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CONCERT REVIEW

Godsmack Comes Home

Edgy Band on Tour for Second Album’s Release

By Sandra Gonzalez

Godsmack, Deftones, Puddle of Mud

Tweeter Center

August 24, 2001

Godsmack, one of the premiere heavy metal bands in the nation, recently turned the Tweeter Center’s crowd into a massive frenzy of crazed fans. Although the show began somewhat disjointedly, the band quickly came together and produced a concert of high energy and amazing music. Godsmack earned critical acclaim when they hit triple platinum sales status with their self-titled album Godsmack, along with the disc’s premier single “Whatever,” which holds the record for the longest-running single in the Billboard Top Ten (33 weeks).

It is therefore fitting that standalone acts like the Deftones and Puddle of Mud opened for Godsmack’s latest Boston rendezvous. The concert opened with a short cartoon depicting a comical view of the band preparing to go on stage. When the cartoon had Godsmack going on stage, Singer Sully Erna, guitarist Tony Rombola, bassist Robbie Merrill, and drummer Tommy Stewart made their entrance.

The set decoration lent a dark, foreboding feel with its medieval castle theme. Godsmack’s signature sun hung at the top of the stage with flames radiating from it. In intervals throughout the performance, real flames would burst from the sun. The enormity of the set, pyrotechnics throughout the concert, and superb lighting in response to the music definitely elevated the intensity and amazing stage presence of Godsmack as a whole.

The band opened with a semi-sweet rendition of “Bad Religion.” Erna’s vocals were not synchronized with the rest of the music and was not as polished as one might find in recordings.

By the time Godsmack played their second song, “Bad Magick,” from their second album Awake, the band had harnessed their collective ability and began to play as one entity. Occasionally, though, the music and bass overpowered the vocals and made it difficult to discern the vocals.

It quickly became clear that songs with the most energy were pieces from Godsmack’s first self titled-album, with hits such as “Moon Baby,” “Whatever,” “Keep Away,” “Bad Religion,” “Get Up, Get Out” and “Voo Doo.”

The highlight of the concert was “Get Up, Get Out.” In the middle of the song, Erna stopped singing and began playing on bongos in an amazing display of a completely hidden musical talent.

“Keep Away” found bassist Merrill skipping across the stage while playing the bass guitar, which proved to be one of the highlights of the concert. Merrill actually got so engrossed in the concert that he threw down his guitar, and another had to be brought out.

For an encore, the band came back out and played “Voo Doo” with the accompaniment of the entire audience. He appreciatively responded, “You guys are beautiful.”

Erna continued, “We’ve toured all over the world these past three years and I don’t know what feels better than coming back to Massachusetts,” and later said, “Boston is the core of Godsmack’s soul.”

The fact that Godsmack played in their hometown of Boston certainly contributed to the amazingly high energy displayed throughout the concert with little time for rest in between songs.

Erna commented on the recording of their second album, Awake, “We didn’t want to be surrounded in luxury, we wanted to keep the edge on.” They certainly retained the edge in the second album, and also in the subsequent concerts.

Unfortunately for hardcore Godsmack fans, Erna said the band will take a year off to record a third album. The Boston natives have promised a third tour to celebrate their next album’s release.