GODSMACK: THE LEGEND THAT CONTINUES TO RISE - ASBURY PARK VIBES

GODSMACK: THE LEGEND THAT CONTINUES TO RISE

Their performance at Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls, New York was proof that they just keep getting better and better!


By Diane DiMemmo

July 21, 2019

What constitutes a true legend?  Is it longevity? Talent? Influence? Contribution? Heart?


I believe it consists of all of these traits and that Godsmack – now more than ever - continues to embrace all of them! Instead of fading after producing twenty-plus years of incomparable rock, this band keeps getting stronger and is intensifying their impact on the rock world, their fans, and the community at large. I mean, c’mon … how many bands can say they have an actual day named after them? Seriously. In 2014, Boston’s mayor proclaimed August 6th as “Godsmack Day” for the city. Pretty cool.

Sully Erna [vocals, guitar], Tony Rombola [guitar], Robbie Merrill [bass] and Shannon Larkin [percussion] pounded the stage at Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls, NY on July 21st to adoring fans who could barely contain themselves about having their #1 visit this picturesque town nestled in the Adirondacks. It was my first time at the venue and I thought a security guard was pulling my leg when he said that the A/C was broken on the 100+ degree day. Yeah. No air conditioning at COOL Insuring Arena. You can’t make that stuff up. Regardless, it didn’t seem to matter to Godsmack that this was a smaller – VERY HOT - venue. They gave an electrifying performance filled with their greatest and newest hits, comedic interludes, and interactions with the audience that everyone who was there will remember for a long time to come.

Godsmack has been a rock band staple longer than most and has racked up a long list of accomplishments that any group of musicians today would kill to have. Over the years, they’ve produced seven albums: Godsmack (1998), Awake (2000), Faceless (2003), IV (2006), The Oracle (2010), 1000hp (2014), and When Legends Rise (2018). They’ve sold more than 20 million records worldwide, have had ten #1 singles at mainstream rock radio, twenty-four Top 10 hits, and three consecutive albums at #1 on the Billboard Top 200. Godsmack were also winners of The Billboard Music Awards Rock Artists of the Year in 2001 and have four Grammy nominations. Even with all of those distinctions, the band seems grounded by their desire to always make meaningful music for their fans and thankful they continue to do it together. As Shannon said in a recent interview with Antihero, “We celebrated 20 years. For any band, that’s a big accomplishment. To me, more than all the accolades and gold records and hits and all, my badge of honor is a 20-year career with this band.”

That feeling seemed to also be shared by Sully, Tony, and Robbie as they performed together. They all exuded a youthful, playfulness on stage … a dynamic energy that many newer bands lack. They laughed and joked with each other while playing and it spilled over to the audience making the show that much more enjoyable. Sully is the consummate performer … all jazzed up to be there, ready to entertain and so happy to be doing it. His voice was rich and thick and sounded better than ever. Sully once said (in a Linea Rock interview) that a “Godsmack rock show is like unleashing a beast.” Well, that passion he put into his singing seemed to transform him into something bigger than himself or Godsmack. It was like a tangible connection to everyone in the building and it was pretty amazing to be a part of it.


Robbie, also, was completely in his element on stage. He constantly interacted with fans, smiling, leaning towards them, and giving the rock horns gesture. Playing his wicked bass lines and hard rock runs seemed to be the most natural thing in the world for him to do, and I have never seen anyone who was so happy doing it. Tony, who appears to be a more reserved performer, is absolutely one of the most talented guitar players around. Every one of their songs has a “signature Tony guitar lick” and his searing solos are definitely one of the elements that sets Godsmack apart.


And I need a separate paragraph to talk about Shannon. He is, without a doubt, the best percussionist I’ve ever seen or heard. To say he’s a monster on the drums is an understatement. He dominates his set in a way nobody else does. His movements are dramatic, exhilarating to watch, and seem to give him extra power in his playing. Sticks are flying everywhere and being caught mid-cadence. He leans so far back that you think he’s going to fall off his stool, and then bounces forward to drill into his set. The passion and determination you see in his face as he plays, makes you think he’s channeling the music from a higher power. One of the highlights of Godsmacks show is the song, “Batalla de los tambores” where Sully and Shannon play dueling drum solos. They both fed off the energy of each other that night as they took turns rocking their sets, catching their launched drumsticks and giving the crowd a taste of how real drummers play.

But the show wasn’t all high octane “1000hp rock.” A tender moment came as Sully sat down at the piano to play, “Under Your Scars,” the band’s third #1 rock hit from their most current album, When Legends Rise. Thankful that the ballad has been embraced so wholeheartedly by fans, Godsmack continues to make a difference in the creation of the SCARS Foundation, whose mission is to “serve the broad spectrum of mental health and awareness of the struggle, faced by millions of people in the world today.” Sully has said, “We all have these imperfections, these wounds that we carry (whether they’re physical or emotional) that cut so deep they can cripple us. These feelings leave us vulnerable, or embarrassed, or even unworthy at times. And our human nature–when they’re exposed–is to shut down, rather than embrace them and realize that not only can we overcome them, but we can also become an inspiration to inspire others to have a voice and find their inner strength to show their scars off loudly and proudly to the world. Our ‘Scars’ are nothing more than our battle wounds from life and they helped mold you into who you are today.” To get a sense of the positive impact and inspiration Godsmack bestows upon their fans, you must watch the video below of ‘Under Your Scars.”

Godsmack ended the evening with two of their biggest hits “Bulletproof” (recently certified Gold and the most-played song at rock radio in 2018) and the Grammy-nominated “I Stand Alone.” Every single fan was standing together (pun intended) and singing in unison as Godsmack brought the house down, giving the crowd a night they’ll never forget. It was the stuff legends are made of!!


Setlist

When Legends Rise/1000hp/Say My Name/Someday/Voodoo/Unforgettable/Awake/Take It To The Edge/Something Different/Keep Away/Batalla de los tambores/Whatever/Under Your Scars/Bulletproof/I Stand Alone


Band Info

Godsmack's  North American Tour Dates

SCARS Foundation

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter


NEW YEARS DAY

Opening for Godsmack that night were Anaheim, California heavy rockers – New Years Day – who exploded onto the stage. The band is fronted by singer Ash Costello and joined by Nikki Misery (Guitar), Frankie Sil (Bass), and Austin Ingerman (Guitar). Since 2007, New Years Day has gone through several lineup changes, but feels that their current group is in a very good place right now. Ash has said, “The communication among the band is incredible. We’ve got this shit. We’re tight.”


The band has created four albums including: My Dear (2007), Victim To Villian (2013), Malevolence (2015), and the recently released Unbreakable (2019). Malevolence peaked at No 45 on the Billboard 200 Chart and the single “Skeletons” from Unbreakable has surpassed two million streams.


Ash commandeered the stage with confidence and wowed the crowd with her rich, powerful vocals. She covered the entire stage in order to engage with the audience and climbed a platform when pounding out choruses. Nikki, Frankie and Austin have a great chemistry and provide a unique heavy rock/metal/goth sound that is filled with energy and white-hot guitar riffs and lines.


New Years Day did their first headlining tour in 2015. In 2017, they headlined the Vans Warped Tour and did a month-long festival run with Halestorm. The band appeared on the Punk Goes Pop compilation, covering Kehlani's "Gangsta" from the movie Suicide Squad. In 2018, New Years Day joined Halestorm and In This Moment for a slew of tour dates.


After years of dealing with toxic personalities, New Years Day is now on a new path. They say that they finally feel “unbreakable.” The song lyrics of their title track seem to best express the outlook the band has right now and it looks like they are well on their way to achieving great success!


I am stronger than you know

Cause unbreakable pieces don't shatter

I won't shatter

You can't shatter me now

I am taking back my life

And putting myself back together

I won't shatter

You can't shatter me now I'm unbreakable

-Unbreakable


Setlist

Come For Me/Kill Or Be Killed/Fucking Hostile (Pantera cover)/Shut Up//Gangsta (Kehlani cover)/Epidemic/Scream/Skeletons/Defame Me


NEW YEARS DAY TOUR DATES

NEW YEARS DAY PHOTO GALLERY

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