If you have ever seen Shinedown or Godsmack in concert you know that you are guaranteed maximum effort of giving the audience one helluva show. Each band prides themselves on putting money into their production to give their fans the best they can, night after night. Last night, at Key Bank Pavilion outside of Pittsburgh, was no exception. Both bands came out guns blazing and ready to entertain peoples faces off. Often described as post-grunge, the bands are a more radio friendly hard rock/metal and the amount of hits they played throughout their sets were testimony enough of why they have lasted.
Shinedown poured it on with a ton of pyrotechnics and showmanship as they started off the evening with “The Sound of Madness”,”Diamond Eyes” , and “Cut The Cord” and really did not slow down a half beat until “I’ll Follow You” (full set list at end of article).
Singer Brent Smith was a commanding presence, as usual, and showed off his vocal talents throughout the set, belting out both aggressive tunes and those leaning more towards ballads. Guitarist Zach Myers criss-crossed the stage with high energy output as he blazed on guitar and bassist Eric Bass jumped and twirled while keeping down the low end. As the back screen displayed fuzzed out imagery, drummer Berry Kerch often stood up as he pounded on the skins and explosions went off all around him.
Even new song “Get Up” was met with large enthusiasm for good reason. The song is very personal, as Eric explained recently, “Brent wrote the lyrics about me, and about what until that point had been my private battle with severe depression and anxiety. I never talked about it with anyone and it was only known by my wife, my band mates, and my close family. But that all changed. With the swipe of a pen and a few simple piano chords, Get Up crashed into our lives!” The band also did a tremendously accurate cover of Lynrd Skynrd’s “Simple Man”. The set was high energy with a lot of musicianship backing the showmanship, a feat not always practiced by heavier bands.
A bit more aggressive with a long withstanding history, Godsmack is celebrating 20 years in the industry with a new release, When Legends Rise. Sully Erna, guitarist and lead vocalist, brought his signature gruff to the party and challenged the audience to keep up from note one. The band from MASS has kept together a tight unit since 1995 and it shows by their concise execution of their catalog of songs. By the third song they were in very familiar territory with the first hit, “Keep Away”, then tore into “Cryin’ Like a Bitch” (written about Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue), and sent fans into nirvana with huge hit “Voodoo”. Of course, any Godsmack fan knows that live one of the best parts of the show is the traditional drum off between Sully and percussionist Shannon Larkin. Lead guitarist Tony Rombolo looks like the “least likely to be a metal musician”, but he more than makes up for it with amazing chops and killer grooves. That is not to take anything away from bassist Robbie Merrill who is a powerhouse player and super entertaining as well.
It’s great to see veteran bands come together and put a on a great package of music for the fans while never ‘phoning it in’. Last night was no exception as Shinedown and Godsmack proved why they have survived in a here today gone later today industry.
Godsmack setlist: When Legends Rise, 1000hp, Keep Away, Cryin’ Like a Bitch, Say My Name, Awake, Someday, Voodoo, Batalla de los tambores, Whatever, Bulletproof, Rocky Mountain Way (Joe Walsh cover) (with Zach Myers), I Stand Alone
All photos ©2018 AWeldingphoto