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Live at Crufest 2 July 2009, Tinley Park, IL

Review by Travis Jensen

Here we are fellow metal fans, in another summer concert season, and it’s time to get Smacked! You too can come see one of hard rock’s loudest bands as part of the lineup for Motley Crue's Crüe Fest 2 tour. Godsmack are seasoned veterans to this type of musical madness.
Legendary founder of the band, front man and songwriter Sully Erna, rocks the stage in a commanding and entertaining performance with guitarist Tony Rombola, bassist Robbie Merrill and drummer Shannon Larkin. Having released four studio albums, with a new one due early next year, they are on a non-stop tour train and rolling hard. This hard-edged group has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, and has sold nearly 20 million records worldwide, so it ia no wonder they have such a solid and loyal fan base. Just come to any of their live shows, and you’ll see what I mean.

They released a new single entitled "Whiskey Hangover" just last month, and it’s already in heavy rotation on radio stations across the country. This is one of the several tunes which was part of their blistering one hour set-list comprised of the dark harmonies of both past and present. With primary influences such as Alice in Chains, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Judas Priest, Slayer, Metallica and Rush, it is plain to see where such creative energy can come from in such a stunning song.

Greg Olma
I’ve been an avid Godsmack fan for several years now, and have seen them perform live at a second stage at Ozzfest a few years ago. And although I found them to be a great live act at the time with an established fan base, it was much more powerful this time around. Maybe it was because I had a better seat this time, or the fact that they had a better time slot with the Cruefest gig, but the atmosphere was just surging with raw energy that had everyone on their feet with their hands in the air! They took the stage just around dusk, and the arena was filled with more loyal fans than I could count. As soon as the first sounds of music came bellowing out of the speakers, the entire floor was jumping! As much as I like the pit seats for getting closer to the stage, I didn’t envy the poor souls that were down there, as it looked entirely grueling with everyone smashed together...OK, maybe I did wish I was down there a few times - especially with songs like “Straight Out Of Line”, “Realign”, “Awake”, and “The Enemy”. They also played their more well-known stuff such as “Voodoo”, “Whatever” and “I Stand Alone”.

Greg Olma
What stood out for me the most was the drum jam! Not just with Shannon Larkin, but the dueling drum solo with Sully Erna. First, Larkin’s kit rolls across the stage with some kind of mechanized remote control. Seconds later, you hear another set of drums, and Erna’s kit comes rolling out, spins and faces Larkin. What came next was one of my most memorable concert experiences, as the two of them put on one of the most entertaining drum performances. Erna has a kit that is mostly comprised of different sized bongo drums. Larkin would show off his magic for awhile, and then Erna would show us some razzle-dazzle comparable to his counterpart. This went on for some time, and then on to one of the coolest instrumental medleys that I have ever seen! They played small pieces of several well-known songs from Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Rush, and Led Zeppelin. My only beef with the Godsmack set is that they only got to play for an hour...I wanted to get smacked for at least another hour!

Greg Olma
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Greg Olma
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 4 at
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