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Concert Review

Godsmack 11/14/99 Davis Ca.
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Tony Rambola - Guitars & Vocals/ Sully Erna - Vocals & Stuff!,/ /Tommy Stewert - Drums/ Robbie Merrill - bass/

SullyGodmack has literally slapped the rock world across the face with their smash hit single, "Whatever." That tightly wound rock number is just the beginning of what the world will hear from Godsmack on their self-titled debut album. Boston's Godsmack practices the sort of post-industrial metal made popular by White Zombie and perpetuated by Tool and Alice In Chains. But by mixing the raw riffing of their peers with the machine-gun rhythms of Nine Inch Nails, they distinguish themselves from the pack. On their self-titled major label debut, they demonstrate the commitment to furthering the evolution of metal that won them a loyal fan base in New England. Singer Sully screams his way through a dozen tunes chock full of chunky guitars and moshing rhythms. In keeping with the tone of modern metal, he sings about his own demons and failings rather , Guitarist Tony Rambola and bassist Robbie Merrill have a commanding presence that emphasizes attitude and power over technique. And drummer RobbieTommy stewert has picked up where Lars Ulrich left off with quirky fills that add a depth to the sometimes two-dimensional rhythms. It has been reported that they got their name from an Alice in Chains song as tribute to their influences. The guy selling t-shirts said one of the band members walked into a room sporting a grotesque cold soar and someone commented god had smacked him upside his face. Either way they go by the name Godsmack and tonight they came to play. The Boston band Godsmack was in Davis playing the Freedom hall supporting their self-titled major debut album. Candles ,demonic statues, flckering light were strewn across the stage as the scent of incense permeated the air. As the lights went down, Godsmack exploded onto the stage. Getting right down to business the band opened with "Moon Baby," the first track off their new album. After the first couple of songs sunk into the crowd's skull, lead singer Sully Erna set the pace for incredible night Tonyof pure rock n roll. The band proceeded, knocking out song after song exposing the audience to their brand of a hybrid post industrial metal. Sully batted out throaty screams blended with distorted vocals on songs such as "Bad Religion " and "Time Bomb." Tony Rambolo and Robbie Merrill conducted several extended sermons on metal psychedelia on the guitar and bass respectfully. Unable to keep himself away from the drums, which he played since age 4, Sully traded beats on a conga/snare/cowbell with drummer Tommy Stewart during the song "Voodoo." As the night wound down, the band proudly displayed to the crowd their recently acquired gold Tommyrecord for Godsmack. Thanking fans for pushing their sales over a half a million, Erna announced that the crowd was the first to see it. On that note Sully invited the small intimate crowd to approach the stage as he serenaded the crowd with their current hit single "Whatever." With their album climbing towards platinum status and a "buzzworthy" video on MTV, this intimate night was one to be cherished. Godsmack's increasing popularity has earned them a mainstage spot on Ozzfest 99 and Woodstock 99. And as their popularity rises and exposure increases, these kind of club dates just might as well be numbered.

By Randy Cohen

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