By Mike McKenney, New England Correspondent
Venue: Xfinity Center, Mansfield. Massachusetts–August 25, 2018-Shinedown, Godsmack, and Red Rising Sun
Co-Headliners Shinedown and Godsmack delivered a powerful one – two punch with live performances complete with all the explosions, and pyrotechnics that the followers of these hard rockers have come to love and expect. From the moment the curtain dropped (to the intro of “Attention” Attention”) Shinedown’s Frontman Brent Smith grabbed the crowds attention. Opening with “Sound of Madness” Brent Smith was on his mark, stalking around the front of the stage. By the second song “Diamond Eyes”, Smith (aided by towers of flames) was drenched with sweat. Along with Smith, Barry Kerch (drums), Zach Myers (guitar), and Eric Bass (bass) played loud and proud, immersed in the lasers, cannon blasts, and strobe lights.
After “Diamond Eyes,” and in what has become a Shinedown trademark experience, the personable Lead singer Smith, asked everyone in the audience to take a moment and meet the person to the left and right of them, saying “Please introduce yourself and shakehands so there are no strangers here”. Smith then took the time to introduce himself and shook hands with everyone in the photography pit and anyone else he could reach. But that was just the beginning of Brent Smith’s hospitality. After urging everyone to “Get Up”, he ran through the arena to the very back lawn seat section and stood on a platform to meet and speak to the lawn seat crowd. Returning back to the stage he coerced everyone to jump when he counted to three, and as a display of “Unity”, the place went nuts jumping up and down when he hit three. Shinedown finished their set with Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” and “Devil”, both fan favorites. Not just a concert, Shinedown is an incredible live experience.
Red Rising Sun started the night off with their particular hard rock style. Featuring great vocals and searing guitar riffs, Red Rising Sun was more of 3rd Headliner than an opening band. Not wanting to be pigeon holed with any particular label, Mike Protich (Vocals, Guitar), (Ryan Williams (Guitar), Ricky Miller( Bass, Vocals) Dave McGarry (Guitar, Vocals), and Pat Gerasia (Drums) often use the hashtag #WeAreThread, which is said to be the name of the genre of music they would like to represent. They explain that their influences are like threads in a fabric and they feel they cannot truly be described as one particular genre.
Lastly, the loudest explosions were saved for Boston’s own Godsmack. Sully Erna (vocals, guitar), Robbie Merrill (bass), Tony Romobola (lead guitar), and Shannon Larkin (drums), came out to support their latest album “When Legends Rise”. The energetic Sully Erna, spun and coiled around on stage while adding his vocals to “When Legends Rise” and “1000hp”, as a wall of fire burned red hot behind him and deafening explosions cracked through the air. Meanwhile, bassist Robbie Merrill was having fun stealing drummer Shannon Larkins’ sticks and throwing them out into the crowd. Playing the older “Keep Away” and “Voodoo”, brought the crowd back to why the fell in love with Godsmack to begin with. Completing the night with “I Stand Alone” and AC/DC’s “Highway To Hell”, the night of great hard rock came to a close and the appreciative crowd responded with a long standing ovation.
Shinedown Set List:
Attention Attention Intro
Sound of Madness
Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)
Cut the Cord
If You Only Knew
State of My Head
Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover)
Godsmack Set List:
When Legends Rise
Cryin’ Like a Bitch
Say My Name
Batalla de los tambores
Saturday Night’s Alright for Fightin’
I Stand alone
With his years of experience and passion for Concert Photography, Mike has photographed many of the famous acts in the world today.
Rock Icons such as Sting, Peter Gabriel, Dave Matthews, and Fleetwood Mac along with Country artist Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney,and Jason Aldean have all appeared before Mike’s camera.
"My goal is always to present the experience truthfully so fans can feel the energy and emotions the Artists convey. It’s a tremendous honor and responsibility to be allowed to create art while blending my two passions, music and photography”