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Carnival of Madness Tour Brings the Madness to Raleigh

Raleigh, NC -- On Saturday, August 6, after a several weeks long heat wave broke, Raleigh was the first stop on the 2016 Carnival of Madness tour at Red Hat Amphitheater in downtown Raleigh. Rock fans of all generations were present, their styles reminiscent of my younger rock days including Chuck Taylors, flannel shirts, and combat boots.

My friend and I arrived at the beginning of Whiskey Myers' set, the first band on the bill that night. Whiskey Myers is a country rock ensemble from Palestine, TX. Their sound was similar to Kenny Wayne Shepherd in that it had some of that bluesy feel to it. Although country rock isn't really my thing, I definitely feel they put on a great show.

After a short intermission, Black Stone Cherry took the stage. I had not heard any of their material until that night and I was very entertained. A tweet from the band's Twitter page indicates that they enjoyed it, too. "Raleigh was a party! Thank y'all for a fun Saturday night!" They ended their set with a cover of Motorhead's "Ace of Spades."

A little surprised that Halestorm wasn't playing, but happy that my favorite band on the bill was up next, Shinedown hit the stage running with "Adrenaline." This was followed up with "Fly From The Inside", the first song off their debut album of the same name. The band sounded great, but I was a little disappointed that lead singer Brent Smith was not hitting some of his signature high notes, especially during my favorite song "45". I have always thought of him as a vocal powerhouse. He did nail the high note during "Second Chance" and the crowd roared and applauded their approval. During "State of My Head", the crowd was instructed to make our own stars, as it was a cloudy, but beautiful night. To do this, we lit up our cell phones and cigarette lighters and swayed our arms back and forth. We were also treated to a cover of Radiohead's "Creep" and the well-known Lynyrd Skynyrd cover "Simple Man", during which the crowd sung the chorus each time. Shinedown closed the show with their biggest hit "The Sound of Madness". It is impossible to sit still when they are performing this song.

This was my second time seeing Shinedown and this tour. The last time was in 2010 at the same venue. There is no doubt that this year's lineup knows how to show their fans a good time.