Story and Photos by Skylar Owens
This past Saturday was filled with rock n’ roll and madness! Shinedown returned to Reno and tore up the stage at Grand Sierra Resort’s Grand Theatre. Cold Kingdom, out of Minnesota, and As Lions, from London, opened the show.
Touring in support of their fifth studio album, “Threat to Survival,” Shinedown played their new single “How Did You Love” along with hits including “Devour,” “Fly From The Inside,” and “Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom),” among many others. A gracious performer, lead vocalist Brent Smith took the time to thank both security and photographers for doing their work before closing the show with die-hard fans’ favorite cover of “Simple Man” and “Sound Of Madness.”
Both supporting acts were promoting their debut albums, As Lions for “Selfish Age,” and Cold Kingdom for “The Moon and The Fool.”
I got a chance to speak with Austin Dickinson, lead vocalist and co-founder of As Lions, to discuss the tour and the band. His passion for music was evident from the start.
“Being on this tour has just been the best f***ing time. Shinedown are just wonderful lads,” he said.
Q: Where did the name As Lions come from?
A: “As Lions came from, well, we had a lot of names and Lions kept sticking. We didn’t really want to name the band just Lions because it just didn’t stick.” Dickinson continued on to explain that many of their concept names came off sounding either hard core rock or grunge metal band, neither of which fit the band. Then the current name As Lions came up and they all agreed that was the one.
Q: Where did you all meet?
A: “Will Homer (guitar) and I were in a band, Rise of The Remains, years ago and when my time ended with them we both still made music together. We felt it was our duty to rock music and to ourselves that we kept making music.”
Shinedown’s West Coast tour, which included Reno as the second-to-last stop, came after a holiday break preceded by touring for most of 2016. Band members Smith and Eric Bass continued to make music during their down time, and a new album is already in the works.
Just days after finishing the West Coast tour Shinedown’s Smith, Kerch, Bass, and Myers left the US to tour in the UK with Iron Maiden.