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GODSMACK & ROB ZOMBIE:
Take No Prisoners

by Jamie Griffin

Detroit Rock City came ablaze with massive amounts of pyro at DTE Energy Music Theater as Godsmack, Rob Zombie and Shinedown visited the city steeped in rock tradition.

Performing to a sold out crowd the acts did nothing short of shock and awe. Rob Zombie came out to scenes from classic horror films. He kicked things off with American Witch off of his newest album Educated Horses. After announcing to the crowd that the show was being recorded for both a live cd/dvd he trudged through the hits Never Gonna Stop, Dragula and Living Dead Girl.

As usual the theatrics were high. Lots of flames, go go dancers and even a big robot came out to entertain the crowd. One thing that Rob Zombie does well is entertain. Drawing from both the White Zombie( Thunderkiss 65 and More Human than Human) catalog and his repertoire of solo stuff Zombie gave the crowd some hard hitting spooky rock.

Helped along by the work of guitar giant John 5 (ex-Marilyn Manson), Zombies show had the crowd in a haze. Adding to the hard singles Zombie also added the creepy themes House of 1000 corpses and the Devils Rejects to the mix. After blowing through roughly an hour set Zombie exited stage left but not before unleashing Superbeast. He let the music do the talking and kept the chitchat to a minimum.

Just when you wondered if the crowd could keep up the pace, Godsmack came on the big screen and saluted those about to rock. With a camera filming the band between leaving their dressing room and hitting the stage the band had the crowd in a tizzy before a single note was played. The first note belonged to Straight out of Line. What a way to start the show!

After witnessing the spectacle that is Rob Zombie the crowd was treated to what rock and roll is truly about. With all canons firing Sully Erna gave the crowd dozens of reasons to cheer. The frontman's voice resonated throughout the amphitheater as the crowd hung on to every note.

The band played tracks off ofall 5 of their studio albums including new songs Vampires and Speak off of V. The crowd got into the act when Erna and drummer Shannon Larkin both came out drumming. Erna had a kit waiting backstage for him to jump on. The two played dueling drums for quite a while before settling into the Black Sabbath Classic War Pigs.

The big surprise was the words were being shown on the screens above so that the crowd could sing along. After a medley that included Jethro Tull's AquaLung, AC/ DC's Back in Black and a bit of Led Zeppelin, the rocking commenced.

The show's finale erupted with the crowd helping to sing Whatever off of the Self-titled first album and wrapped with a stellar version of the new single Shine Down. Erna's vocals
are so powerful and, mesmerizing especially in songs like Voodoo. You can tell that him and guitarist Tony Rombola have a good working relationship, as the two seemed to be playing to each other all night.

Jacksonville, Florida natives Shinedown opened the show. Shinedown were the perfect opener to the night full of energy. Playing songs from both their debut Leave a Whisper and Us and Them Shinedown had the crowd on their feet for most of their set. Considering the crowd was still pretty small this was quite a feat.

Singer Brent Smith's vocals are always amazing but to see him live is a spectacle in itself. After playing the single Fly From the Inside he scored brownie points with the audience by saying, ' A lot of people in the industry say that rock music's dead. Apparently they haven't been to Detroit."

Their set included their version of the Lynyrd Skynyrd track Simple Man and concluded with a haunting version of the hit '45.

All in doubt of the state of rock just needed to attend this show. It proved that rock is indeed alive and well. With hard-hitting songs and ghoulish theatrics the trio showed that they are the past, present and future of the Rock industry.