This was the rescheduled tour after a close personal tragedy last year caused a cancellation of the UK leg of Godsmack’s tour. The band have released their recent album “When Legends Rise” last year; so it was this release that they would be primarily supporting with these shows. Just the one band supporting and it would be Antipodean rock band “Like A Storm”, who I was fortunate enough to catch live a few years ago in Manchester Arena as one of several supports to Alter Bridge. Early sightings of the stage showed that the band had brought a few props in order to add to the fans’ visual enjoyment of their performance. I think that many people had also caught them previously live as unusually for a show in the Ritz it was quickly packed early doors almost to capacity ahead of the openers taking to the stage.As the stage lights slowly came on,a backdrop was visible,in addition to smoke cannons,skeletons and even a very un-metal didgeridoo.
Hard to define Like A Storm seems to be trying to forge their own musical path. Initial sound issues were quickly ironed out by the venue sound engineer and when this sorted out, the band was able to more effectively deliver their energetic powerfully driven anger rock. They seem to have a huge fanbase among the Godsmack audience and received a great reception throughout their all too brief set. I was surprised that they didn’t decide that their rocked-up version of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” warranted a place in the set, but the band instead favoured their own composition with “Love The Way You Hate Me”, which created a massive crowd singalong, which brought their high quality performance to a close. The band’s career continues to progress upwards and I feel sure that it won’t be too long before they return to headline venues of this size purely on their own merits. The band did a very solid and very effective job in warming up the audience and raising the venue temperature before Godsmack took the stage, slightly over due in terms of date but very much eagerly anticipated.
Quick stage turnaround and the intro tape kicked in ahead of the headliners. I have only previously seen Godsmack live once before and that was mid-afternoon, in a muddy field at Download Festival. It would be a much more attractive proposition to see them deliver a full headlining show on their own terms and on their own stage. I was lucky enough to interview the band ahead of the evening performance, and they conveyed to me how much they were relishing their return to UK venues. I also sneaked a peek at the set lists, which were lying on the table in front of me during the interview which showed me that the band would be delivering a well-rounded show which would dip into all of their musical back catalog and previously released albums in addition to some tunes from their latest musical offering.
Opening with the title track from their recent album release, the band immediately engaged their full audience and soon had them starting pits right in front of the stage as the security struggled to deal with the passion of the bands’ fanbase. The sound was crystal clear, all the highs and musical nuances of their studio albums only with the band actually present and delivering the songs with passion right in your face. Sully Erna always stood apart from the majority of his musical contemporaries and was able to switch comfortably between hard rock anthemic brutality and more tender moments.
As I earlier stated, the band’s set steps effortlessly through their musical legacy. The opening new track was quickly followed up by “1,000 HP”. That song continues the party atmosphere as plastic beer cups are tossed with casual abandonment into the air while the fans loudly and vociferously bellow the song’s chorus refrain back at maximum volume to the band on the stage. As I suggested, the band appeared to be delighted that they were finally able to play these dates and are fully appreciative of the audience reaction to them. The feeling is mutual as the audience generated such an atmosphere of high intensity that it bordered on hysteria at times. Culminating in the song that generated a more widespread audience with its involvement in the “Scorpion King” movie, Godsmack bowed out with “I Stand Alone”. It serves to take audience reception and excitement, to a raised level even higher before they exit leaving a largely deflated but exhausted and happy full venue of fans.
- Concert Photo Credit: Jack Barker Photography
Godsmack will be continuing their European run with Like A Storm before heading to the United States for a co-headlining tour with Volbeat. Here are the tour dates below:
Wed. 3/6- Komplex in Zurich, Switzerland
Thu. 3/7- Live Music Hall in Cologne, Germany
Fri. 3/8- TonHalle Munchen in Langennaundorf, Germany
Sun. 3/10- Live Music Hall in Koln, Germany
Mon. 3/11- Melkweg in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Wed. 3/13- Trix in Antwerp, Belgium
Sat. 3/16- Kulturbolaget in Malmo, Sweden
Sun. 3/17- Rockefeller Music Hall in Grunerlokka, Norway
Tue. 3/19- Fryshuset Grundskola in Sodermalm, Sweden
Tue. 3/21- The Grey Hall in Copenhagen, Denmark
Fri. 3/22- Grobe Freihiet 36 in Hamburg, Germany
Sun. 3/24- Huxleys Neue Welt in Berlin, Germany
Tue. 3/26- Progresja in Warsaw, Poland
Wed. 3/27- Arena Wien in Wien, Austria
Thu. 3/28- Barba Negra Music Club in Budapest, Hungary
Sat. 3/30- Arena Armeec Sofia in Sofia, Bulgaria
Sun. 3/31- Arenele Romane in Bucharest, Romania
Mon. 4/1- Arenele Romane in Bucharest, Romania
For tickets and further information on any of the shows listed above, click here.
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