Carnival of Madness

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Saturday, August 14, 2010

This year Shinedown organized the Carnival of Madness tour, a large scale tour that promotes a family environment among the bands that travel together and has a festival like atmosphere. For its inaugural edition Shinedown brought along 10 Years, Sevendust, Puddle of Mudd, and Chevelle. Check below for Chip Tamplin’s impressions and photos from the Columbia, MD show.

Sevendust:

This was the second time I’d seen Sevendust. The first time was at Rock on the Range 2008 and one of the first bands I ever had the opportunity to cover. I’d never listened to them before so I was blown away by singer LaJon Witherspoon’s vocals and just the overall musicianship within the band. Tonight was no exception to that. Taking the stage after 10 Years (who we missed covering due to issues with getting the passes to us at Will Call) Sevendust started off strong with “Splinter” and never let up the intensity and garnered a much stronger response from the crowd than I was expecting. As was the case of their show two years ago, I left with a greater respect for the band as well as feeling they were the break out band on the bill.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 8.5
Overall Sound: 10
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 9.5

Set list:

1. Splinter
2. Praise
3. Pieces
4. Angel’s Son
5. Driven
6. Unraveling
7. Face to Face

Puddle of Mudd:

As was the case for Sevendust, this was the second time I’d seen Puddle of Mudd (the first being at Rock on the Range too). The first time they failed to even remotely impress me but I try not to form a firm opinion on a bands live show until I’ve seen them twice. They were significantly better this time compared to two months ago but singer Wes Scantlin cannot hold a note to save his life. The rest of the band sounded great and overall they were by no means the worst band I’d ever seen but Wes was visibly drunk and it clearly affected his performance. I didn’t really mind too much until they did an absolutely awful cover of AC/DC’s “TNT”. With that in mind, the crowd either didn’t notice or didn’t care about the lack of quality of Wes’ vocals, because people were screaming along to their songs all night. I wouldn’t go out of my way to see them but if they play shows I was already going to I would probably watch them again.

Vocals: 6
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 8
Band Activity: 9
Overall Rating: 8.5

Set list:

1. Control
2. Livin’ on Borrowed Time
3. Spaceship
4. Blurry
5. Stoned
6. T.N.T. [AC/DC cover]
7. Psycho
8. She Hates Me

Chevelle:

Chevelle was the band I came to see. I’ve been a pretty big fan of them ever since Wonder What’s Next came out in 2002. We had the opportunity to sit down with founding member and lead vocalist Pete Loeffler as well as his brother-in-law and bassist Dean Bernardini before the show and talk music and games and that just made me even more excited to see them. They started off strong by opening with “The Clincher” and playing “Send the Pain Below” early on, and played an eclectic set list ranging from Wonder What’s Next all the way up to their new CD, Sci-Fi Crimes. It was a little odd seeing them play “The Red” mid-way through their set, but after hearing “Forfeit” live, I was on cloud nine with them. While the visual aspect of their set was pretty boring, they sounded great across the board and was amazed at how well they were received (as I was expecting them to play before Puddle of Mudd, not after). Regardless, they were by far my favorite band of the night and I can’t wait to catch one of their shows again.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 10
Band Activity: 8.5
Overall Rating: 9.5

Set list:

1. The Clincher
2. Jars
3. Send the Pain Below
4. Forfeit
5. Sleep Apnea
6. Comfortable Liar
7. The Red
8. Family System
9. Letter From a Thief
10. El Diablo
11. I Get It

Shinedown:

I’ve never been a big fan of Shinedown, but I’ve always enjoyed their shows. Their sound crosses genres and makes for a pretty exciting evening. And if that wasn’t enough, visually they had an amazing stage set up. Singer Brent Smith had a tremendous amount of energy and was dressed to kill in his top hat and cane. Guitarist Zach Myers was constantly running from side to side and posing for the cameras. The crowd was clearly there for Shinedown and ranged in age from young children to grand parents. A diverse crowd you expect for bands that have been around for generations, not bands who haven’t even been around for a decade, but it was nice to see. I’ve never been disappointed by one of Shinedown’s sets and tonight was no exception to that. I recommend them to anyone who has the opportunity to see them.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 9.5
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 10

Set list:

1. Sound of Madness
2. Devour
3. I Dare You
4. Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide
5. If You Only Knew
6. Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)
7. 45
8. The Crow and the Butterfly
9. Heroes
10. Her Name is Alice
11. Save Me
12. Son of Sam
13. Left Out

Encore:

14. Simple Man [Lynyrd Skynyrd cover]
15. Fly from the Inside
16. Second Chance

There are still a few dates left on the tour, so to see if it is making a stop in your city visit http://www.carnivalofmadness.com/.

Photos (Bands Listed in Alphabetical Order):

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