Its been three years since Shinedown has played a stage in Fort Wayne, but frontman Brent Smith believes tonights show will make up for the bands absence.
Smith says the show is the biggest production ever put together by the rock band, which is co-headlining the tour with Three Days Grace.
The amount of anticipation we have been experiencing (leading up to the show) has been very prevalent for us, Smith says by phone from Los Angeles. Weve got the show of the year.
Smith says tonights show will be very interactive, very theatrical, very visual. Its what rock n roll is meant to be.
He says its a night of No. 1s not only for Shinedown but for Three Days Grace.
We dont want people kicking themselves in the ass because they didnt go see the show, Smith says.
Shinedown is on tour with its fourth album, Amaryllis, which was released in March and has already produced several hit singles for the group, including Bully and Unity – both topping Billboards mainstream rock songs chart.
The album itself is described as bruising and full of scars. Smith says the albums songs stem from personal experiences – many with an unforgiving tone.
The band has received some blowback about its first release Bully, whose lyrics include such lines as All youll ever be is a fading memory of a bully/Make another joke while they hang another rope, so lonely/ Push them to the dirt till the words dont hurt, can you hear me/No ones gonna cry on the very day you die, youre a bully.
Smith, who says he was bullied a lot when younger, is adamant that the song is not condoning violence but survival.
If youre being attacked, you have the right to attack back, he says.
That same unapologetic tone can be found on the entire album. Were a very honest band, Smith says.
In the song, Enemies, Smith describes the tune as being careful of the toes you step on because it might be the ass you have to kiss later.
The bands latest single, Ill Follow You, was released Feb. 4, and according to Smith, stands alone on the album as one of the most intricate songs.
Im a songwriter and lyricist. I was born to be a storyteller and thats who I am, Smith says. I write songs because its cheaper than therapy. Its a release for me.
Overall, the band wanted to make a bigger sounding record then previous albums, Smith says. He says the band never wants to make the same record twice.
Thats one of the reasons Smith says hes stoked for the tour and for the fans.
Shinedown is expecting to spend some time touring with Amaryllis. After its U.S. stint, the band will begin its international tour for the rest of the year, hitting such countries as South America, Asia and India, Smith says.
As for the bands future, Smith, who describes Shinedown as a living work of art, wants the band to continue to grow and continue turning out songs fans can enjoy.