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How did we celebrate Labor Day in WNY? In rockin' way!!! We checked the Shinedown/Rob Zombie/Godsmack tour that visited the Darien Lake Amphitheater near Buffalo, NY. The opener, Shinedown, a band that is passionate about their music, played a 40 minute set that included their hits "I Dare You", "45", their new single "Save Me" and dedicated their cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man" to the late great Dimebag Darrell. Their intense front man Brent Smith engaged the audience with plenty of references about the freedoms that we enjoy and how they appreciate the troops.

The large size crowd was geared up for the American Witch/Shock Rocker-Rob Zombie to turn the stage into one of his horror flicks. And he did at the word go, he and the rest of the band came out on stage wearing skull masks. The stage show was complete with video screens (3 on the front of the stage with a giant background) a robotic monster that appeared during the song “More Human than Human", and yes you guessed it, Go-Go dancers. Seems Mr. Zombie wants to change the old saying "Sex, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll to Sex, Blood, and Rock n’ Roll". Bassist’ Piggy D. and guitarist John 5 were constantly on the move the entire show. The fans were especially aware of John 5, as he kept firing spit bombs into the audience followed by a wide ass grin! A great choreographed show with plenty of pyro and interaction between all band members that made it all worth being moshed up against. Note to people who enter the pit and want to partake in the moshing: DO NOT TAKE ON A 5 FOOT 3 INCH 240 POUND WOMAN OR YOU WILL BE DISREGARDED OF! After this woman decided to take a guy, slam him down, jump on top of him, it seemed like all the moshing suddenly evaporated. Guess if you mess with the bull you get the horns or embarrassed! Zombie’s set lasted for about an hour. It included the opener "American Witch", “Foxy, Foxy" and closed the set with pom- pom cheering "Dragula". A very cool part of the show was when John 5 played the beginning riffs of "Sweet Dreams," "Ain't Talking About Love", and "Enter Sandman," which they ended up playing about half the song. Rob made John repeat the beginning riff of "Thunder Kiss 65" until the crowd went absolutely nuts and then the song was played through.

Set List:
American Witch
Superbeast
Living Dead Girl
More Human Than Human
Never Gonna Stop
Let it All Bleed Out
Foxy, Foxy
Enter Sandman (1/2 of the song)
Thunder Kiss 65
Johnny 5 guitar solo
The Devils Rejects
Dragula

Godsmack took the stage at approximately 9:25pm. They did something that I thought was very cool, the band was filmed walking from the trailers to the stage which made the crowd anticipation more frantic. A very nice touch. The band started with "Straight out of Line". This band showed its tightness throughout their entire 1 hour and 35 minute set which included: "The Enemy", "Awake", "In my World", Go Away", and finished off with "I Stand Alone". I like going to shows where one or more of the band members showcase more than what they are known for. Kid Rock and Sloan are other groups I can mention that take on different instruments during their shows and can master the quite well. Do not leave Sully Erna off this list as he tackled the drums quite well in my opinion. Even though he cannot match the highly talented (modern day animal) Shannon Larkin, he kept pace and beat and showed that he can probably back most bands behind the kit. Bassist Robbie Merrill and Guitarist Tony Rombola integrated their styles perfectly into the hard driven power quartet that is known as Godsmack. Very cool and heavy doses of pyro was added when needed. The pit was very packed in and little moshing was taking place due to this (and aforementioned). Also during their monster hit “Voodoo,” a montage of songs was quickly tapped into which included: AC/DC's "Back n Black", Black Sabbath's "War Pigs", Jethro Tull's "Aqualung", and Rush's "Tom Sayer". My favorite song of the whole night was the instrumental "Vampires" which showcased the band's tightness during clips of Vampires past. They showed that not only are they a hard driving force, but can jam it out with the best of them. The old trick that never gets old was the dropped confetti storm during the song "Go Away".

Set List:
Straight Out of Line
Speak
The Enemy
Living in Sin
Moon Baby
So Alive
Awake
In My World
Vampires
Keep Away
Voodoo (with acoustic beginning) and montage
Go away
Shinedown
I Stand Alone

If you get a chance, check out this show as it comes to your nearest venue. The tickets are inexpensive and compared to other shows, you will get plenty of bang for your buck!!!!!!