Godsmack – Shinedown – Red Sun Rising
August 26, 2018
By Bob Linneman
A music sensory overload happened in Camden, NJ over the weekend as co-headliners Godsmack and Shinedown along with show openers Red Sun Rising provided a much-needed Rock ‘n Roll shot in the arm. There are rock shows, and then there is what happened tonight. These bands brought everything they had in their arsenal. Pyrotechnics – check, Laser lights – check, strobe lights – check, Explosions – check, rolling drumkits? Yes please, I’ll take two!!
Red Sun Rising kicked off the night, bringing high energy from the start. Lead singer, Mike Protich took over the whole stage as he really reached out to the fans, while Dave McGarry (Guitar, Vocals), Ryan Williams (Guitar), Ricky Miller (Bass, Vocals) and Pat Gerasia (Drums) supplied the theme for the night. They were playing so tight and you could tell they were having a great time and not just going through a "set". The band were very interactive with the fans (which turned out to be an ongoing theme throughout the night).
When the curtain dropped, Shinedown immediately went into beast-mode! The set was pure energy as lead singer Brent Smith (a true front man) provided body language to accent each song. Cue the smoke and laser lights!! The first three songs had so many effects happening at once, you really didn’t know where to look! Brent literally ran around the front of the stage with Eric Bass (bass) high jumping and Zach Myers (guitar) taking a position at the top of the raised stage, whilst drummer Barry Kerch was being showered with a fireworks curtain.
A personal highlight for me was when Brent explained that we should greet the person next to us. Whilst I was in the photo pit, Brent went from speaker to speaker; fist bumping the fans in the pit and shaking hands with all the photographers (a first for me!!). Eric even extended the tip of his bass guitar out to “fist bump” the front row. They also did an intimate cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” from the back of the arena, which sent the crowd over the top.
As the stage became lit with huge lettering spelling out GODSMACK, the band rolled right into “When Legends Rise” off their new release of the same name. The sound of an engine revving filled the arena, and the stage became ablaze as Godsmack jumped right into “1000hp.” There were so many flames that they really didn’t need stage lights as Sully Erna (vocals, guitar), moved across the stage, pairing up with each band member to crush the chords into the crowd’s face whilst explosions filled the air.
Godsmack is in your face Rock, down and dirty, period! Rounding out the massive sound was Tony Romobola (lead guitar), Robbie Merrill (bass), and Shannon Larkin (drums). During a break in the set, Sully congratulated our Super bowl Champions Philadelphia Eagles which totally delighted the crowd. Since the venue is located in New Jersey, but also draws from Philly across the river, Sully renamed the location as “New Philly”.
A highlight of the set was “Batalla de los tambores”, with Sully and Shannon playing the drums together and featured cuts from Queen’s “We Will Rock You”, Beastie Boys’ “So Whatcha Want”, Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”, and Led Zeppelin’s “Four Sticks”, as the drum kits rolled around in place. It was a perfect show to end the outdoor summer concerts before we all go back indoors.