On Saturday November 7, 2015 Metal rockers Godsmack along with rockers Red Sun Rising tear into Reno at the newly renovated Grand Theatre inside the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino. This show was sold out as it should be, the venue was packed.
This was this examiners first show in the new venue and I must say they did a fantastic job. Seating capacity jumped from 1,800 to 2,700 seated and 3,000 when they add the GA standing up front. You could still smell the fresh paint, it’s absolutely beautiful. The GSR spent $10 million dollars on the re-model, money well spent in my humble opinion. The one thing I did notice that I really don’t care for is the height of the stage now, it was around three feet high, which as a photographer was the perfect height, now it stands at around five feet (they dug the pit down a couple of feet in order to achieve this). Most concert goers probably won’t even notice the change, but it’s still a great place to shoot, after a while I won’t even notice it anymore.
Now on to the show. I’ve been to many concerts since my first one way back in 1976, (Kiss and Montrose at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood CA.) I’ve seen many great intros, but after seeing the intro to Godsmacks show, I must say, it’s really going hard to beat this one.
The show started out with a short video played on a large screen on stage about the band arriving at the venue before the show and what they do to get ready. Then as the stage manager is showing the (heavy set) security guy, who’s in charge of making sure no one without a pass gets backstage with a paper that shows pictures of all the backstage passes that are needed to be there. As the stage manager walks away, a catering guy with dinner for the band walks by and security guy smells the food, he then starts after him leaving his post wanting to try a sample. Along the way, they pass two kids hiding, the’re trying to sneak into the bands dressing room to get some photos and autographs from the guys in the band.
As the stage manager see’s the youngsters sneaking around, he finds security guy munching on some of the bands dinner away from his post and starts yelling at him for a minute on why he’s not at where he told him not to leave, then they take off after the two intruders and when they finally catch up to the kids, they start chasing them all around the dressing room and backstage area.
Well the kids finally make it into the dressing room just in time to get caught. And here’s the best part, as the kids run out of the bands dressing room being chased by the stage manager and then they actually run onto the stage at the GSR live and in person, as the two kids run back off the stage, the stage manager then turns to a mic stand and yells to the crew, “F*ck it, start the show”. With the entire venue in aah and amazement about what they just saw, Godsmack runs out on stage and proceeds to blow the roof off the Grand Theatre as if what we were watching just really happened. It was brilliant, very well put together to make it look believable. What a way to start the show, this examiner and the entire venue was blown away.
Godsmack is an American alternative metal band from Lawrence, Massachusetts, formed in 1995. Since its formation, they have released six studio albums, one EP (The Other Side), four DVDs, one compilation album (Good Times, Bad Times… Ten Years of Godsmack), and one live album (Live and Inspired).
The band has had three consecutive number-one albums (Faceless, IV, and The Oracle) on the Billboard 200. They also have 20 top ten rock radio hits, including 15 songs in the top five, a record number of top ten singles by a rock artist.
Since its inception, Godsmack has toured on Ozzfest on more than one occasion, and has toured with many other large tours and festivals, including supporting its albums with its own arena tours. Godsmack has sold over 20 million records in just over a decade. In honor of the band’s success and the release of their sixth studio album, 1000hp, which was released on August 5, 2014 and sold around 58,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 3 on The Billboard 200 chart, Mayor Marty Walsh has declared August 6th as “Godsmack Day” in the city of Boston.
The bands line-up includes, Sully Erna (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards, harmonica, drums, percussion), Robbie Merrill (bass, backing vocals), Tony Rombola (lead guitar, backing vocals) and Shannon Larkin (drums, percussion).
Godsmack rocked the GSR nearly two hours, the set went something like this,
“Whatever”, “1000hp”, “Straight Out Of Line”, “Awake”, “Cryin’ Like A Bitch”, “Generation Day”, “Keep Away”, “Something Different”, “Voodoo”, “Batalla De Los Tambores”, “School’s Out” (Alice Cooper cover), “Moon Baby” and three encore songs, “Serenity”, “I Stand Alone” and a very impressive version of “Highway To Hell” (AC/DC cover).
This was my first time seeing Godsmack. I thought to myself after the show, what took so long, these guys really know how to put on a show. (I thought the same thing seeing Papa Roach for the first time earlier this year, who else I’m missing out on). The audience was packed with real die hard Godsmack fans that knew every word to every song the band played, not to mention the ones that arrived at the venue before noon, six to seven hours before the doors even opened just so they would be first in line and first in to get right up front and center on the rail.
You don’t want to miss this band the next time they hit Reno, that is if you really like seeing true rockstars rockin’ some great music, I know this examiner won’t miss them again.
Starting the night off was an awesome rock band called Red Sun Rising, I can tell you that these guys won’t be openers for much longer. A perfect fit for this show.
Red Sun Rising is an American rock band from Akron, Ohio that formed in 2007. They often use the hashtag #WeAreThread, which is said to be the name of the genre of music they would like to represent.
RSR built up an impressive local fan base, soon attracting the attention of multiple labels. Razor & Tie rushed to Akron in the Fall of 2014 and signed the band following a sold out hometown show.
The band has released three studio albums, “Making of Kings” (2010), “Into Forever” (2013) and their latest, “Polyester Zeal” (2015) in which they are now touring in support of.
The all original line-up goes like this, Mike Protich (vocals, guitar), Ryan Williams (guitar), Tyler Valendza (guitar), Ricky Miller (bass, vocals) and Pat Gerasia (drums).
The guys played an impressive over thirty minute set that went like this,
“Push”, “Awake”, “My Muse”, “The Otherside”, “Amnesia”, “Bliss”, “Imitation”, “Blister” and “Emotionless”.
Now this is a true rock and roll band, they have a very good style and stage presence. Protich, the bands front man, has a lot of charisma and knows how to work the audience very well. The fans, especially the female fans really watched every move he made on stage. He also has a very good voice to go with everything else, which is always good. The rest of the band all had very good rock moves on stage, they all had the look of seasoned rockstars. Keep an eye out for these guys, they are well on their way to rock stardom and fame.
This show was absolutely awesome from start to finish, a great time was had by all.
The newly remodeled Grand Theatre inside the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino is likely going to be known as the crown jewel of concert venues in the Reno/Sparks/Tahoe area, to see who’s next (click here)
If you’d like to see all the photos of Godsmack at this show (click here) or Red Sun Rising (click here)
As with all this examiners reviews and feature stories, I always say, “The photos are what it’s all about, so check out the photo slideshow and enjoy the show”.
All photos by JOHN TUCKNESS
Support your local bands and venues … Go To A Show.