Article and Photos by: Michael Flores
West Palm Beach, FL – This past Tuesday night, fans came from all over South Florida to witness what would be a good old-fashioned rock show at the Coral Sky Amphitheatre. The night was breezy, but one can never be too sure with the fickle South Florida weather, especially with an outdoor rain or shine venue. I was surprised to see that there were no lawn seats available for purchase as the sloped lawn can nearly double the venue capacity.
Kicking off the night were Canadian hard rockers Monster Truck, who originated from Ontario back in 2009. Their classic 70s southern rock vibe got the crowd excited and I was truly impressed by how well they performed live. The band reminded me of a fusion of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. Monster Truck is currently supporting their latest album True Rockers. They made the most of their 7-song set, getting the crowd pumped for the next act.
Up next was one of the most successful female fronted hard rock groups of the last two decades, Halestorm. The band, led by the charismatic vocalist and guitarist Lizzy Hale, her brother Arejay Hale (drummer and percussionist), guitarist Joe Hottinger, and bassist Josh Smith, made this quartet a perfect addition to the lineup, adding to the overall the experience of the night.
Halestorm kicked off their set with an incredible intro showing off Lizzy’s vocals. A sole spotlight lit her, captivating the audience’s attention from the start to the finish of their set. She definitely knows how to put on a thrilling show. Her immense platform shoes reminded me of something straight out a KISS members’ closet. Not only were each of the band members’ performances excellent, but the lighting design for their set perfectly matched the mood. Halestorm is currently touring in support of their LP Vicious, released in 2018. You should definitely check them out as they continue their jam-packed tour.
Prior to the headliners taking the stage, a remix of various songs, including Queen’s “We Will Rock You” played to let the crowd know it was time to rock. When it was finally time for Godsmack to take the stage, the crowd was riled up. Lead vocalist, Sully Erna, announced to the crowd that he had taken a nap earlier and had also taken his vitamins, meaning that they were ready to play all night. The fans were truly shocked to hear that Sully would be turning 52, as he still looks to be in great shape and doesn’t look his age. He states that the reason for his graceful aging comes from all the skin care products he has ordered on late night infomercials while drinking whiskey. The crowd got a good laugh from his story.
Their set kicked off with an extended drum solo intro of “When Legends Rise” as drummer Shannon Larkin spun on a rotating platform before the rest of the Godsmack members jumped in. Despite having some minor sound issues at the beginning of the song, the sound crew got it resolved by their second song “1000 HP” just in time to go full throttle. Shortly after, Sully proposed recognizing that it was Saturday night instead of Tuesday, so the crowd would not get sleepy or have to worry about going to school or work the next morning. This got everyone pumped and the crowd partied for the rest of the night.
Godsmack were not only supporting their latest record, When Legends Rise. They also played songs from all their records, including their hits, such as “Awake” and “Voodoo.” Later on in the night, they played “Batalla De Los Tambores,” which translates to “Battle of the Drums.” Sully and Shannon would then beat on different drums in a sort of duel. They would frequently toss their drumsticks in the air and catch them just in time for the next beat. They even mixed AC/DC’s iconic “Back In Black” intro. It was definitely a unique performance and one of the highlights of the show. Even though Sully is both the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, he had learned to play the drums at the early age of 3 ½ years old.
Godsmack ended their set with a song from their first record, “Whatever.” The crowd cheered them on before they even left the stage. When they re-emerged, they did so with a different mood. A piano rose from below the stage, and Sully took a moment from their encore to talk about the Scars Foundation. Their new organization established in an effort to raise global awareness and battle the stigma of mental illness, severe depression, addiction, bullying, PTSD, and other mental health conditions. Sully talked about being sick and tired of losing personal friends of his, as well as amazing artists, to these struggles. He took this moment to thank the fans for supporting their music and their message. He proceeded to play an amazing live version of “Under Your Scars.”
Godsmack would end the show with two more songs, “Bulletproof” and the highly anticipated “I Stand Alone.” If you are fan of rock music or interested in supporting a great cause, I would highly recommend checking out all of the bands in this lineup.
For more information on the Scars Foundation, visit www.godsmack.com/scarsfoundation .