Godsmack brings crowd ‘down a rabbit hole of music’ with their psychedelic set at Caesars Windsor

Godsmack brought their intimate and psychedelic ‘Vibez Tour’ to The Colosseum on Friday, April 26, 2024, making their debut appearance at Caesars Windsor.

Trading their typical pyrotechnics for dimmed candles, demonic gargoyles, incense and trippy, colourful video montages, the veteran Massachusetts rockers’ instruments were still plugged in and cranked to at least 10.5 for their unique, two-hour set.

“I told you we were gonna take you down that rabbit hole of music tonight and the experience of the whole gift of music,” frontman Sully Erna told the crowd.

“A bunch of you are probably wishing you brought a big old fucking bag of mushrooms with you tonight. Yeah. Well, next time you know.”

Here are SWOMP’s photos from the concert:

Erna described the band’s intention and motivation for embarking on the more stripped-down ‘Vibez Tour’ to the Windsor crowd.

“It has been such a pleasure doing this kind of a show,” he said.

“Not only does it give us an opportunity to kind of dig into the Godsmack catalog a little deeper and play some of the songs that we don’t normally play on the bigger stages, but we also had an opportunity here to share with you guys a way to perform and play some of our favorite songs from our childhood growing up.”

Erna added: “What it was like when we were listening to music as young teenagers and going to shows like you guys are going to right now and how we experienced it.It’s like we’re in our living room. We’re just hanging out in our living room tonight. Right? It reminded me of how special and important music is to all of us in our lives. And I think sometimes we overlook that.”

Godsmack gave some insight into these inspirations throughout the show, setting the tone with an opening cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Time’ and later providing the full lava lamp effect with a captivating rendition of Led Zeppelin’s ‘No Quarter’.

Before easing into a crowd-pleasing cover of Metallica’s ‘Nothing Else Matters’, Erna dug deeper sharing his thoughts on the meaning and power of music.

“If you think about it, and you think about what music really is and how it moves us, it really has become the soundtrack to our lives, right?” he said.

“I think we all agree on that. You guys could think of your favorite songs in the whole world. The songs that give you the chills, the songs that move you the most. And you can remember that time and place when you first heard it. You remember those memories, but not only bring you back to those memories, but feel the feelings that you guys had when you first heard that song and how attached to it you are.”

Erna added: “I really don’t know anything else in the world that’s that powerful that you can hear a song and it could bring you right back to a time and place when you first heard. Maybe scent. Right? Scent is another thing. You can smell something and it can really trigger a memory and a feeling.”

Erna shared a story about being on his tour bus, sharing a bottle of wine with a friend and talking about the theory of music.

“We started to get deeper into the conversation, I remember this song came on the radio in the background, a song by the Mamas and the Papas called California Dreaming,” he told the audience.

“I’m listening to the song, I’m kind of zoning out, I had a little buzz from the wine, and I’m just kind of like listening to the song and I was feeling heavy and sad and emotional almost. And I’m thinking, what is going on with this? Like, these big beautiful melodies that I’m listening to, but I had no connection to the song lyrically. Right? So lyrically it meant nothing to me.

Erna added: “But yet I was feeling all these feelings and we started to talk about that. Why is it that music connects with us emotionally like that? And we started asking people, what is it about music that moves you in that way? And of course a lot of people will say well, it’s the lyrics, you know, I thought of that song and it really reminds me of that situation I went through in my life. And I go okay, fair enough, but why is it we can go listen to a violin player play all by herself, no lyrics, and it could literally bring you to tears. Right? That’s when we started going okay, now we’re fucking two bottles of wine into the conversation. We’re like really going down the rabbit hole, you know, like wow this is crazy because when you think about it, right? Music is nothing more than sound waves. If you keep breaking it down, a sound wave is just a frequency and a frequency is nothing more than a simple vibration.”

Erna continued asking the question, if music is nothing more than just simple vibrations, why does it affect us emotionally?

“To me, that’s the true fucking gift of music,” he said.

“That is the miracle that we’ve been given. And it’s this anomaly. This is why I think we all connect to music in our own special way. It’s this universal language that we all connect to. And it really does take us down memory lane. It really does resurface all these memories and feelings that we have, but they’re just fucking vibrations. Right? Whether it’s a drum head or a guitar string, even your vocal cords, they’re just vibrating. They create these sound waves. It’s for some reason when they come in contact with the human body, these vibrations create emotions.”

While the cover songs created a special mark to their set, the band provided noteworthy takes on an assortment of their own hits and originals.

Erna also provided some emotional insights into the meaning of some of their songs, in particular, their latest single Truth from their 2023 album ‘Lighting Up The Sky’.

“It was tough for me to get through,” Erna said about the recording on ‘Truth’, which was inspired by a difficult break-up and betrayal in a relationship.

“I was still in this very raw and emotional space, but we got through it. Now it has become our new single, it has just entered the top 10 in the Billboard charts.”

Erna showcased his diverse musicianship throughout the show: hopping behind the piano for several songs, adding extra percussion on the bongos, sprinkling in tambourine splashes, a flash of harmonica on their closing song (Long Train Runnin’ the Doobie Brothers) and of course his growling and distinctive vocals, which were even more prominent during the slightly scaled-down set.

“I know we’ve never been here yet, but thank-you for such an amazing, surprising welcome to your city,” Erna told the Windsor crowd.

“Now that I know you guys are here, as long as this band remains a band, I am always coming back to this fuckin’ city to play a show for you guys. Phenomenal. Amazing, amazing audience tonight. We really appreciate you guys. I can tell that you guys are true music appreciators, man. That is what this whole evening was for.”

The combination of Tony Rombola, on lead guitar, and Robbie Merrill, on bass guitar, was a steady force throughout the performance and ensuring the set still packed a typical Godsmack punch, was the powerful Shannon Larkin on the drum kit.

Prior to the show in Windsor, and the tour overall, SWOMP caught up with Larkin for an interview.

He said the ‘Vibez Tour’ was his favourite one yet.

Listen to the full interview, below:

Here is the full Godsmack setlist from their Windsor show:

1. “Time” (Pink Floyd cover)
2. “Love-Hate-Sex-Pain”
3. “Voodoo”
4. “Turning to Stone”
5. “Spiral”
6. “One Rainy Day”
7. “No Quarter” (Led Zeppelin cover)
8. “Nothing Else Matters” (Metallica cover)
9. “Serenity”
10. “Touché”
11. “Truth”
12. “Growing Old”
13. “Lighting Up the Sky”

14. “Under Your Scars”
15. “Bulletproof”
16. “Long Train Runnin'” (The Doobie Brothers cover)

Learn more about Godsmack on their official website https://www.godsmack.com/.

Opening the show with a solo, acoustic set, was Denmark’s Bastian da Cruz.

Here are some photos of his performance:

Follow Da Cruz on Instagram, here.

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