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Arts & Life - SEPTEMBER 6th, 2006
Rob Zombie, Godsmack play old favorites
JOHN RANIC - Staff Writer

Rob Zombie commands his dark disciples at Darien Lake on Monday.

On Labor Day Monday Godsmack, Rob Zombie and Shinedown gave fans another reason to be grateful for the day off.

From the opening chords of "Straight Out of Line," Godsmack had the audience under their spell at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center - and not due to the fact that frontman Sully Urna practices witchcraft.

For a tiny man, Urna had unbelievable stage presence. He commanded the entire center as if he was a general and the crowd was his willing troop.

"Thanks for coming out and supporting a rock show in a time when all this hip hop sh*t has taken over," he said before stepping off his podium.

Godsmack didn't leave out the string of hits that had gained them such a devout following. Songs such as "Awake," "Keep Away" and "Voodoo" were clearly crowd favorites.

The highlight of their performance was a dueling drum solo. Two drum kits consumed each side of the stage as Urna and drummer Shannon Larkin performed their percussion attack titled "Batella de los Tambores."

Afterwards, Godsmack said their goodbyes, and following the mandatory chanting for an encore, the band came out to play a couple more songs, ending the night with their anthem "I Stand Alone."

"This was the best 200 dollars I've ever spent," said Godsmack fan Marshall McClain.

Warming up the crowd for Godsmack was Rob Zombie. If anyone has seen Zombie live before, they know that it's not just a concert - it's an experience.

Imagine a huge American flag with skulls across it, platforms for go-go dancers, and big plastic demons. Put it all under a black light and you've got the coolest setup of the night.

When Zombie and his crew came out dressed as the four horsemen, the crowd knew they were in for a ride. With every song played there was an accompanying video that showcased Zombie's love for the women of the '70s and horror movies, an unlikely and slightly disturbing combination.

Playing only a couple of songs off his most recent release, Educated Horses, Zombie belted out "American Witch," "The Devils Rejects" and "Foxy, Foxy."

Mid-set, Zombie asked if the crowd wanted to hear "some old songs from an old band," referring to his original group, White Zombie. The crowd ate it up.

Rob Zombie and his musical minions played the radio hit "More Human Than Human." Halfway through the song a giant robot come on stage and did a familiar dance, the robot. Zombie found time to join him throughout the song.

The onstage zombies then played Metallica's "Enter Sandman" and the White Zombie classic "Thunderkiss '65," closing with hit, "Dragula," accompanying a video of the Munsters.

The opening act, a vocally driven Shinedown delivered an impressive performance as well. Singer Brent Smith belted out each song with passion.

Shinedown provided the one somber moment of the night when they dedicated their cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man" to the memory of the murdered guitar icon Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott.

"I've seen Godsmack three times; best yet," said 20 year-old Anthony Giangrosso, who works at Bella Pizzeria in Lackawanna. "I've seen Zombie three times; best yet....and Shinedown blew me away."