By Kellie Green
Kansas City, the self-proclaimed heart and volume knob of the Midwest, welcomed back Shinedown with special guests Papa Roach and Spiritbox for the second leg of the Revolutions Live Tour. Roughly 10,000 fans, old and new, piled into the T-Mobile Center on Labor Day to scream their hearts out, and let me tell you, the arena was surely heard across the tri-state area.
The evening started with a bang, albeit a dark and moody one, as Spiritbox took the dimly lit stage. It’s no secret that Spiritbox has quickly made a name for themselves in the metal world since forming just 6 years ago. If metal fans hang posters in their room like boy band fans, Spiritbox vocalist Courtney LaPlante is donning many a fan’s walls. They kicked off the night with high energy, powerful vocals, and fans were clearly locked and loaded ready to belt out their hit ‘Circle With Me’, which was the perfect vocal warm up for the arena to prepare to scream along with Mr. Shaddix and the rest of the boys of Papa Roach.
Papa Roach may have been direct support, but any performance by these guys is main character energy and we are always here for it. I first experienced Papa Roach live at the fresh age of 18, which was… well it’s not important how long ago… what’s important is that I’ve seen them perform several times over the years and they somehow just gain more and more energy. They seem to be aging in reverse.
Jacoby spends more time in the air than he does on the ground, and if he disappears from the stage, he may end up next to you even if you’re high up in the stands. His energy is truly nothing short of infectious. The arena only took a break from the relentless shaking delivered by the powerhouse that is Papa Roach to bring awareness to mental health and suicide. That tone change leading into ‘Leave a Light On’ was welcomed with open arms, and an arena completely illuminated by love, lighters, and cell phone lights. If you’re a rock fan, chances are you’ve been through some dark days. Days in which the only thing that let a little light in was whatever song you had on repeat at the time. For any Papa Roach fan, at one point that song was Last Resort, which they closed out their set with at maximum level volume and dynamic energy. For a song that came out in 2000, 23 years later fans still scream it out like it’s the last thing that will ever get to escape their vocal cords.
With only a short time to rest those vocal cords, the main event took the stage with an absolutely stunning grand entrance. The band entered through a sky-high video wall that opens up from the center, allowing them to make their perfectly timed appearance, but not before a quite literally electric display of video footage. Clips filmed by Shinedown’s brilliantly talented photographer and videographer Sanjay Parikh flash across the massive dual screens, displaying screaming crowds, personable moments between the band and fans, backstage shenanigans, and more. Why, you ask? Because before even taking the stage, Shinedown makes it a point to make every single fan feel like they’re home.
Brent Smith made sure it was no secret that Kansas City holds a special place in Shinedown’s heart, with several fun facts: including siting KC as the location for the ‘Unity’ music video. But KC always makes sure the guys know it is a second home for them, as well. KC set the world record for being the loudest NFL stadium, which may have been challenged by the high decibels radiating from the crowd screaming ‘Simple Man’ along with Brent and Zach. It may not be a Shinedown original, but damn they perform it with more talent and soul than should be humanly possible.
Elaborating on the totality of talent involved, major shoutout to their production design team and crew who quite literally make large instruments fly. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Eric’s piano descend and reascend from the rafters, or until you’ve seen it rain fire down onto said piano. They may have closed out the night with the ever powerful ‘Cut the Cord’, but luckily no one cut that piano cord or it would have been a certain ‘Threat to Survival’.
My only complaint? Brent’s granny didn’t make an appearance to hit us with some wisdom. Otherwise, start to finish the entire set is full of vitality and beautiful visuals. It was an absolute emotional rollercoaster in the best way. If that ain’t a ‘Symptom of Being Human’, I don’t know what is.