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Good Vibez with Godsmack for a beautiful night in Madison at The Orpheum Theater

It was a beautiful spring night for a SOLD-OUT rock show in Madison. The venue

was the classic Orpheum Theater which seats 1700 and was built in 1927. Located

in downtown Madison, the theater also has a beautiful view of Wisconsin’s


The Orpheum is definitely smaller than the usual venue for a Godsmack show,

whose full-on rock spectacular shows normally take place in arenas or


Godsmack is a chart-topping, Grammy nominated hard rock band from Lawrence,

MA who formed in 1995. The band is composed of lead singer/rhythm guitarist

Sully Erna, lead guitarist Tony Rombola, bassist Robbie Merrill and drummer

Shannon Larkin. Godsmack has released 8 studio albums over the course of their

career. Although the band has said their final album will be “Lighting Up the Sky”

released in 2023, they will continue to tour. Once the Vibez tour is over

Godsmack will roll into summer with music festivals and a July tour with Nothing

More and Flat Black.

The Vibez tour has been billed as an intimate experience of acoustic/electric

performances and untold stories from Godsmack with special guest Bastian Da

Cruz. The band’s typical tour is everything you would expect from a hard rock

band including a lot of pyrotechnics, and an epic drum battle between Larkin and

Erna who is a talented drummer in his own right. On the Vibez tour you will see

candles and memorabilia such as the gargoyles from previous tours. There will

also be incense burning to set the mood. The songs will be a mix of acoustic,

piano and electric songs along with some vibey covers. It is literally a whole

different vibe from other Godsmack shows.

The evening kicked off with Bastian Da Cruz, a solo artist from Denmark. He

serenaded the audience for 30 minutes with his beautiful voice. Check out his

song “Move On” on youtube and Spotify.

Next up was a preview of the movie “I Stand Alone: The Sully Erna Story” which

tells the story of Erna’s life and early struggles that ultimately led to the creation

of Godsmack. It is a great watch for any fan of the band or Sully.

Finally, the time had come. The crowd, who had been lined up around the block,

was excited and ready for Godsmack. The set started out with a vibey cover of

“Time” by Pink Floyd. There was no pyro but lots of video that set the mood and

the vibe throughout the show.

The show continued with some classic Godsmack songs including– “Love-Hate-

Sex-Pain”, “Voodoo”, “Turning to Stone” to really get the crowd moving. For the

classic “Spiral” there was no epic drum battle between Larkin and Erna but we got

a little of Sully on drums, which is always a treat. Tony Rombola also showed off

his guitar skills on “One Rainy Day”. Led Zeppelin fans in the crowd were then

treated to a 10-minute version of “No Quarter” complete with trippy tie-dye

colors straight out of the 70’s as the video backdrop.

As an introduction to “Nothing Else Matter” a Metallica cover, Sully then talked

about how music is the soundtrack to our lives and how music can evoke

memories both good and bad. When music, which is really just sonic vibrations, is

played in a certain way it can touch us in a way that few other things can. Music is

magical and miraculous and has a way of bringing us together.

Sully also performed a heartfelt piano version of “Truth” and really showed his

scars. The song was inspired by true events in Erna’s life that led to a breakup of

his long-term relationship during the making of “Lighting Up the Sky”. As Erna

noted, Godsmack isn’t known for their ballads, but this is a powerful songs that is

relatable to many.

Ending the set were “Growing Old” and “Lighting up the Sky” which are both off

the final Godsmack album.

After a short break the encore began.

The first song was “Under Your Scars” which is one of my personal favorites

because of the meaning and how it led to something bigger. According to Erna,

“We all have these imperfections, these wounds that we carry (whether they are physical or

emotional) that cut so deep they can cripple us. These feelings leave us vulnerable, or

embarrassed, or even unworthy at times. And our human nature - when they’re exposed - is to

shut down, rather than embrace them and realize that not only can we overcome them, but we

can also become an inspiration to inspire others to have a voice and find their inner strength to

show their scars off loudly and proudly to the world. Our ‘Scars’ are nothing more than our battle wounds from life and they helped mold you into who you are today.” The tune also inspired the band to launch The Scars Foundation, a non-profit organization that

provides resources for issues like severe depression, addiction, bullying, PTSD,

and suicide prevention.

The last few songs included a few young fans from the audience, which is always

fun. Jefferson held up a sign that said “Drummer for Hire” and Sully took him up

on it. Larkin turned over his spot so that Jefferson could show off his talents on

“Enter Sandman” by Metallica. Jefferson was quite talented and I am sure will

remember this night forever.

The fun didn’t stop for “Long Train Runnin” by The Doobie Brothers. Being from

Boston, Sully spotted a young fan in the crowd with a Red Sox baseball cap and

invited him up to play tambourine. It was a great way to end the show.

It may not have been your typical Godsmack show, but it was 2 hours of good

vibes, fantastic music and many untold stories. Check out one of these shows

while you can. You may not see anything like it for a while. The full-on rock shows

are back in July.

**As a photographer, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the badass female

content creators on this tour. Paris Visone, former Godsmack photographer, as

Video Director creates some awesome visuals on this tour. Francesca Ludekar,

tour photographer, has also captured some amazing moments.


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