Photos by Jim LaValley
On May 28th, Godsmack finished up their spring leg of the “Best of Times World Tour” at the Mohegan Sun Arena with opening act Austin Meade starting the night. Godsmack is set to continue the tour this summer with Staind and Nothing More at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA on July 26th and around the country.
Austin Meade opened his set with “Dopamine Drop” off his 2020 album, Black Sheep, to get the crowd going. His set lasted around 45 minutes with a lot of great guitar riffs, feel-good vibes, and Southern influence.
Godsmack took the stage, with a thundering drum beat from Shannon Larkin, opening with their popular hit “When Legends Rise”. You could feel the excitement in the crowd from the energy this tune creates. Honestly, I couldn’t think of a better song by them to come out to set the tone for the rest of the night. The next tune was “Crying Like a Bitch”, where Shannon Larkin was so animated and on-point with the percussions he had his own show behind his kit, which was very entertaining to watch.
The next couple of songs were from their eighth and final studio album, Lighting Up the Sky, starting with “Soul on Fire”. One-word: pyrotechnics. During this song, their use of fire along the amplifiers was something the crowd felt a few sections back. Personally, being in the pit was a very hot experience, but worth it for the shots we were able to catch! Next from their new album was “You and I”, followed by “Something Different”, and the band’s latest release “What About Me.”
Tony Rombola sounded great and killed it with lead guitar and backing vocals. On bass guitar, Robbie Merrill was in sync and tight with Shannon Larkin for a solid rhythm throughout every song. Sully Erna on vocals, rhythm guitar, piano, and drums is so talented. He has built so many hits throughout the decades that he and the band have decided to stop making new music and tour and support their existing catalog of top hits that the fans really love.
Sully and Shannon did their famous drummer duel that always gets the crowd going. The talent those two men have behind a kit is inspiring and a rare feat to have in a band. After the duel, the band played one of my personal favorites “Whatever,” which is the song that got me into the band initially. They finished the set with “Surrender”, the first single off their new album.
Godsmack returned for an encore with Sully playing “Under Your Scars,” the band’s first ballad, on piano. With Sully able to play the piano as well as the drums, the man is an amazing musician and an honor to see live! Next, was their Godsmack version of “Come Together” by The Beatles, it was kewl and had the crowd singing along.
I spoke to one of the fans, who had seen Godsmack 22 times in their life (soon to be 23 when they play with Staind and Nothing More at Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA on July 26th). This is a great example of the loyal and dedicated fanbase that Godsmack has amassed over the years.
Godsmack is one of the greatest bands of our era and they are even better live. If you haven’t seen them, I strongly recommend checking them out because they will not disappoint.