TVD Live Shots: Shinedown with Ayron Jones at the Wiltern Theatre, 1/28

With Shinedown’s upcoming release Planet Zero right around the corner, fans from all over Southern California packed the Wiltern Theater for their first taste of live music in 2022. Teaming up with guitar legend Ayron Jones, Shinedown blew the proverbial roof off the joint with an 18-song setlist that was sheer perfection from start to finish. Catch their US tour when you can—it’s a must-see in my book.

Who doesn’t love live music? In an “on-again off-again” world, it’s sometimes hard to know if your favorite band or artist is actually taking the stage or might have to be rescheduled down the road due to a covid outbreak. This was not the case with Shinedown show at the Wiltern Theater, as this one went off without a hitch on a beautiful Friday evening in the City of Angels. Brent Smith and Company left it all on the table in front of a capacity crowd.

First up was guitarist virtuoso Ayron Jones, and man was he special. I’m not saying that he’s Jimi Hendrix reincarnated, but good lord this guy is a special talent. Only playing nine songs, I felt a bit cheated knowing how killer his full catalog actually is. However, of the nine he played, all were home runs and left little to the imagination when the dust settled. My favorites of the evening were obviously “Mercy” and “Take Me Away,” but couldn’t help but love the Nirvana of “Breed.” Wow. I’m looking to the iHeart Radio Awards on March 22nd where Ayron is up for the Best New Rock Artist award. Based on what I saw during this performance, I bet the farm he wins pulling away.

Now to the headliners of the evening, Shinedown. These cats have been around the block a few times, and from what I hear always put on a killer show. Sadly, in the 20+ years of their existence, this was my first time seeing them live. I had high expectations walking into the Wiltern Friday evening, and they didn’t let me down. Their setlist was ridiculous, jam packed with 18 tracks that spanned their entire discography (and then some).

While they didn’t play “Call Me” (one of my all-time favorites), they did work in bangers like “45,” “Second Chance,” and “Monsters.” “Planet Zero” (off their upcoming album of the same name) was straight fire, and who doesn’t tear up for that timeless Lynyrd Skynyrd cover, “Simple Man”? They wrapped up their set with “Sound of Madness,” and it was just that, literally madness, as the crowd went wild throughout their encore. It was the perfect way to end the evening and a live show I’ll probably never forget.


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