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Shinedown to bring 'big rock show' and mental health message

Clinton Herald - 6/9/2024

Jun. 8—Multi-platinum rock band Shinedown will come to Clinton for the first time to headline this year's Tailgate N' Tallboys music festival on the riverfront Saturday, June 8.

"We're going to bring the big rock show that we do," drummer Barry Kerch told The Herald last week from Nashville, Tennessee. "We're known for being energetic and getting out there and making the fans part of the show, so that's what we're going to do."

In Nashville, Kerch spoke from a locker room where he said he was building "some drum stuff" to prepare for the band's rehearsal and tour.

Kerch recovered from an elbow injury that arose a couple years ago as a result of his career as a drummer.

He started drumming 40 years ago at the age of 7 and has been with Shinedown since its 2001 inception in Florida..

The band has since had 15 platinum and gold certified singles from albums all also platinum or gold certified. Ten million Shinedown albums have been sold worldwide and their songs have streamed globally billions of times, including the most recent hit "A Symptom of Being Human" from their seventh studio album "Planet Zero."

The song, like many throughout the band's career, focuses on mental health and human connections.

"In this industry, there are a lot of people that deal with a lot of things," Kerch said. "And it's been no secret that even our bass player [Eric Bass], he deals with severe depression issues, dark days. Our singer [Brent Smith] was a severe addict for a while."

With their music, Kerch said, they try to help people to deal with those or similar issues and not be afraid to talk about it.

"Within our band and within our crew, if somebody's having a bad day, we try to be there for them. We try to help them," he said. "You just have to have that open line of communication, and we're really, really passionate about that."

The city of Clinton teamed up with Illinois-based promoter USA Concerts for the city's first Tailgate N' Tallboys festival last year with a goal of offering something that increases the quality of life for local residents.

The event also drew people to Clinton from 35 other states, making up 80% of ticket sales.

This year's lineup, announced in November, begins Thursday, June 6, with Nate Smith, Austin Snell, Redferrin, and headliner Jelly Roll.

On Friday, June 7, Josh Ross, Alexandra Kay, and Lakeview precede headliner Bailey Zimmerman.

Shinedown will headline on Saturday, June 8, following The Cadillac Three, Them Dirty Roses, and Myron Elkins.

Clinton Mayor Scott Maddasion said Tuesday that ticket sales are ahead of last year's at this point.

"They are pretty steady across all three days," he said, "and right now, we are expecting at least 10,000 [people] each day with two weeks to go."

After the festival is over, the message that Kerch said he wants the audience to walk away with is that, "It's OK to not be OK."

"And I think it's more important that if you know you're not OK to talk to somebody, even if you don't know the person."

He also says the band works to provide its audience with a couple hours of relief from whatever it is they're dealing with and walk away feeling good.

"It's our job to entertain. It's our job to put on the best show we can," he said. "People spend a lot of money to come to these shows. There's babysitters, parking, food, all those things, and it's supposed to be a release. And when you're at a Shinedown concert, not only do we want you to have that release, we want you to be a part of it. We want you to feel wanted there. We always say there's only one boss, and that's everybody in that audience."

Tickets to the Tailgate N' Tallboys music festival in Clinton, Iowa, can be purchased online at tailgatentallboys.com

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(c)2024 the Clinton Herald (Clinton, Iowa)

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