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godsmack intro D4S0207 kleinLive Music Hall, Cologne, Germany
7th March 2019
Godsmack - “When Legends Rise” European Tour 2018 - Special Guests: Like A Storm

Finally, after a delay of almost four months, the Bostonian heavyweights of the Alternative Metal scene, GODSMACK, were coming to town for their tour promoting their latest album, ‘When legends rise’. Their original tour dates in November had to be cancelled because the bands’ guitarist Tony Rombola was hit with a personal tragedy. However, GODSMACK’s management was able to reschedule the tour dates pretty quickly and to even squeeze in an extra show in Cologne (which also sold out in a heartbeat), so the local fans were more than compensated for their wait time.


Like A Storm

First on the line-up was New Zealand four piece LIKE A STORM, a Hard Rock band from Auckland, which has formed among three brothers back in 2005. So far, the band has released three albums, however only the two later works ‘Awaken the Fire’ (2015) and ‘Catacombs’ (2018) have received broader international recognition. https://www.facebook.com/LikeAStorm / http://www.LikeAStorm.com

Music & Performance
Shortly before 8pm, the lights were dimmed and a mystically sounding intro of monk chants and Didgeridoo sounds emanated from the speakers. The four members of LIKE A STORM entered the stage while the intro morphed into the opener ‘Pure Evil’ (the first single of their current album), which the band performed as an opener.

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LIKE A STORM’s stage production was really top-notch for an opening act. The back of the stage was covered with a huge banner bearing the ornaments of the ‘Catacombs’ album. The band’s introduction was accompanied by CO2-cannons with integrated floodlights simulating fire columns, and the stage was dominated by two artfully decorated metal skeletons, holding two didgeridoos each, which certainly made for an impressive entrance. However, a significant downside was the sound mix, which came across a little unbalanced and muffled, lacking the punch and precision found in the studio versions of LIKE A STORM’s songs. Maybe this contributed to the fact that the Cologne audience acted a little more subdued than usual, as most people simply stood and watched rather than dance.

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LIKE A STORM’s singer Chris Brooks and his brothers pulled all the punches of a seasoned support act, such as asking everyone to pump their fist, and singer Chris moving straight into the crowd for the last song, but the spark failed to ignite and elicit a bigger crowd reaction.

Setlist
01. Pure Evil
02. The Bitterness
03. Wish You Hell
04. Solitary
05. Become the Enemy
06. Complicated (Stitches & Scars)
07. The Devil Inside
08. Love the Way You Hate Me

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 6
Light: 8
Total: 7 / 10

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Godsmack

The four guys from Lawrence, Massachusetts formed GODSMACK back in 1995. Starting off in very humble circumstances by playing small bars in their hometown near Boston, GODSMACK set out for a meteoric rise over the decades, selling over 20 million copies in the process. Their most recent album, ‘When Legends Rise’, marks a return to their roots, also celebrating 20 years of existence of their self-titled debut album. Check out www.Godsmack.com / https://www.facebook.com/Godsmack.

Music & Performance
Shortly after 9:15pm, a voice over the PA announced the arrival of the band, and speakers began blasting a wild mash-up of ‘We Will Rock You’ from QUEEN with several other songs, which got people to wave their arms and scream in anticipation. The four band members grinningly appeared on stage and started blasting the song ‘When Legends Rise’ from their same-titled new album.

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This was immediately followed by the massive ‘1000hp’, which really fired up the pit. Front man Sully Erna seemingly was on his best behaviour that night. He delivered a high energy set, but at the same time also engaged in charming banter with his fans. For example, he grabbed a German flag featuring the GODSMACK name and logo from a fan in the front row and declared it to be the official flag of Germany from now on. On a different occasion, he congratulated Germany for having the best porn in the world after being asked to strip naked by a fan. But also the rest of the band seemed to genuinely enjoy what they were doing: Guitarist Tony Rombola - although certainly not one of the flashiest players around - churned out heavy riffage and the occasional solo. Bassist Robbie Markill Shannon walked around on stage with his signature Frankenstein style, occasionally catching a drum stick mid-play and handing it out to fans. Drummer Shannon Larkin was really someone to marvel at.

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Although sometimes drumming at ridiculous speeds, he still found the time to throw sticks high into the air and catching them, twirling them around his fingers, and moving his arms all over in snake-like moves, all while still holding down the beat. The song selection of that evening could not have been more diverse. While there was a certain focus on the new album, GODSMACK played also songs from all of their seven albums. For the end of the main part, Sully declared that he wanted to have some fun, and the band threw in a cover of ‘Come Together’ by THE BEATLES, which turned the familiar tune into something genuinely new and entertaining. Although the band left the stage after that, the evening was not over yet, as GODSMACK returned for a three-song encore. The encore began with Sully behind the piano, playing the ballad ‘Under Your Scars’. In the song break, Sully appealed to everyone to take signs of opioid abuse and mental health struggles seriously and shed light on the band’s efforts to tackle the crisis by supporting the ‘Youth Foundation’ of actor Mark Wahlberg.

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Saving the best for last, GODSMACK ended the evening with the epic ‘I stand Alone’ after immensely intense 100 minutes of playtime, which left no wish unfulfilled.

Setlist
01. When Legends Rise
02. 1000hp
03. Cryin’ Like a Bitch
04. Say My Name
05. Straight Out of Line
06. Awake
07. Unforgettable
08. Something Different
09. Keep Away
10. Speak
11. Voodoo
12. Whatever (extended)
13. Come Together (The Beatles cover)
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14. Under Your Scars
15. Bulletproof
16. I Stand Alone

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 9
Light: 8
Total: 8.5 / 10

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All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)
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