I have been waiting a year to see Diamante and The Pretty Reckless after promoting their album releases last year on All Music Magazine; Diamante’s Album American Dream and The Pretty Reckless’s release, Death By Rock And Roll. Both are just powerhouse albums released in 2021. When I saw that they were going out on tour with Shinedown, Billboard‘s #1 Greatest of All Time Mainstreams Rock Artist, I thought that is a show that couldn’t be missed. To top it off, Shinedown is out in support of their upcoming 2022 release, Planet Zero.
Much to my dismay, there were no Florida dates on the tour? No worries, the closest date was May 6, 2022 at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina. I have family that lives 500 yards from that venue. So, I was off to Greenville to cover the two most intriguing bands of 2021. The Carolinas are beautiful this time of year, but the day of the show there had been scattered showers and tornado warnings in the area. Somehow, that inclement weather did not interfere with the show and Greenville was spared. From the arena’s personnel to the other photographers covering the concert that night, I truly felt welcomed in a foreign environment. I was even asked to join the photographers group shot before the show! This is a tradition of concert and event photographers to document who was present at a particular show.
The Bon Secours Wellness Arena was almost filled to capacity. I estimated there were 15,000 fans in attendance even with the weather report a bit sketchy. The stage was turned so it jetted out into the crowd in a runway fashion with visual access to three sides of the stage. I don’t believe I have seen this configuration before. We had a photo pit that extended around both sides and the end of the stage; a lot of room to cover. Diamante was first on the runway at around 7:00pm as the audience found their seats.
Diamante, or Diamante Azzura Bovelli, has a dynamic voice and stage presence. She came out in a full-length black leather coat with white crosses and sequined leggings. The jacket lasted just a bit after the first song and her sex appeal was in full display with a flesh tone top that had black cups giving the appearance of her wearing just a black bra and leggings. Diamante was fierce in her prowess on stage as she belted out each song in her set. She made multiple visits out the stage to the end putting one foot on the riser as she sang to the crowd.
She released her debut album, Coming In Hot, in 2018, along with her #1 song, “Hear Me Know” which she provided guest vocals on that Bad Wolves song. Diamante has been touring with Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Chevelle, and now Shinedown.
At just 25 years old, this lady is just getting started! Check out her latest album, American Dream.
Diamante – American Dream
1.) Ghost Myself (American Dream)
3.) American Dream (American Dream)
4.) Serves You Right (American Dream)
5.) Iris (The Goo Goo Dolls cover)
7.) War Cry
The Pretty Reckless started their set at 7:50pm. I have to admit that the album Death By Rock And Roll was one of my favorites in the past five years and adding to that fact that Taylor Momsen played Cindy Lou Who in the film How the Grinch Stole Christmas in the year 2000, I just had to see her perform live. I wasn’t disappointed. As editor of All Music Magazine, I have listened to all the singles released in 2020 and 2021 from the album Death By Rock And Roll, and published the press releases as they were released. Prior to 2020, I hadn’t been introduced to The Pretty Reckless so I know relatively nothing about the band. Death By Rock And Roll was released February 12, 2021 and went to #1 on UK Rock & Metal Albums and #3 here at home on US Top Rock Albums (Billboard).
Taylor came out dressed exactly as how she had been dressing on the tour, a black leather jacket and black boots with platform soles. As with Diamante, the jacket was shed after a song, but she had a sheer black coat on underneath that also lasted for just one song. She did the rest of her performance in a black full slip with the boots as she had done on previous nights. The band only played two songs from the new album which was disappointing, the title track “Death By Rock And Roll” and “Only Love Can Save Me Now.” I really hoped to see her perform “25”, “And So It Went”, and maybe even “Witches Burn” but that just leaves them for next time.
Leaning on the heavy riffs of Ben Philips, Taylor went back and forth from the front to the back of the stage delivering her vocals in a powerful but seductive voice in a quite elegant delivery. I was surprised that “Death By Rock And Roll” was sung at the back of the stage and Taylor stayed behind the microphone stand missing an opportunity to deliver the song in the raw powerful way it was recorded in my opinion.
Overall, I was mesmerized by Taylor’s performance as I was trying to capture her essence and beauty to share my experience with the readers of this review. Hell, I traveled nine hours for this show, and I wasn’t leaving with an empty memory card in my camera! Get out and see The Pretty Reckless. Taylor Momsen is a star that is on the rise!
The Pretty Reckless – Death By Rock And Roll
Taylor Momsen – Lead Vocals, Rhythm guitar
Ben Phillips – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jamie Perkins – Drums
Mark Damon – Bass
1.) Loud Love (Soundgarden cover)
2.) Since You’re Gone
3.) Only Love Can Save Me Now (Death By Rock And Roll)
4.) Death by Rock and Roll (Death By Rock And Roll)
5.) Make Me Wanna Die
6.) Going to Hell
7.) Heaven Knows
8.) Take Me Down
As we waited for Shinedown, I noticed some things about the stage that now made sense to me. The stage was relatively bare having no amplifiers and no monitors that the previous bands had on stage. There was the drum kit on a riser and there were microphone stands halfway down both sides of the stage and in the corners at the end of the stage. The stages deck construction was metal grate and there were four squares taped off with black burn marks in the middle, obviously from pyrotechnics. The squares marked the danger zone for the band to stay safe. At the back of the stage were two towering doors about 30 feet high that a video played on when the lights went down. At the end of the video, the doors opened and a light cast from behind as four silhouettes emerged from the darkness. As they moved further upstage, the band walked into a light from above to completely illuminated them to the audience. Ladies and Gentlemen, Shinedown. What a great entrance!
The band opened with “The Saints of Violence and Innuendo” which they just released off their latest and seventh studio album, Planet Zero, which is due for release July 1, 2022. They also played the title track, “Planet Zero”, off the album in their set. The pyrotechnics were blasting from within the stage as were lights and smoke giving the crowd a completely unobstructed view of the production. Brent Smith, Zach Myers, and Eric Bass used every inch of the stage sometimes stopping midway and at the end where the microphone stands were located to sing backup vocals. Spotlights came down from the ceiling and also shot up through the grates in the stage to give the effect of light bars the band traveled through. All of the effects added to the atmosphere, and the audience continually gave their approval. This was my third Shinedown show for All Music Magazine in the past eight months and this show was completely over the top!
Brent started the fifth song by asking the crowd to join him and sing along. He added that he has never done that in the past and the crowd was all too happy to show their Southern Hospitality and oblige him as they rose to their feet. They remained there for the rest of the show, I might add, and helped him sing “45.” It was a sight to see and hear as the white lights panned to audience including them in the show. The introduction to the sixth song, Brent introduced Eric Bass as the two men stood alone at the midpoint of the stage. Brent announced Eric who produced the current album Planet Zero. He made sure the crowd was aware that Eric lived in Charleston, South Carolina which caused the Bon Secours Wellness Arena to explode with applause.
There were so many great moments. I only touched on a few. The bigger story is the tour was winding down with one city left, Knoxville, Tennessee. The band had to cancel that show due to Brent losing his voice in Greenville. Zach took to Instagram to express his remorse the next morning:
“Knoxville … I’m sorry it turned out like it did. But the truth is. We have to put health first. There’s no one I’m more bummed for than @thebrentsmith who has truly wanted to play this arena his entire adult life …. We will be back to make it up.”
“Greenville…. What can we say …. Brent looked at us after song 1 and said his voice was gone and told you guys we didn’t want to let you down ….: and in turn you ended up not letting us down … as much as we had a show in mind to give you ….. what an experience it turned into … I’ve never heard a crowd sing that loud. I meant every word I said last night onstage. I love shows in the south. You had our backs until the end. I can’t tell you how proud I am of Brent and all of us in this band. He could have (and maybe should have) walked off that stage …. Yet we stayed and y’all stayed. And for some reason ended up being the best crowd and maybe my favorite show of the tour …. Thanks for understanding, To our crew and the other bands! So sorry this ended a day early. What a ride. What an amazing tour. Every night was it’s interesting and original show.”
This post was from his heart, and every soul in attendance also felt something special as it was happening in real time. I have never experienced such a vibe during a rock and roll performance in my life and I will never forget this show and my entire experience of Southern Hospitality in Greenville, South Carolina.
The lead single, “Planet Zero”, which is Shinedown fashion hit #1 last month, broutht the band their 18th number 1 single which is the most by any band. Incidentally, all previous Shinedown singles have all earned top five rankings on Billboard Mainstream Rock charts, also giving Shinedown the most of any band. On June 3, 2021, Shinedown was ranked #1 by Billboard on the Greatest of All Time Mainstreams Rock Artists.
Shinedown – Planet Zero
Brent Smith – Lead Vocals
Barry Kerch – Drums
Zach Myers – Guitar, Bass, Piano, Backing Vocals
Eric Bass – Bass, Guitar, Piano, Backing Vocals
1.) The Saints of Violence and Innuendo (Planet Zero)
3.) Planet Zero (Planet Zero)
4.) State of My Head (Extended intro)
6.) Get Up
7.) Fly From the Inside
10.) Cut the Cord
11.) Second Chance
14.) Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)
15.) Wheels (Foo Fighters cover) (Acoustic)
16.) Call Me (Acoustic)
17.) Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover) (Acoustic)
18.) Sound of Madness
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Photographer and Editor/Founder of AllMusicMagazine.com. My love of live music has taken me to incredible experiences with the top bands of all time in stadium shows to the smallest venues with equally inspiring musicians. Using the medium of photography and my publication, these memories will last forever.