63 min read

Review & Photography by Manny Manson for MPM

Yet again Nottingham’s mighty Ice-Skating venue, the Motorpoint Arena, the home of the great Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean, beckons. As I thread my way through the evening traffic on my way to Nottingham, I have a playlist cranking out Planet Zero, American Hard Rocker’s Shinedown’s latest offering, and it’s a banger. The windows are down, the volume is up and the heated seat is on, its November after all.

This is another solo affair as both Maria and Waldorf have family issues to deal with. Family always come first the bands would be first to tell us exactly that. So tonight, I carry the flag alone. I get to my new found parking space, and after a brief fight with the interweb’s, I wander down to the venue, only to join the queue of like-minded togs and reviewers that have already collected for this early doors of 6pm. The guest list is never early, especially when it’s cold and you have a full bladder. Anyways with 30 minutes

Tonight’s show is a triple header, kicking off with an American Rapper I’ve not heard before, ZERO 9:36, the sort of thing I imagine my son would be into, he’s already commented on the next band, ASKING ALEXANDRIA, saying he still listens to the first two albums, ‘Stand up and Scream’ and ‘Restless and Relentless’, says they are two sick albums.

ZERO 9:36 or Matthew Cullen to use his Sunday name was born in May 1997 in the suburb of Philadelphia called Langhorne. He discovered RAP at an early age and it wasn’t long before he grew his style into something aggressive and brutal.

His fast delivery likened him to Eminem. He gathered a large underground following which continued to grow after the Paradise Mixtape of 2016 hit the street. Record companies began to knock on his door after his ‘As Seen on The Internet’ concert was seen on the ‘Futuristic’s. He quickly struck a deal with ATCO Records and at the same time changed his Rap Handle to Zero 9:36, the addition of his time of birth make it look like a verse from the bible. With the record deal behind him, his music took on a bigger productions which included Industrial, Metal and Electronic elements. His music stretches from RAP to Doom-struck Rock.

With a slurry of smoke and taped music, Zero9:36 hits the stage on time. There’s cheers from the crowd as he sets out his stall with a solo delivery of ‘iiXTwo’ from 2021’s ‘If You Don’t Save Yourself’. The angry words flow as he paces the open stage bathed in red and orange light.

He’s eventually joined by the band who hit it hard with a thunder of drums and dirty guitars after an utterance of the ‘F’ word. The heavy song grinds to a close with the band holding their hands aloft, they are straight into ‘The End’ from the same release. This Industrial soundboard is the perfect foil to his screamed frantic lyrics.

He continues to pace the stage; the crowd are nodding along to the beat. The bass is as hard hitting as the guitar is nasty. Zero asks for hands in the air as he ‘pushes himself to the edge’. It finishes with a thank you. “how many of you guys have heard of us before”, “it’s our first time here” “ thanks for turning up, it’s so cold outside I can see my breath from up here” remarks Zero9:36, Matthew Cullen, as he sings the start of ‘Take Me Inside’ his voice full of harmonised tones.

It soon changes as the breakdown is another brutal, RAP delivery. This is again from the latest release, and goes down well with the cheering crowd. “I’m always complaining how hot it is, this is bloody cold, I’ll never take heat for granted again”.

He then asks for audience participation for ‘WWYDF’, which crashes out with a solid chest hitting beat. The sung verse is punctuated with a fast RAP delivered with a sharp tone. He asks not to look stupid in front of Shinedown and asks the crowd to get down. Part of the crowd comply, and with a flurry of screaming guitar riff he then shouts for the crowd to get up. We run into ‘In My Hands’ again another from the new release.

The beats slam out as Zero9:36 sings gently over the top, the RAP section hits out as the guitar is nasty and riffs around it all and a sudden end and thank you ends the song. “Is tonight going to be the only show that doesn’t have a Mosh Pit”, says Cullen, “I can’t come down there and show you how, I’m running out of time” he continues, as a gentle riff plays the intro to ‘Reset’ from ‘Bare Bones Vol1’ and EP released back in 2020. The RAP is from the start, full of angst as its shouted out, The Guitar, Drums and Bass weave around the lyric, hard and heavy at times as the lyric grows. He’s been likened to Eminem and with this earlier tune I can see the comparison.

He yet again calls out “this is the last time for a pit”. Is there anyone who saw the last show two nights ago”, he shouts, “you four saw how we fucked this one up”. ‘I’m Not’ is a stand-alone single released in December 2021. Heavy drums slam out alongside a brutally fast RAP delivery. It drops into a sung moment with dropped distorted guitar riffs.

The thunderous kick drum can be felt all the way at the back of the floor. There is some serious concussive vibes pulsing across venue. “Our next song went No1 in the USA not that you guys give a fuck”, “If any of you guys know it, looks like this guy does as he’s taking a selfie” It’s called ‘Adrenaline’ and starts with a slow sung delivery. Steady purposeful drums thump along, the distorted bass and guitar sweep in and out as this one pulses out.

The RAP sections are hard hitting if gentle in their delivery. The guitar soars as the song builds to its ultimate thank you finish. The final song is another single from 2022, this time it features Atreyu. Full of screams and thundering drums, a brutal delivery wakes those who might have dozed off, a small Mosh pit has started up, a fitting end to a strong opening set from this young Rapper. With a final thank you his time is over. He may be unknown to many in tonight, but he has spread his word and no doubt gathered a number of new fans along the way.

It’s now time for the crew to do their thing and set the stage up for the mighty Asking Alexandria.

ASKING ALEXANDRIA are a British Rock band from York up in God’s country, Yorkshire. They formed in 2006 with the original line up being Ben Bruce on Lead guitar, Danny Worsnop on vocals, James Cassells on drums, Cameron Liddell on rhythm guitar, Joe Lancaster, bass player and Ryan Binn’s keyboards . However, Lancaster and Binn’s both left in 2008. Sam Bettley joined the band, taking up the vacant position on Bass, in 2009, later the same year the debut album ‘Reckless and Relentless’ was released.

The formative six piece stayed as a five piece from here in. The keys being picked up by Ben Bruce. The albums ‘Reckless and Relentless’ in 2011 and ‘From Death to Destiny’ in 2013 followed. A multi-talented Roadie helped fill in on the 2012 ‘Outbreak’ tour of the US when Danny Worsnop tore his vocal cords towards the end of the December run of shows, this would not delay the release of the fourth album, while he healed, as most of the album was already in the can. The album was duly released on time in the August.

The band went on to perform in the US and Australia through-out 2014. In early 2015 Danny Worsnop announced he was leaving the band to concentrate on his rock band ‘We Are Harlot’. He was replaced in the May by Dennis Stoff, singer guitarist with Ukrainian metalcore bands ‘Make me Famous’ and ‘Down and Dirty’. There was some difficulty in getting Stoff a UK visa so gigs had to be cancelled. However, a tour of the US followed supporting Bullet for My Valentine. The album ‘Black’ was eventually released later in May of 2016. Stoff left the band by October and Worsnop had returned.

The fifth studio album was released in the December of 2017, the self-titled Asking Alexandria. However, during the recording of the album Worsnop allegedly suffered a near fatal drug overdosed, his life being saved by an ex-girlfriend who got him to hospital in time. The final track on the album, ‘Room 138’ is dedicated to that incident. This album was different to their previous metalcore sound. ‘Like A House on Fire’ followed in May 2020, a more, hard rock inspired album.

After signing to ‘Better Noise records’ in June 2021, the band announced their seventh album would be released later in the year. On the first of October the album, ‘See What’s on the Inside’ hit the shops. The song ‘Faded Out’ from the album is due to feature on the sound track to American Horror film, ‘The Retaliators’ scheduled for release in 2022.

20 to 8 and we’re armed and ready, but the set time passes and it’s another 10 minutes before we have any signs of the band coming on stage. In the mean-time the crowd whistle and cheer. The music builds and a solid guitar riffs out over a harpsichord sounding picked guitar, a ride bell chimes out as Danny Worsnop, in a striped American football umpires jersey is up front belting out the first of the set, from Asking Alexandria ‘Alone Again’ Flames scorch as they shoot to the ceiling all along the front of the riser. The band sing backing vocals to Danny’s hard-hitting lyric.

The beginning to ‘The Violence’ has Danny shouting “Bounce, Bounce, Bounce”. He paces along the riser as the bass slams out hard, lights flashing around, lighting the smoke up to great effect. Ben Bruce is spinning around as the breakdown delivers a thunderous cacophony of sound.

“Nottingham, how are we feeling tonight” screams Danny “alright in that case get the fuck up” as the band start bouncing the crowd are bouncing along too. More flames pulse into the air, as we get ‘Into the Fire’, again from the fifth album. The ever-present flames are warming those up at the front. The band are swapping sides, dodging the heat and flames as they do so.

Previous opener ‘Someone Somewhere’ now gets its turn. From 2011’s Reckless and Relentless. This one powers along. Danny’s voice is strong as this one has the crowd bouncing along. There are arms aloft obviously! The guitars sound great as they rip into a tasty lick. I make my way to the back of the arena again to get the full experience. Back here the snare snaps are concussive, the bass is slamming in the chest hard. “Nottingham, when this next one kicks-in I want everyone to sway from side to side, can you do that”? A daft question the crowd cheer to the affirmative.

‘Down to Hell ‘from 2020’s Like A House on Fire’ Kicks in hard, the crowd are swaying. As the drums thud and the guitars soar. This is a banger of a tune and has the crowd firmly in its clutches. Danny’s frayed growl rips into your soul as it pulses around the venue.

The tune finishes to huge cheers. Danny once again addresses the crowd, a slight American twang to his voice, breaking through every now and again. He say’s “When we were putting this show together, we realised that we hadn’t been around in a while”, “We thought you might like something old in the set, I’m gonna need some help, I’m not 20years old anymore, is that ok” the cheers go up. The growled vocals of ‘Run Free’ are let loose on the crowd.

The demonic sounding lyric is bookended with nasty bass and doom filled guitar. This 2013 metalcore banger from “From Death to Destiny” has the crowd cheering. It’s the first of two from this album.

“Is tonight the first time anyone has seen us live” ask’s Danny, the crowd screams and whistle. “Oh, we got some new faces in tonight” “Are you guys having fun so far” there’s more cheers as the band drop into ‘Where Did It Go’. “Jump, Jump, Jump” shouts Danny as the floor begins to bounce under the movement. The beats fly, hard and heavy, lights flash and spots sweep the arena.

The heavy feet of Cassell’s continues to try and re-arrange your teeth as Danny announces “We are going to slow it down a bit” “Get you phones out and light the sky up”. ‘Moving On’ from the album From Death to Destiny sounds out, almost a ballad compared to what’s gone before, has couple either side of me dancing and singing with each other.

The drinkers are heading for the bar, already a few have a good wobble on them as they do so. The song finishes with a drum crescendo ending in a ‘flats in Dagenham’. Danny thanks the crowd and says we have two for you and we’re out of here.

2021’s release, See What’s on the Inside, has a quick visit with its only track of the night, ‘Alone Again’. Hard riffing and heavy bass has the crowd on its toes again. They sing along as the song plays out. Its again full of chest crushing bass and the dirty soaring guitars of Bettley, Bruce and Liddell.

The final song is ‘The final Episode(Let’s Change the Channel)’ from the dark and brooding ‘Stand Up and Scream’ from 2009. The frayed vocal is full on and in your face. The machine gun feet of Cassells are a blur as the wall of sound flattens all like a sound wave from an Atomic Bomb. The vocal is broken and vile, weaving around is the voice of Bruce, providing a juxtaposition through-out this final song. A fitting end to the set.

We now have a break in the proceedings whilst the crew yet again clear the decks and get it sorted for the Headliners.

SHINEDOWN are an American Rock band formed in Florida in 2001. Founding member Brent Smith, singer with the band ‘DREVE’, put the band together when the previous band folded after being dropped by the record company. He Put together the original line up of Jasin Todd on guitar, Brad Stewart on Bass and Barry Kerch on drums, the band went onto create several demo’s which were submitted to Atlantic Records, the label Smith was still contracted to.

The previous band had been dropped but they kept Smith on as they thought he had a little bit of something special about him. As a result, the debut album, ‘Leave A Whisper’ was agreed to and eventually arrived in May 2003. ‘Simple Man, a Lynyrd Skynyrd cover was released as a single, and features in the live show, as does ‘45’. The band went on tour playing over 400 shows 2003 & 2004. The follow up album, ‘Us and Them’ came in 2005.

The band were given a 6month window to record the album. The album was a more stripped-down version, something that Kerch described as pure Rock. Interestingly the band were approached at this time to record a tribute to Queen. The band respected Queen so punched out their version of ‘Tie Your Mother Down’. ‘Us and Them’ was finally released in October 2005. The album was toured heavily. With help from the success from the singles and ‘I Dare You’ being performed on American Idol, the album was certified Platinum in March 2018.

Work started on the third album, ‘The Sound of Madness’ in 2007. Differences of opinion meant the band let go Stewart and Todd. While the band were down to just the two band members, Smith was writing prolifically.

He put together a demo using hired in Musicians and sent the subsequent recording in to the label for appraisal, these were sent to record producer Rob Cavallo by the label. Cavallo wanted to produce the album. The album was eventually released in June 2008, and went on to sell 50,000 copies in the first week. The band recruited and brought on board Nick Perri on lead guitar and Eric Bass on the bass guitar. Myers was demoted to rhythm guitar.

The band toured briefly as this line up but Perri left later in 2008 to pursue a solo career. The band was back to a four piece which Smith was more comfortable with. This album spawned six singles that each topped the billboard chart. This new line up toured the album extensively.

Work on the fourth album started in early 2011, the decision was made to use the same producer, but again they tweaked their sound in a new direction. Said to be one or empowerment, and inspiration, apparently driven by Smith’s new lifestyle of health and sobriety.

The album, ‘Amaryllis’ was eventually released in the early part of 2012. The singles released from the album again performed well in the charts. Despite the follow up album being declared as finished, the band toured Amaryllis throughout 2013, the supported Papa Roach on the ‘Carnival of Madness’ tour. Smith and Myers went on to record an acoustic sessions which was split over 2 EP’s these were released in January and March 2014. A period of rest and relaxation followed as the band had been touring and recording almost no stop for several years.

The recording of the fifth studio album, ‘Threat to Survival’ started in early 2015 and once again hit the tour button. The album was scheduled for release in the September. After the release the band went on tour with Breaking Benjamin through-out the October and November. 2016 saw them again embarked on a tours with the Virgin Marys, Halestorm, Sixx AM and Five Finger Death Punch.

The sixth album was announced in 2017. The heavier, ‘Attention, Attention’ arrived in May 2018. Its first single, ‘Devil’ reached No1 in the Active Rock Carts, the album debuted at No1 in the Rock Album charts. The band celebrated the albums success by going on tour with Five Finger Death Punch and Godsmack. ‘Get up’ and ‘Monsters’ were released as subsequent singles to ‘Devil’, the fourth single release being ‘Attention, Attention’ itself.

As part of a fund raiser for SARS CoV-2 frontline workers, the band released a previously unheard song from the Amaryllis recordings. Entitled ‘Atlas Falls’, it went on the raise more than $300,000. It became Shinedown’s 27th top 10 single in mainstream rock charts only bettered by the great Tom Petty. The inevitable lockdowns stopped all touring through 2020. The dates being rescheduled.

The latest album ‘Planet Zero’ followed in July 2022, after the first single by the same name was released in the January. The release was delayed due to the lack of vinyl. The band wanted the fans to be able to have the choice from all the formats at the same time.

Their hard-hitting sound has garnered them several nominations in the annual best rock band and best rock song nominations. To date they have sold in excess of 10,000,000 records.

The lights dim and we are ready for the main event. ‘Welcome’ plays over the house PA.

The big tower of a screen lights up with the words ‘2019’ and then it’s followed by a montage of images referring to Covid and lock down. ‘584 days later’ flashes up and the images are replaced by those of the band preparing to tour once again.

These images are interrupted by a head welcoming us to Planet Zero, the logo is then broadcast on the screen as the band walk out and line up in front of us all, ‘2184’ plays out before Brent shouts “let’s go”, there’s a loud percussive bang of pyro and we’re off into ‘The Saints of Violence and Innuendo’. This is a banger of an opening tune.

Myers is all over the stage as the song plays out, Smith is up front and centre in his suit and tie. Flames roar and more pyro explodes at the breakdown. The security, lined up like sacrificial pumpkins in their orange tops have the full heat of the flames on the back of their heads.

“We Can’t Hear You” says Smith, before the lights turn red and we drop into ‘Devil from 2018’s Attention Attention. This plays out steady, until the chorus when the crowd join in. The fuzzed guitar cry’s as Smith delivers a smooth vocal spinning to face the drums then back to face the crowd. Bass and Myers have the floor as they dance around.

Rapid strobing light and a keyboard bass drone drive us into ‘Planet Zero’. Myers is pulling noises from his guitar that shouldn’t be made, while Smith is frantically clapping over his head, as this one digs in and sets off at a rapid pace.

The shouted vocal is fitting with the industrial noise coming from the band. Distorted guitar and a thundering drum beat wrestle with Smiths vocal for prime position. Smith counts back from 10, on reaching zero there is more pyro explosions. Myers has moved up front and is riffing out for the cameras. The solo has a slight middle eastern feel to it. Smith, again, up front say’s “Ladies and gentlemen we are Shinedown” he looks over both shoulders then says “Welcome to the show”.

The rattling bass of ‘How Did You Love’ carries on with the dystopian feel. This is a great guitar riff that opens this one, Smith shout’s, “Nottingham, thank you for letting us into your house”. A favourite with the crowd sees them bouncing along to this 2015 favourite. “I saw you Nottingham” shouts Smith, as the song concludes.

A nice fat bluesy guitar starts up, the neck pick up on Myers PRS guitar sounds great as ‘45’ plays out. “2023 is the 20year anniversary of Leave A Whisper”, “so tonight we are going to do some old school and some new school, are you ready to go back”, “Nottingham, I’ve asked you already, do you have your singing voice with you” are questions and statements quickly fired at the crowd from Smith.

As the guitar sings, the crowd are cheering. The stage is bathed in blue light as a steady picked guitar is played out. Eric Bass and Myers, both dressed in white tops are bouncing around the stage. Kerch is stood up at the drums as he knocks this one out, he dreads flowing like medusa’s hair of snakes. The crowd sing along, encouraged by Smith. It’s a great number from Leave A Whisper, the debut album. A steady drone brings the song to an end.

Time for a new one with ‘Dysfunctional You’ this song Bookends the band’s discography. Smith tells us “Planet Zero came out earlier this year”, “this next song brought questions”, Smith tells us “it’s alright music does that, music is medicine, in this life and the next we are always a work in progress”. The acoustic guitars ring out as the song soothes and soars along . The crowd join in with the Woah’s. “We love you very much” shouts Smith as ‘Dysfunctional You’ finishes.

A strange banjo type sound is now coming from Myers guitar, the modelling is great it sounds real as we go into ‘America Burning’ another bouncing tune full of even more banjo, a walking bass line and thundering drums. The back screen is showing all sorts of graphical depictions. As this one marches along Myers rips out a solo that has the lights and crowd dancing along.

‘Bully’ from 2012 follows on with its distorted intro and the famous Rocky quote from the 2006 film, Balboa. As the song rolls on the band are being shown live on the big tower of a back screen. The hands are in the air as the crowd get on board with this one. It’s brought down with some tasty riffs timed to the lights dying out to leave the stage in darkness.

Smith now tells us we possess magic in the palm of our hand, he welcomes old and new fans, and goes on to say the band have been talking about ‘Mental Health’ long before it became a ‘trend’. He refers to the audience as the bands boss, and mentions that it’s ok to have ‘Human Moments’, He tells us Zero9:36, Asking Alexandria and the whole Shinedown crew love you and never to be afraid of failure. While he’s saying this, Eric Bass is playing on the piano.

Smith asks for the house lights to be turned off, he then asks the crowd to show their cell phones lights and leave them on for the entire song. “Let’s go and find the ‘Daylight” from Planet Zero. The crowd again join in on this anthem, swaying their phones from side to side. A powerful message delivered Shinedown style.

Fuzzed guitar fires up, a heavy drum beat thrusts forward as Smith asks for the crowd to part, he then walks up to the Soundboard, getting there he says he’s going to get on stage and ask the crowd to jump. “On the count of three you take over” he says. He teases the crowd by saying “this isn’t a library or a funeral it’s a rock and roll event get on your feet”.

Myers and Eric Bass are now on the drum riser as Sanjay, the band videographer is introduced to the crowd by Smith, he is going to video the event we’re told. A small circle pit has formed, which stops when he shouts “get ready”. “1-2-3 jump” and the whole of the arena standing are bouncing along to ‘Enemies’. The crowd are then encouraged to clap, as concussion bangs fire off, lighting the stage as it does so. The crowd cheer as the song finishes with a final snare flam and the lights go out.

‘Cut the Cord’ is next up. The crowd are in fine voice singing along to this thumping tune from 2015. Hands and phones are held aloft, catching this one as the flames roast the front row again throughout the breakdown. Concussion bangs are again fired off, as the taped voices sing ‘freedom’ as the song is brought down.

The crowd, again, join in as ‘Second Chance’ is played. It’s introduced by Casey Kasem as being the number 1 track in a 40year countdown, for a third week. I remember listening to Kasem do the weekly top 40 run downs from my youth. Even more concussion bangs go off in a barrage of smoke and sparkles, as the song powers on building towards its finish were Smith tells us he love us as.

‘Unity’ has the privilege of following on from that anthem. The hard-hitting bass is thumping destructively, my trousers are moving with the sound waves, I’m at the front of house with a good few in front of me and its pulsing through. “Put your hands in the air” is sung and the crowd do just that, as Myers, once again, stands up front, the guitar crying in his hands as he squeezes a subtle solo from its body. This is another from 2012’s Amaryllis.

‘Monsters’ follows on with more taped voices, the stage goes from green to blue as crouched down Smith is singing out. Fire shoots skyward when Smith sings “My monsters are real”. This slower song is delivered with precision, more Fire spurts skyward from in front of the drum riser at the mention of real monsters.

Myers plays another lick, lifting the guitar onto his shoulder as he walks back to his pedal board. Drummer, Kerch is up on his feet again as the song plays out, the lighting dimming to darkness, briefly only to light up in yellow as sound effects bounce around the venue. The crowd are encouraged to clap by Myers. Smith is leaning his back against Eric Bass’s as ‘Diamond Eyes’ from 2008 kicks in hard with more concussion bangs.

Myers is jumping as he riffs out, he has changed his top yet again. Myers is screaming into the microphone as Smith delivers the clear vocal. Barry Kerch’s dreads are flying as he beats the skins, hard. Smith and Myers dance together, briefly, before the song takes off again, which has Myers distorted PRS guitar scorching along before Eric Bass strums in with an acoustic, that has miraculously appeared in front of his keyboard, with his bass to one side, he strums along as this one winds itself up and finishes with Myers screaming into the ribbon microphone as more concussion bangs go off.

The crowd love that one, they cheer for more. Myers says they had a day off in Nottingham yesterday, and as a band they love the Nottingham Christmas fayre. He then introduces Barry Kerch on drums and , Eric Bass on bass, acoustic guitar, big and little piano. Bass takes over and introduces ‘Swag-tron’, Mr Zach Myers, on 6string, that’s it, the crowd laugh as Bass adds “oh yeah he sings a bit”.

Myers says that the band started a tradition 6yrs ago, it bombs in America but they know it goes down well in the UK, so they’re going to play it anyway. An acoustic version of Oasis’s ‘Don’t look back in Anger’ has the whole of the Motorpoint singing along. The chorus lifts the roof off such is how loud the crowd in tonight are. Myers and Eric Bass swap lead vocals, the crowd don’t mind as they carry on with this Brit pop classic! This is brought to an end with a nice run from Myers on his guitar.

A piano is wheeled back on stage as they set up to play ‘Call Me’ from the Sound of Madness. Smith has re-joined the band for this one, he’s removed his jacket, so is in a waistcoat and rolled up shirt sleeves. He stops singing so he can hear the crowd as they carry on singing with gusto. Eric Bass sits at the piano as this one continues; Kerch is cymbal stroking and playing the toms, again he is stood up.

“The next song was a questionable addition”, says Smith, but before doing so Myers acknowledges a young girl called ‘Poppy’, on the front row, she has a little sign saying it’s her first show. I’m sure that made Poppy’s night.

One of my favourite songs is up next. ‘Simple Man’, by the great Lynyrd Skynyrd no less. Smith’s voice is superb for this banger of a tune. The crowd join in singing this cover that was one of four singles released from the debut album back in 2003. Smith asks “As it’s a Tuesday night, can we sing at 100%”. He gets the crowd to sing the last part of the song. It’s a great version and a stand out song for me being a LS fan.

Smith shouts out “one more for the road” “Nottingham if you don’t mind”, “it’s that time”, “get your hands in the air”, “make a fist”, “hold”, “hold”, “punch” and the whole venue is punching along as ‘Sound of Madness’ brings the night to a close. The lights are pulsing in time as the punching continues. I’ve moved to the top of the stairs and momentarily I get bundled out the door by those leaving to catch the tram. The roof over the walkway is rattling in time to the pulsing beats from within. I squeeze back in as Myers is again rattling out a sweet riff.

With growled vocals and more concussion bangs go off, adding to the madness on stage, this really is a fitting finale to the night. More fists in the air are asked for as concussion bangs and flames close the night off.

Smith shouts out “ We are Shinedown”, “Our new record Planet Zero is out now”, “Nottingham, 100% you are the most amazing audience on the tour”, “this isn’t goodbye, it’s Just ‘til next time”, “This side here, did we have a good time” a quick drum fill “this side over here did we have a great time” again a quick drum fill “everybody in the house, did we have a good time” more drum fills “All respect to your Queen, May God rest her soul” shouts Smith before he turns to Kerch on the kit and shouts “Barry, lock her down” five rounds of concussion bangs go off in quick time with the drums being struck. A guitar is left feeding back whilst the band throw out pics and sticks.

The set list is unstuck from the floor and passed into the waiting hands on the front row.

I make my way back to the car and a sit down after standing for nearly 5 hours. All three bands have delivered a sterling show tonight, sadly it’s only a quick UK visit. Its Glasgow on the 30th and London on December 1st. The night has certainly been one to remember, as I drive out of the carpark, Monsters come on the car stereo, I pick up my playlist from where I left it. The ride home is spent listening to the end of the show once again.

If you haven’t seen Asking Alexandria or Shinedown live then you don’t know what your missing, get yourself along to one when you have the chance, In the meantime grab a copy of the new album it’s a banger.

It’s been one hell of a night, another contender for gig of the year. 2022 has been a good year for stunning shows, this one is certainly up there near the top.

Oh, and Nottingham, you are the best, Brent said so!

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