Shinedown, Tantric discover audiences like it live and loud

Friday, January 30, 2004

There's one thing that any prospective rock connoisseur should know about hard rock in the year 2004: It's not very original, but when it's played live, it has a certain drive that can somewhat make up for it.

Thursday night at the Show Me Center, the two opening acts, Shinedown and Tantric, proved that point nicely.

The bands opened for headliner 3 Doors Down, which took to the stage too late for review.

The night started with Shinedown, a band out of Jacksonville, Fla., that bills itself as an innovator and creative force on the hard rock/New Metal scene.

The reality is that Shinedown actually takes many cues from the great rockers that preceded them and the hard rock standards of today.

Singer Brent Smith stalks out on stage like a tame doppelganger of Maynard James Keenan (the A Perfect Circle version) while sounding like a mix between Chris Cornell, Keenan and Scott Stapp, and one of their songs even smacked of the haunting sound of Led Zeppelin's "No Quarter."

Smith and his mates like to have an enthusiastic crowd, and they tried to get those at the Show Me Center into their music, but didn't realize that music fans in Cape Girardeau largely go to rock shows to hear the familiar.

Nonetheless, they pressed on with their driving sound and eventually the crowd warmed to them. Smith kept up the stage banter, obviously one of his skills, and soon more hands could be seen in the air and the floor in front of the stage became denser with bodies.

Crowd favoriteThe real high point of Shinedown's show was when their guitarist began to pluck out the chords to Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man." Instantly, hundreds of lighters were thrust into the air, putting security on their toes. Little did Smith realize that no one can go wrong with a Skynyrd song in down-home Southeast Missouri.

So by the time Tantric hit the stage, the crowd was warmed up and ready for more excitement.

Tantric was formed from the ashes of Days of the New, one of those bands that filled the vacuum left by grunge with a sound that mixed Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, and it shows.

The sound of AIC could be heard throughout their set, especially in their second number, which begins with a drum lick lifted almost straight from "No Excuses," one of AIC's biggest hits. The tone of the lead guitar evened harkened back to Jerry Cantrell's on "Jar of Flies" in some tunes.

Similar sounds

And Keenan's other band, Tool, was also honored (or mocked) by Tantric -- their song "After We Go" featured a riff that was eerily similar to "Parabola" from the acclaimed prog-metal album "Lateralus."

So if you like originality, Shinedown and Tantric really aren't the bands for you. But if you just want to rock out, they're definitely worth checking out. After all, Thursday night's crowd seemed to enjoy it.

335-6611, extension 226

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