The temperature was a brisk 17 degrees on the February night that Shinedown picked to play The Complex in Salt Lake City. The temperature inside was anything but brisk, in fact, it was blazing as Shinedown and Ayron Jones warmed the crowd. Shinedown is touring to build anticipation for their upcoming album Planet Zero, which is set to release on April 22, 2022. The album will be the band’s seven studio album and follow up the highly successful Attention Attention released in 2018.
The opener for the evening was upcoming star, Ayron Jones. He took the stage with his very enthusiastic band, who actively covered every inch of the stage during their nine-song set. Ayron is a Seattle WA native, and his set included a cover of Nirvana’s “Breed.” His overall sound could be compared to a more blues-infused version of Lenny Kravitz. Touring on his amazingly successful Child of the State, Ayron sold the crowd a mix of heavy riffs combined with equally heavy socially relevant lyrics. Most notable were “Killing Season,” “Baptized in Muddy Waters,” and “Mercy.” At the end of the band’s set, Ayron was jamming while streaming influence from above, lost his place, and gracefully crashed into his drummer’s kit. He picked himself up and closed out “Take Me Away.” Ayron Jones and his band were one of the most impressive opening bands I have seen in a long time.
The stage setup was quick and efficient, and before long, the crowd was singing in unison to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” As soon as the song ended, the lights dropped, and the band made their way to the stage. The introduction was short and led into “Cut the Cord.” Bassist Eric Bass and guitar player Zach Myers traded spots on the stage and jumped while moving back and forth between stage right and left. As the song ended, they quickly dove into “Unity.” The song’s inspirational lyrics brought the crowd to raise their hands in unison as Brent Smith belted out the lyrics. The show continued with “Fly From the Inside” and “State of My Head. As the set continued, “45” and “Diamond Eyes” appeared as they should. The latest single, “Planet Zero,” was up next and got a huge reception. At this point, Brent surprised the crowd and called drummer Barry Kerch’s wife up on stage. It just happened to be their wedding anniversary, and Brent shared the moment with the crowd, and everyone wished the couple a happy anniversary and broke into “I’ll Follow You.” Things would not stay warm and cuddly for long as “Enemies” and “Devil” were played in pure surgical precision.
As the show progressed, “Monsters” invaded The Complex, which transformed into the mega-hit “Second Chance.” Over two hours later, the show wrapped up with “Simple Man” and ended with the anthem “Sound of Madness.”
Both Ayron Jones and Shinedown warmed not only the hearts but the souls of the crowd in Salt Lake on the cold winter night. The tour will continue throughout the spring and coincide with the release of Planet Zero on April 22, 2022. Pick up the album when it is released, and make sure to catch this tour when it comes to a town near you.