Godsmack

Godsmack brought their Vibez Tour to the Colosseum at Caesars Windsor this past Friday, April 26th and they didn’t disappoint. This was the band’s first-time playing Windsor, and it may not be the last. Frontman Sully Erna thanked the boisterous Colosseum crowd for “Such an amazing, surprising welcome to your city” and pledged, “As long as this band remains a band, I am always coming back to this fuckin’ city!”

When the show was first announced, there were some moans on social media because they seemed to suggest that this would be something likened to an unplugged show, but nobody needed to worry about that. There were no giant flames and there was no Batalla De Los Tambores drum battle between Sully and Shannon Larkin, but this was not Godsmack Unplugged.

 

Leading the show with a cover of Pink Floyd’s Time, these fellas came to rock, and their worthy rendition of the Floyd classic set a good tone for the night. Their next two songs, Love-Hate-Sex-Pain and Voodoo, left no question that this was a Godsmack show and they were here to rock hard.

The production was given an intimate vibe with battery-powered candles all over on top of amplifiers and tables and two large, illuminated gargoyles with glowing eyes kept watch at either end of the stage. There was a constant flow of video and animation on a large screen behind the band during the songs.

Several of the songs performed have been rarely played live over the years, including Turning To Stone from the album 1000HP, which had never been played live before this tour. This was a show for the band to stretch and play songs that they don’t typically play when touring the big arenas where there’s a felt obligation to play as many hits as possible. It also allowed them to play more covers of some favorite songs like Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters which I overheard one attendee say they liked better than the original.

A ten-minute version of Zeppelin’s No Quarter was outstanding along with trippy kaleidoscope images and an animation of growing mushrooms on the large screen behind the band. Sully mistakenly thought that the psychedelic drug was legal here in Canada and bet that a lot of people in the audience wished they had brought a big old bag of mushrooms to the show. Regardless, the animation was trippy enough to induce the feeling we were on some kind of high.

There were a couple of new songs from the latest album “Lighting Up the Sky”, Truth, which is their latest single, and Growing Old, both of which debuted at the start of the Vibez Tour.  Lighting Up the Sky finished the main set before Sully returned to the stage to perform Under Your Scars on piano.

The song is tied to The Scars Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by the band to provide resources and educate those who struggle with suicidal thoughts, bullying, addiction, abuse, and other mental health issues. It’s become a regular part of the show and Sully talks about the foundation before performing the song. I saw firsthand the reaction a close friend of mine had to this at the show, and I know they’re reaching people and helping.

The show finished with a rousing rendition of The Doobie’s “Long Train Running” which began with band introductions including the two touring members of the band, keyboard player Chris Decato and guitarist Tim Theriault. Everyone was given some solo time during the song and Sully showed off his skills on the harmonica and congas. It was an exhilarating ending to an amazing night of music, one that everyone in attendance will be talking about for years to come.

Bastian Da Cruz performed a well-received acoustic set as the opening act. The son of Godsmack’s production manager Peter Da Cruz, Bastain seemed out of place opening for the hard rockers, but there’s no denying his talent as a singer and songwriter. Fans were respectful and it was kind of the band to give him a half hour of stage time on this tour.

Setlist

  1. Time (Pink Floyd cover)
  2. Love-Hate-Sex-Pain
  3. Voodoo
  4. Turning to Stone
  5. Spiral
  6. One Rainy Day
  7. No Quarter (Led Zeppelin cover)
  8. Nothing Else Matters (Metallica cover)
  9. Serenity
  10. Touché
  11. Truth
  12. Growing Old
  13. Lighting Up the Sky

Encore:

  1. Under Your Scars
  2. Bulletproof
  3. Long Train Runnin’ (The Doobie Brothers cover)

All photos by Dan Boshart:

GODSMACK:

 

Bastian da Cruz:

 

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