It’s been a while since we last saw Godsmack on Belgian grounds. The hardrock band from Boston is back, this time at Trix in Antwerp, Belgium, and that was clearly noticeable in the crowd: a loud mass that sang along to every song. Opening for Godsmack were Like a Storm, a voodoo metal band from New Zealand. Not many people were waiting for them, but man, they always deliver.
Let’s start with Like a Storm(***1/2). The band that literally brings a storm wherever they go. It was like that back in 2015 when I first saw them at Graspop Metal Meeting. And it was like that now. Even though the show was inside and nobody was bothered by the weather, a heavy wind blew outside. Could be a coincidence, but hey, I love this little fact.
Starting off with Pure Evil, one of the preview songs we got from Catacombs. At this point, the crowd basically just stood there nodding their heads. This song got followed up by The Bitterness.
A dark environment and primarily red lights and a smoke machine formed the setting for the show. The decor also comprised of two skeletons holding four didgeridoos, that lead singer Chris Brooks plays. They managed to throw in some songs from their previous album Awaken the Fire. It was during Become the Enemy, one of my personal favorites, that the crowd was getting excited. Brooks went off stage and stood on the iron barriers that divided the crowd from the stage.
During their last song Love the Way You Hate Me, Brooks even jumped in the crowd and rocked with us. By the time the crowd got excited, they had to leave. These guys need more time to play. After a bow on stage and thanking the crowd, they came down to shake hands with the fans and thanked us again for being there. A really respectful band that I look forward to seeing again, hopefully with a longer set.
Wish you Hell
Become the Enemy
Complicated (Stitches and Scars)
The Devil Inside
Love the Way You Hate Me
This crowd was now ready for Godsmack (****1/2). Starting off with When Legends Rise, title track of their latest album When Legends Rise, going over into 1000HP. The crowd was almost louder than lead singer Sully Erna. That vibe continued with the crowd singing at the top of their lungs and the band interacting with everybody.
Right after ‘Voodoo’, we were in for a spectacle. The drumkit of drummer Shannon Larking drove to the right side of the stage, while from the left side Erna drove in on a second drum kit. One hell of a drum solo followed. It was amazing to see them interact with each other. Not just Erna and Larking, but also bassist Robbie Merrill and guitarist Tony Rombola. After the drum-off, they played a mashup of covers.
If you watch the video of the drum-off below, the reason the is camera going the wrong direction in the end is because of a drumstick flying my way. The person next to me got it. A lot of sticks and picks were thrown tonight.
Almost at the end of the show, Godsmack announced that they were going to open Scars Foundation in the near future. A foundation that’s going to raise money for charities that help people with mental health issues such as depression and suicidal thoughts. Erna said we’d already lost too many people to this issue. Not only in our private lives, but also in the music world like Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. This message was followed up by the song Under Your Scars. Also a song form their latest album.
It’s not so much about the song anymore. It’s become a statement. Said Sully Erna.
A beautiful performance with a beautiful message. That message came across to everybody there. Respect to Godsmack for doing this.
Ending with Bulletproof and I Stand Alone, this show was everything between exciting and emotional.
When Legends Rise
Cryin’ Like a Bitch
Say My Name
Straight Out of Line
Drum Solo Sully Erna and Shannon Larkin
Under Your Scars
I Stand Alone
Click here for the photos of this event by Cedric Dezitter.
Trix is always a nice, not too big a venue where the artists are close to their fans. If you’re lucky, bands come out and say hello. This time Robbie Merrill took the time in front of the tourbus to talk to fans, give signatures, take photo’s, … Thank you Robbie, that was awesome.
One thing that I have to mention was the sound quality of both bands. I’ve heard better. With Like a Storm, Matt Brooks‘s guitar was almost inaudible. Only when Chris joined on guitar, it resulted into a fatter sound. I have to mention that I was standing at the far left side of the stage, so for people in the middle it might have been just fine. But I got all the bass and the people on the right probably got all the guitar. With Godsmack the audio was slightly better, but not awesome. And I’ve heard awesome in Trix before. Just a small detail, but a detail that can be annoying sometimes.