On a Thursday night in Springfield, Missouri, a line of people formed outside of Midnight Rodeo, braving the cold and wind to get the best possible spot to see Shane Smith and the Saints. Teeth chattered and boyfriends sacrificed their coats, but everyone knew it would be worth it.
Opening the show was a band local to the Ozarks, Jake Stringer and Better than Nothing. If you ask me, there isn’t a band that matches the energy of Shane Smith and the Saints better than Jake Stringer. Their loud, rhythmic country sound was the perfect warm up. A guy near me nudged his friend after Stringer finished a local favorite, “Ozark Home” and said, “Damn, that was pretty good!” The cheers from the rest of the crowd confirmed that sentiment.
The crowd erupted seeing Shane Smith and the Saints enter the venue and take the stage. After a short instrumental, they broke into “The Mountain.” The harmony of the acapella intro that builds into an eruption of instruments set the stage for the rest of the night. You could feel the passion when the band mellowed the set back out with “Oklahoma City.” There was a tangible heaviness in the venue as everyone sang along to the chorus, hoping their loved one waits until they’re back home.
When “Dance the Night Away” kicked off, the pounding of feet on the hardwood dance floor echoed off the walls. People danced, jumped, and sang with seemingly unending energy. The crowd sang “Geronimo” back to Shane Smith so loudly it was easily heard over the PA system.
In my opinion, the best two songs were saved for last and judging by the crowd’s reaction when the familiar intro to “All I See is You” started to play, they agreed. The closing song was “Heaven Knows,” which left everyone feeling they were setting sails to deeper seas right along with the band. Naturally, when the band left the stage, the applause continued with a sprinkle of “One more song!” chants. And of course, Shane Smith obliged. They eventually ended the evening with an incredible rendition of “Seven Bridges Road” that a band without incredible four-part harmony could never dream of pulling off.
It’s incredible that a band can play a medium tempo song and somehow keep the energy level as high as when they’re playing a song that you can’t help but dance to. Somehow, Shane Smith and the Saints pulled it off. The energy and excitement were nonstop. Everyone, including each member of the band, left that night with a smile on their face. I’m still humming the chorus to “Hummingbird” as I type this.
Enjoy our previous coverage here: Show Review: Shane Smith & the Saints at OKC’s Tower Theatre After Bus Fire