Touring behind their seventh studio album, 2018’s When Legends Rise, American rock band Godsmack, teamed up with Danish rock outfit Volbeat, stormed into Abbotsford, BC on Friday night to deliver a diesel-fueled, hard-hitting performance that left fans sweaty and satiated.
The night started with L.A. alt-metal group Stitched Up Heart delivering a fiery set as the arena slowly filled with music fanatics. Lead singer Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner seemed to struggle from some mix issues in the beginning, but that didn’t stop her from pouring her soul into every single note. The crowd seemed receptive to their delivery, cheering and pumping their fists to the explosive display.
During their last song, Sully Erna from Godsmack joined the group on stage to perform their joint song “Lost“. Though the audience was screaming with excitement, the mix left Sully’s vocals nearly non-existent during his appearance, which was a real shame.
Volbeat were next up.
They stepped out to the stage and delivered a well polished performance.
Lead singer Michael Poulsen’s vocals were solid, his powerful yet controlled voice echoed through the venue.
Midpoint in the set, Poulsen stopped before delving into the next song to point out there were a few very small children on their parents shoulders near the front of the general admission floor. I was able to spot them and they looked like they couldn’t have been more than six or seven years old. He invited them to watch from the side stage, so they could stay safe. The security helped pluck them and their parents from the audience. It was a really heartfelt moment.
The group continued into their set, grinding through that intense psychobilly they do so well.
As things rolled on, each song turned into a sing along. The backing vocals coming from the die hard fans in the house that were screaming as loud and as proud as they could.
Volbeat setlist: The Devil’s Bleeding Crown Lola Montez Sad Man’s Tongue A Warrior’s Call / I Only Want to Be With You Let It Burn Black Rose The Everlasting 16 Dollars Dead but Rising Fallen The Lonesome Rider The Gates of Babylon Doc Holliday Seal the Deal Still Counting
Finally it was time for Godsmack to take the reigns.
The four piece started things off with eponymous title track from their latest album. Lead singer Sully Erna forced the voice from his soul, as he strained the veins on his neck pulsed and grew, it was intense.
The groups sound was the heaviest and richest of the night.
They also took full advantage of the stage. Fire balls and moving stage mechanics were a visual backdrop to the majority of their set. It felt like a true arena show, with all the bells and whistles. The heat from the flames had people sweating even more then they would on their own. Looking across the mosh pit, people started top rip their shirts off. It was about to turn into that good kind of messy that makes a rock show fun.
As the set went on, the patrons once again joined in to create a giant sing along. That haunting echo of a crowd chanting in unison adding the right kind of magic to each track.
Near the end of their set, Sully jumped on a second drum kit and joined drummed Shannon Larkin for a drum duet. They ran through of their own track but it turned into this fantastic mashup that included snippets of song by Metallica and AC/DC and more.
I’ve been waiting a few years to see Godsmack live. I can’t even remember the last time they came to town, it has been a lot of years.
On Friday night, they proved why they draw such an enormous fan following. They push themselves hard, they deliver a powerful performance, and they have a lot of fun doing it.
I want to thank the bands and their teams for a fantastic night out. Don’t be strangers, come back really soon.
Godsmack setlist: When Legends Rise 1000hp Say My Name Keep Away Cryin’ Like a Bitch Awake Unforgettable Something Different Voodoo Batalla de los tambores Whatever Bulletproof Come Together (The Beatles cover) I Stand Alone