Classic Rock



London Brixton Academy Bro-rock with a sensitive heart does gangbuster­s in the capital.

Last year this ultra-ripped American foursome opened for Iron Maiden on their Book Of Souls tour. An odd fit, you might think. But watching them tonight at a heavily sold-out Brixton Academy, it actually makes a lot of sense. Like Iron Maiden, Shinedown’s shows are near-as-dammit identical. The same songs (punctuated by select new ones; from this year’s UK Top 10 album Attention Attention in Shinedown’s case), poses and audience-corralling tricks are hammered out with the kind of might and precision normally reserved for military operations. All of which is led by pint-sized singer/recovering addict Brent Smith, marching, gesturing and barking commands like rock’s answer to GI Joe.

But here’s the thing; they do it immaculate­ly. Even our least favourite songs (e.g. poppier, pointedly woke newbie Get Up) show that they can write quality tunes, and the more face-thumping, oomph-laden likes of Enemies and Sound Of Madness show how effective this gleaming, butch kind of rock can be. And for all the butchness – and good lord there is a lot of it here – we really warm to them all. The brothers-in-arms dynamic is utterly genuine, and when guitarist Zach Myers is presented with a birthday cake he practicall­y chokes up. And everyone sings along to every last word.

Still wondering what kind of ‘new’ rock really sells these days? Then look this way.

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