Rock music is still alive and well. This year, many rock tour packages took shape to hit the road during the summer, and one of the most attractive was GODSMACK and SHINEDOWN. These are two of my favorite rock bands today, so there was no way I could miss this tour. The gathering took place at Dos Equis Pavilion in Dallas, and thousands of people showed up there ready to rock it out, regardless of the rainy day.
At this point, SHINEDOWN was about to take the stage. I remember the very first time when I saw them back in 2012, when they headlined the now extinct UPROAR FESTIVAL. I was blown away. The level of energy goes off the charts and I felt like I was deeply involved with most of the songs as Brent Smith (vocals) truly knows how to show his passion for his art. The fact that this was a co-headlining tour did not mean that shorter setlists for the last two bands was a bad thing; in fact, it kept things going at a faster pace to make the great songs fit in the time and make the crowd enjoy every second as they wanted to.
“Sound of Madness” was their opening song, and a great set of lights and fireworks came with it. It immediately took me back to the first time I enjoyed the sound of this group. This led right into “Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)”, which is also full of energy and lots of excitement. Up next, from their album Threat to Survival, “Cut the Cord” filled our ears with more great popular material from the band. The next songs kept me completely engaged for the next 20 minutes. Some of these I usually turn back to when times are good or bad, and it’s what makes this rock band special: “If You Only Knew”, “Bully”, “Enemies” and “Unity” (my favorite!) did not miss their spot on the setlist, and many of us were just pleased for SHINEDOWN’S entire performance and their stage presence, which has only gotten better with time. Other songs like “State of My Head” and “Second Chance” also made their way through.
The last part of the show became a bit emotional as Brent walked to the crowd to get a spot in the middle, accompanied by Zach Myers (with an acoustic guitar) to perform LYNYRD SKYNYRD’S “Simple Man”, dedicated to the late Vinnie Paul and his brother Diamond Darrell Abbott. It’s unbelievable to see how two people made so much of an impact in the world’s metal scene. Even if I was never into any of their music, looks like their personalities is what made them great, and I’m glad they’re getting the respect they deserve. “Devil” from latest album Attention Attention closed the set and it was time to get ready for the other headliner.
Now we’re all pumped to see GODSMACK step up to the stage and continue our party. This performance was particularly interesting to me because the band’s new album When Legends Rise has been fairly well accepted by the crowd and it has a couple of songs that I was very much looking forward to hear live. They opened with the title track followed by “1000hp” and “Keep Away” which are adrenaline-fuelers.
After checking in with the crowd, other songs like “Cryin’ Like a Bitch” and “Awake” kept the rock mood on. By this time, their new song “Unforgettable” (one that I truly wanted to hear) from their latest album also was marked and played in the setlist. The thing with GODSMACK’S new album is that it’s very solid rock with simple riffs, but enjoyable, and a representation of this description is in that song. By this time, we’re already halfway through the set and the best is yet to come. A band like GODSMACK, besides being awesome at what they do, they also deliver a spectacle that’s very much worthy of your view. The song “Voodoo” has never been among my favorites, but it opens up the path for “Batalla de los tambores”, which is something that very few bands do. With a great combination of percussions, moving drum sets, a few cover jams and the crowd participation, this batalla is always enjoyable.
“Whatever” and new song “Bulletproof” continued the party. An unexpected cover also was brought by surprise when the band performed STEVIE WONDER’S “Superstition”, a song that I had never heard of before in my life, but I sure enjoyed dancing to it while I could. To close the show, “I Stand Alone” was of course the perfect way to end it and call it a night. Overall, it was amazing to enjoy all these bands and it was a pleasure to have them in town to give us a good time. I can definitely recommend you to check this tour out if it’s close by, you’re guaranteed a hell of a show. GODSMACK have been producing great music for about 20 years and, on the other side, even though SHINEDOWN hasn’t been around quite as long, they recently just opened for IRON MAIDEN in Europe, so that HAS to speak for itself. Thanks for reading, and keep rocking hard.
LIVE IMAGES: JOE GUZMAN – GUZPIX
LIVE WORDS: THE ALCALDE