Review: Carnival Of Madness

Monster Energy Drink’s Carnival of Madness is finally here, and what a tour it is. With a lineup that consists of Shinedown, Papa Roach, Skillet, In This Moment and We As Human, I think this tour should be renamed Carnival of Bad@$$! Held at the Constellation Performing Arts Center in Canandaigua, N.Y., you could not ask for a more beautiful day for a rock show.

Walking into the venue, everybody was super stoked when we noticed that Papa Roach was in fact there. With all the things going on with Jacoby’s vocals and tour cancelations because of these issues, no one was sure if they were going to make it. Sevendust started the tour, and this is the first show Papa Roach was slated to play on. Rumors even had Avenged Sevenfold replacing them on this show, so with that added to all the vocal issues and the Carnival of Madness Facebook stating that Papa Roach would be there, nobody for sure knew what to expect.

First up on the stage was We As Human. XM Octane has been playing their single “Strike Back,” which is a great song, so I was curious to see these guys live. Justin Cordle was just awesome on vocals. They did a great job getting the crowd ready for the rest of the show.

In This Moment was up next. Maria and the boys always put on a great energy filled set. Maria is probably one of the only performers I can tolerate standing in one spot for the whole show. This is the first time I got to see Maria with backup dancers, which was pretty cool. The only thing I wish that was different is that they would play some more of their older stuff as well. Oh, well, maybe in November when I see them again on the Hell Pop Tour. In This Moment Also signed autographs in the Monster Energy Drink tent after their set.

Christian rockers Skillet were slated in the third spot for this show. I really love this band live. I know some people think John Cooper can get a little preachy at times, but if you really listen they are just heartfelt stories he shares. Skillet brought all their props for this one. Yes, they had their usual CO2 blasters, but they also had a stage length l.e.d video wall in the background and two moving platforms next to drummer Jen Ledger that various band members would take turns riding up and down. This band has so much energy live it’s amazing. John was doing this crazy dance that looked like he is having a seizure. Jen literally was rocking the stage, her drums were on as you can see it move back and forth. Korey has an awesome stage presence and newcomer Seth looked like he has been rocking with Skillet for years. I had the chance to meet the band before the show and they are really awesome to shoot the $#!^ with. Jon was kidding with everyone, and Jen is just so nice and polite.

Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach could be seen watching Skillet’s performance from the side of the stage. Barry Kerch of Shinedown was also seen watching Skillet from the other side of the stage.

Just when you thought the crowd could not get any more pumped up, Papa Roach hit the stage. These guys brought the f’in house down. Jacoby was just on fire and sounded awesome. I could have watched them play all night. Energy turned up to max. They sang a good variety of old and new tracks. Jacoby even did a lap through the crowd during one song.

Papa Roach also signed autographs under the Monster Energy Drink tent while We As Human were performing at the beginning of the event.

Every time I see this next band I am never disappointed. Shinedown is the headliner of the Carnival of Madness tour, and this band always brings a show with them. Shinedown is one of the best live bands you could ever see. Flames, sparklers, pyro and fireworks. They also had a Gypsy/Circus troupe that were performing tricks as you walked into the venue, and also joined Shinedown on stage and performed tricks with fire as the boys played. Brent Smith is just vocally amazing live. He really knows how to take over everyone in the venues emotions. Amazing singer. Amazing talker. Amazing performer.  Zack and Eric just have so much energy moving around on stage. They make you want to go up on stage and start jamming with them. Barry is just kick @$$ on the drums. Thanks, bro, for giving me your drumstick after the show!

This is an amazing tour that every rock fan must see. I drove over three hours to see this event, and it was more than worth it. Monster hit a homerun with this lineup, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next year.