Hard rock band Shinedown's front man, Brent Smith, has a standard closing line for his audiences: "It's never goodbye. It's just till next time."
That has held true in the Roanoke Valley since 2004, when Smith and his mates opened for 3 Doors Down at Roanoke Civic Center Coliseum, now called Berglund Center Coliseum. As he has in multiple shows in Roanoke and Salem, Smith closed with that line on Tuesday. But first, Shinedown said a loud hello, with 100 minutes of hard-hitting and earnest rock music punctuated by flames, explosions, lasers and L.E.D. lights.
Even though it was past 11 p.m. on a school night when the band walked off stage, most of the 4,096 that came out had stayed through the end. In return, the headliner give them 18 songs, most of which had been either No. 1 or No. 2 on the Billboard mainstream rock chart. The set list sparked lots of singalongs from fans who screamed in recognition from the opening notes.
Shinedown featured five songs from its hit 2018 album, "Attention Attention," opening the set with "Devil" and closing with "Brilliant," while sprinkling "Black Soul," "Monsters" and "Get Up" along the way. Introducing "Get Up," the band's most recent hit and a crossover on the adult contemporary chart, Smith said he spoke with a young woman before the show who asked if the band would play it.
"She told me this song lets her know she is 100 percent incredible, just the way she is,” Smith said.
"If you were ever in doubt, don't sell yourself short, you might be bulletproof," he sang.
The band balanced the balladry with rockers "Enemies" and "Cut The Cord," then would return to sentimental mode with the likes of the waltzy "I'll Follow You." Smith's expressive range and resonant tone combined with guitarist Zach Myer's slashing guitar work and the pounding grooves of drummer Barry Kerch (who, with Smith, is an original member) and bassist/keyboardist Eric Bass (who produced "Attention Attention").
Shinedown went deep into its catalog with the slow, dramatic "45" and the uptempo, crunching "Sound of Madness," and got one of its biggest responses from a staple cover, Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man," that presented too clean for southern rock. The band created a feel-good vibe and connected with the crowd as it played and sang with precision and groove.
Second on the bill Papa Roach returned to Roanoke for the first time since 2007, and its mix of rap-rock and 80s-inspired metal kept the crowd going in a set that lasted three minutes shy of an hour. Lead singer Jacoby Shaddix and his band — he is its only founding member — are still recording new music. They played two from their 2019 album "Who Do You Trust?," the title song and "Elevate." During the latter, the wildly energetic Shaddix went in among the audience members, even going into the grandstands at stage left, giving high fives and accepting hugs.
The band played "Scars," a hit from 2005, and of course closed the show with its signature song, "Last Resort."
U.K. metal band Asking Alexandria got a good crowd response in a 37-minute set that featured a couple of interesting songs, "The Violence" and "When The Lights Come On." The latter worked despite the fact that it's a song about playing a rock show (meta metal cheese). Savage After Midnight opened the show with a 20-minute, five-song set that included a cover of Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know," and a remarkable amount of energy, though you have to wonder how frustrating it is to quit playing at that point, when you're just getting loose. A gig's a gig, though.