images flashing on the backdrop. The crowd was confounded momentarily as the rest of the band was not on stage, quickly realizing that the remaining members of the band had taken to a platform at the back of the venue for the first portion of the song. Band members made their way to the main stage to join Kerch to end the song. Front man Brent Smith asked the audience for a show of hands for anyone in attendance that was seeing the band for the first time. Surprisingly, there were many hands that went up. Smith then expressed his appreciation that fans, new and old chose to spend their Saturday evening at the show.
The band's driving melodies filled the venue for two hours, while band members roamed the stage, which was filled with risers, steps and an elevated platform that was placed behind Kerch and allowed band members to engage the crowd to fist pump, jump and sing along. Half way through the set Smith talked to the crowd about the impact of music, regardless of genre and its effects people, asking the crowd how many times in their lives a song had saved them. “Music and song; that’s what brought us together tonight,” Smith stated. Zach Myers and Smith again made their way to the platform in the back of the Alliant Energy Center for the song "Simple Man." Smith and Kerch took to the main stage as the band finished the show with the song "Bully," the first song released from their 2012 album Amaryllis.
P.O.D., 3 Days Grace, and Shinedown brought an intense non-stop array of music to fans attending the show at the Alliant Energy Center. Fans were treated to a night of great acoustics and pyrotechnics. The incredible energy of the bands fueled that of the crowd. The expectations of this reviewer were certainly met, if not exceeded. The band will be following Saturday’s performance with shows at the Target Center in Minneapolis on February 5th and at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on February 8th.