MUSIC INFUSION

Return to Godsmack

 

10/19/2006 - Godsmack, Breaking Benjamin - Uncasville, CT
Reviewed by Eric

The Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT seems to get the majority of the larger scale shows that come to Connecticut. On October 19, Godsmack and Breaking Benjamin stopped by for a sold-out show, proving Mohegan as one of New England’s premiere venues.

Breaking Benjamin kicked off the night with a forty-five minute set full of energy and enthusiasm. They opened up with their debut single from 2002, “Polyamorous,” and from the first word of the song to the last, the crowd shouted along with vocalist/guitarist Benjamin Burnley. The band tore through a great setlist full of hits and fan favorites including “Breakdown,” “Dance with the Devil,” “Shallow Bay,” and “Breath.” Guitarist Aaron Fink performed gracefully with much skill as he crunched out the famous crunching riffs, while Mark Klepaski moved around non-stop, making funny faces at the crowd as usual, while slamming his bass with force. And of course there was drummer Chad Szeliga, who joined the band in 2005 after the departure of Jeremy Hummel. After seeing the intensity he puts in to playing a few times now, there is no doubt in my mind he is a perfect fit for the band. Breaking Benjamin ended their set with back to back classic smash hits, “Sooner of Later” and “So Cold.” I couldn’t think of another band that could have filled this slot as well as they did. Both musically and performance wise, they put on a great show. Breaking Benjamin’s set (not fully in order) that night was as follows:

Polyamorous
Shallow Bay
Breakdown
The Diary of Jane
Topless
Away
Dance with the Devil
Had Enough
Until the End
Breath
Sooner or Later
So Cold

After about half an hour, the set change was complete and the house lights dropped, making the packed house erupt into screaming and cheering. A five-minute video, set to the music of AC/DC’s “Back In Black,” full of clips of backstage and concert footage of Godsmack. As the video ended the screen switched to a video camera style view and the camera man walked into the dressing room of the band. It followed the band on their way to the stage and was definitely one of the cooler intro’s I’ve seen at a show. As vocalist/guitarist Sully Erna, guitarist Tommy Rombola, bassist Robbie Merrill and drummer Shannon Larkin took the stage, the screams became more deafening. They kicked off the set with a bang (yes there was pyro too of course) with their colossal hit “Straight Out Of Line.” I’ve seen Godsmack before, but not like this. The energy was through the roof and musically they sounded incredibly tight. For an hour and a half the Boston based band breezed through a set full of singles such as “Keep Away,” “Awake,” “Re-Align,” and “The Enemy,” as well as classic fan favorites like “Moon Baby.” The show also featured a handful of tracks from the bands latest release, IV, such as an amazing performance of the more superior tracks from that disc “Livin in Sin,” the dark and mellow “One Rainy Day,” and the first single “Speak.”

Of course, what would a Godsmack show be without “Voodoo.” As much as I think the track got WAY overplayed on the radio, live it’s a totally different story. The song is much better live and has a very dark, intense energy that can’t be explained, but only witnessed. After “Voodoo,” a second drum kit was brought out and Sully hopped on it. He wailed on the drums and battled it out with Shannon, making it a highlight of the night. Next up was the track that made Godsmack what they are, “Whatever.” If you think you’ve seen a crowd go balls to the wall insane, think again. Unless you’ve seen Godsmack perform “Whatever,” you’ve seen nothing. Tony had his time in the limelight with a lengthy, but stellar acoustic guitar solo. The band left the stage, but it was clear the night was not over yet. They came back quickly to the demanding fans, Sully with harmonica in hand, and broke into their current chart topper “Shine Down.” They ended the evening with one of their most popular hits to date, “I Stand Alone,” leaving the stage on an extremely high note. Godsmack’s full setlist that night was follows:

Straight out of line
Speak
The Enemy
Living in sin
Moon baby
Re-align
Awake
One Rainy Day
Vampires
Keep away
Voodoo
- Sully and Shannon Drum Battle -
Whatever
-Tony Acoustic -

Shine down
I Stand Alone

Overall, it was filled with great music from two kick ass rock bands. Breaking Benjamin was awesome and Godsmack was most impressive. I’ve gotta say, it really was the best I’ve seen the band perform. If either of these bands swing through your neck of the woods go check ‘em out. Even if it’s for nothing more than fun night out, you won’t leave disappointed.

Big thanks to Ken over at Ken Phillips Group for hooking us up for the night.

For more information on Godsmack head on over to www.godsmack.com. For more information on Breaking Benjamin check out www.shallowbay.com.

Be sure to head on over to the Galleries section for a bunch of images of Godsmack from their show that night.