Godsmack : Show Review : Milwaukee
by Dave Dalka
Flames of Warmth
On May 31st, 2003, Godsmack
headlined the 2nd annual Lazerfest at the Marcus Amphitheatre in Milwaukee.
Several opening acts on the bill: Revis, Cold, Ra and Trapt were all
worthy of more time than the half hour that they were allotted, hopefully
the festival organizers will have the event start an hour earlier next
year to bump up the set times of the opening acts. Noteworthy of the
opening acts I saw was Cold, who was without the bass playing services
of Jeremy Marshall. Larry Melero, part-time Cold (full-time Incubus)
guitar tech, filled in for him on bass while Jeremy still sang his normal parts.
Ra and Trapt played good sets, and then came the wait for Godsmack.
Godsmack hits the stage
and plays their new hit "Straight out of Line" to a rhythm of cheers,
blazing pyrotechnics and explosions! From this point onward, the crowd
seems engaged for the rest of the night. One could argue that was just
waiting for the next blast of warmth from the stage the next time there
was fire as this festival has always proven to be abnormally cold. However,
Godsmack's consistent song writing formula seemed to please and warm
the Milwaukee crowd. There is no typical Godsmack age group as I saw
young teenagers to forty-somethings. I even saw one family, not that
I would suggest Godsmack as family-oriented entertainment though.
Godsmack's live music performance
takes you to a different place in fun and kind of an escapist way. The
substantial theatrics (4 semi-trucks of gear to unload for each show)
which include pyrotechnics, explosions, dancers and bongo drum players
were only the beginning. After "Voodoo", they played a very different
drum solo. It was unique in that not many twenty-first century bands
feature drum solos at all and that it the only one I can recently recall
that featured two drum sets and featured a Rush song prominently within
it! When combined with well-choreographed effects during the Godsmack
set, this was definitely the highlight of the show and had the place
buzzing afterwards! At the start of the encore, Godsmack teased the
audience with the entire intro to Pantera's "Walk" and then went into
"Awake" and the hit "I Stand Alone" from the DareDevil soundtrack to
close out the show to an appreciative and ecstatic crowd. Godsmack seems
to resonate a following in their fan base, as judged both by the fact
the crowd was really into their show and that the new album "Faceless"
debuted at #1 on Billboard it's first week, quite an accomplishment
for a hard rock act. As long as Godsmack doesn't stray from that song
writing formula too far in the future, I have a feeling this won't be
my last encounter with Godsmack.
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