Godsmack & Shinedown with Red Sun Rising
The Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
September 2, 2018
The members of Godsmack hail from Lawrence, MA. The band was formed in 1995 and is currently composed of founder, frontman and songwriter Sully Erna, guitarist Tony Rombola, bassist Robbie Merrill, and drummer Shannon Larkin. The band’s guitar-heavy sound has been called nu-metal and is influenced by Alice in Chains, Tool and Metallica among others. During its career, Godsmack has released seven studio albums, the greatest hits compilation, Good Times, Bad Times...Ten Years of Godsmack (Universal Republic Records, 2007), the live album. Live & Inspired (Universal Republic, 2010) and numerous DVDs. Its latest release, When Legends Rise, came out in April 2018 on BMG Records.
Godsmack has released three #1 albums, 23 top ten rock radio hits, including 17 songs which ranked among the Top 5. The group had received numerous Grammy Award nominations and Billboard Award nominations (winning the award for Rock Artist of the Year in 2001). Godsmack has also won 8 Boston Music Awards and a Metal Edge Readers' Choice Award.
Shinedown was formed in Jacksonville, FL in 2001 by singer Brent Smith when Smith recruited the band's original lineup of Jasin Todd as guitarist, Brad Stewart on bass, and Barry Kerch on drums. Stewart was replaced in 2008 by Eric Bass. Zach Myers joined in 2005 as the rhythm guitarist and in 2008 took over for Todd on lead guitar.
The group has released six studio albums on Atlantic Records: Leave a Whisper (2003), Us and Them (2005), The Sound of Madness (2008), Amaryllis (2012), Threat to Survival (2015), and Attention Attention (2018). During its career, Shinedown has released twelve Billboard Mainstream Rock chart #1 singles and has sold more than ten million records across the globe.
Red Sun Rising is from Akron, OH and is currently comprised of Mike Protich (lead vocals, guitar), Ryan Williams (lead guitar), Dave McGarry (rhythm guitar), Ricky Miller (bass) and Pat Gerasia (drums, percussion). The band has released two albums on Razor & Tie Records: Polyester Zeal in 2015 and Thread earlier in 2018.
Red Sun Rising’s first two singles from Polyester Zeal, “The Otherside” and “Emotionless” both reached #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart. Its third single “Amnesia” peaked at #6 on the same chart. “Deathwish” (#7) and “Veins” (#40) from Thread have also achieved high positions on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart.
On a warm evening at Wantagh, NY’s Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater, Red Sun Rising took the stage first. The band has steadily built-up a following and now, touring behind its second album along with Godsmack and Shinedown, Red Sun Rising is bringing its special brand of rock to larger audiences. Its heavy set was tight and strong delivering a powerful statement that announced that it was much more than “just” an opening act.
After an intermission the stage was obscured by a huge curtain and Shinedown wasted no time getting down to business immediately as the curtain dropped. Lasers, pyrotechnics, explosions and fire abounded throughout the performance as the stage was bathed in purples, yellows, red and blues. The band played a strong 10 song main set featuring “Get Up” from its latest CD and eight from its vast canon (including “I’ll Follow You,” “State Of My Head,” “Unity,” “Second Chance”).
Throughout the set Smith was engaging. He stalked his way across the stage and addressed the crowd, but he spent a little too much time talking. Had he spoke a little less, the band might have been able to squeeze-in some additional songs. Perhaps this time could have been used to play “Brilliant” (from Attention Attention) or a lost nugget such as “I Dare You” or “Adrenaline.
The fan-favorite Lynyrd Skynyrd cover “Simple Man” and “Devil” (only the second song played this evening from Attention Attention) were great encores that capped off a fantastic but short hard rockin’ set.
After another intermission, Godsmack took the stage. As with Shinedown, the band first appeared on stage behind a curtain. When it dropped, the band delivered an amazing show even though the set had to be shortened due to time constraints and curfew laws. The band’s songs have a DNA, a beat and a pulse that immediately announce themselves as being a Godsmack tune. Live or on record that DNA shines through and the band’s sound immediately grabs the concert attendee/listener by the soul (and ears and doesn’t let go). Even though the set wasn’t as long as many would have liked, it was powerful. Highlights of the fiery show included: the opening number “When legends Rise,” “1000hp,” “Keep Away,” “Cryin’ Like a Bitch,” “Awake,” “Someday,” “Whatever” and “Bulletproof.” Godsmack’s lightshow was also strong. It featured slightly less pyrotechnics that during the earlier acts, but nonetheless still provided a flaming backdrop to the band’s performance. The lighting was a bit more subdued than that of Shinedown, but there was no doubt that the audience was witnessing a hard rocking performance.
A Godsmack show wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t include “Voodoo,” from its self-titled major label debut (Universal/republic Records, 1998). The song was used in the MTV program Fear and gave the band its first widespread success. Other highlights were: the double-drum duel between drummer Larkin and Erna, who is quite the drummer, himself) on “Batalla de Los Tambores and “Highway To Hell,” the AC/DC cover. Godsmack closed out the incredible evening with the anthem “I Stand Alone.”
The show was the final show on the first part of the bands’ tour. As such they three bands really brought it and offered-up a commanding performance. They let it all hang out and the fans and crowd members in the audience at Jones beach were rewarded with a show that they will not soon forget.
Photos by Christine Connallon