Shinedown singer Brent Smith is spending the summer hanging out with his friends.

And their roadies, and their managers, and thousands of spectators.

“It’s been amazing to be on the road in the summer with four of our best friends,” said Smith, referring to the four other bands traveling with Shinedown on the Carnival of Madness Tour. “We started talking about it in January, and now that it’s here, I think it’s the tour of the year.”

There’s no question it will be a big event in Wiscasset, where big-name rock shows are rare. On Saturday at Wiscasset Raceway, the Carnival of Madness bands will be the headliners at a 12-hour, three-stage, outdoor music festival called Oxxfest.

The show’s promoters, Maine-based Waterfront Concerts and Massachusetts-based New England Concerts, held the event last year in Oxford and kept the name.

Besides Shinedown, the other hard-rocking and alt-metal bands on the Carnival of Madness Tour include national bands Puddle of Mudd, Sevendust, Chevelle and 10 Years.

Oxxfest promoters have also included other national acts and lots of regional and local rock bands for a total of about 30 acts, each playing somewhere between 15- and 90-minute sets. The first bands are scheduled to go on at 10 a.m. Saturday, and the last band is slated to be done by 10 p.m.

Smith said he’s excited to play on the coast of Maine, and excited that some 10,000 tickets had already been sold nearly two weeks before the show.

“I like to look at ticket sales so I knew the truth when I get there, so I knew how we’re doing and how many people want to see us,” said Smith, 32. “But we’ll play the same whether it’s 10 or 10,000 people. We’ll really dig in and give them everything we have. At the end of the day, we only have one boss, and that’s the audience.”

Smith founded Shinedown about 10 years ago in Jacksonville, Fla. The band is known for being fan-friendly, sometimes staying after shows to talk and sign CDs.

The band is also known for intense alternative metal music and melodic hard-rock songs. All three of its albums have sold gold or platinum and spawned a number of hits, including “45,” “Save Me,” “Devour” and “Second Chance.” Earlier this year, Shinedown contributed “Her Name is Alice” to the soundtrack of Tim Burton’s film “Alice in Wonderland.”

Despite the band’s success, Shinedown continues to tour almost nonstop when not recording. Smith said a three-week break from touring this year was the longest the band had ever taken.

“Some bands forget the only reason any of us get to go on stage is because people pay to see us,” said Smith. “We try not to forget that.”

Smith calls the other bands on this summer’s tour “friends,” and all share fans because of their hard rocking or metal sounds. All of the bands have been classified by critics as either post-grunge or alternative metal.

Oxxfest is in Wiscasset as sort of a test to see if more rock shows might be held there in the future, said Alex Gray of Waterfront Concerts.

“We hope that everyone in town will find this show a success and it will lead to more shows to come,” said Gray.

 

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

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