By Alma Reed
Written by Wes Lytz
Holy Schnikes! Big name arena rock returns to Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena Tuesday night. Godsmack raises the dead then sends them forcefully back to their grave.
I’m fake checking my phone pretending not to eavesdrop on the couple sitting directly behind me. Apparently the battery in their Evape died… yawn. As if on queue, the lights rapidly dim. Like Helen Hunt after a snort of angel dust in Desperate Lives, a cephalopodic mass of flowing white hair bursts forth from stage right. From the distance it appears to be Cousin Itt thrashing about... with tats... and way tighter abs. That’s Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner, frontwoman for Stitched Up Heart, the (unbeknownst to me) opener for tonight’s festivities. They are heavy and melodic, explosive and metal af. A great start to the evening.
Up next is one of the best all around bands in hard rock. Volbeat. Like Three Days Grace, they have dozens of great songs, several which are instantly recognisable radio hits, and often open for the biggest names in their genre. Tonight is the first show of their US tour. They look rested and sound fresh. Heads bang in unison when they power through some of their newer songs like Seal The Deal and The Devil’s Bleeding Crown. And of course no Volbeat gig would be complete without ska metal classic Still Counting, which they jammed to close the set.
I’ll admit I lost the bubble on Godsmack the last twelve years or so. They were absolutely ubiquitous throughout the aughties. No serious documentary on popular music of the decade could preclude them. It’s good to see they are still at it. Their stage show befits a band of their stature. Lots of lights, pyro and pyramid iconography reminiscent of the eye of providence.
Their energy is infectious, their passion irrefutable. They rock out to their old tunes like Voodoo and “I Stand Alone“ with the same ferocity as their more recent songs like “When Legends Rise “and “1000hp”. A packed Bridgestone Arena pumps fists and moshes late into a Tuesday evening. I wonder how many people called in to work on Wednesday!