Morning News, Saturday, November 11, 2006
Godsmack blows minds of rock fans
By Scott Iwasaki
Deseret Morning News
GODSMACK, BREAKING BENJAMIN, HOURCAST, E Center, West Valley City,
WEST VALLEY CITY —
A Salt Lake-area rock audience was blown away Thursday night. The band
that created the storm was Godsmack.
The Boston-based band hit the stage after a boring set by Hourcast and
a worthy primer by Breaking Benjamin.
Anticipation mounted as the backdrop video screen flashed candid moving
images of the band to AC/DC's "For Those About to Rock (We Salute
You)." The video went live backstage and followed Godsmack to the
E Center stage.
Vocalist Sully Erna, bassist Robbie Merrill, guitarist Tony Rombola
and drummer Shannon Larkin fired up their set with the heavy-hitting
"Straight Out of Line." "Speak" and the sing-a-long
rocker "The Enemy," both from the new album "IV,"
were received with enthusiasm as the band pounded out its set.
The charismatic Erna, who had battled addiction and writer's block while
recording the album, never looked better. He was lean and clean, which
made him appear comfortable with his role as a rock-band front man.
Merrill's easygoing attitude was the perfect foil for his ground-shaking
bass and Rombola's ear-piercing leads and solos colored and gave character
to each song.
Larkin's syncopation laid down some heavy rhythms during "Livin'
In Sin," "Moon Baby" and "Re Align." But it
was during the primal and ritualistic "Voodoo" where Larkin
was really able to shine.
A short while later, Erna emerged on a percussion-and-drum platform
and did a rousing duet with Larkin. Energetic renditions of "Keep
Away," "Whatever," "Shine Down" and "I
Stand Alone" rounded out the set, which also featured sing-a-long
versions of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs," and condensed covers
of AC/DC's "Back in Black," Jethro Tull's "Aqualung,"
Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick" and Rush's "Tom Sawyer."
The surprise of the night was the inclusion of the gothic instrumental
"Vampires." To add atmosphere, videos of "Dracula,"
"Salem's Lot" and "Dark Shadows" crawled along the
All was loud and all ended well.