Godsmack & Staind Summer Tour in Raleigh, NC

Godsmack & Staind kicked off their summer tour last week with shows in St. Louis, Missouri, Raleigh, North Carolina and Virginia Beach, Virginia. I had the opportunity to cover the second show of the tour last Thursday night in Raleigh, NC at Coastal Credit Union Music Pack at Walnut Creek. The show was loaded with hard rock, crazy fans, powerful vocals, aggressive guitar riffs and a signature drum battle (but more about that later).

Godsmack and Staind are touring in support of their new albums. Godsmack’s 8th and final studio album Lighting Up the Sky released earlier this year in February of 2023 via BMG. The 11 song album was co-produced by vocalist/guitarist Sully Erna and Andrew Murdock (Avenged Sevenfold, Alice Cooper). Musicians Tony Rombola on guitar, Robbie Merrill on bass and Shannon Larkin on drums.

“Soul On Fire” official music video from the new album Lighting Up the Sky (2023)

Godsmack’s live set included 4 singles from the new album “Soul on Fire” , “Surrender” , “You and I” and “What About Me”. Godsmack’s set had a classic heavy sound which features “high-voltage and high-energy” as Sully Erna mentions. It wouldn’t be a Godsmack show without massive pyro and 20 feet high flames shooting out of the back of the stage. Godsmack is bad ass.

The set also included classic hits like “When Legends Rise” , “Voodoo” , “Bulletproof” and “Under Your Scars” before finishing with their iconic closer “I Stand Alone”.

I mentioned a drum battle earlier. For years, Godsmack has a mid-show drum battle that shows off the skills of drummer Robbie Merrill and singer Sully Erna (yes Sully) on the drums. It’s a really unique part of the show. Sully Erna emerges from back stage on a custom Yamaha drum set. Both Erna and Merrill’s drum set’s literally spin around while they guys play back in forth on AC/DC covers and other classic rock jams. It’s a nice break in the set that really show’s off the talent of the band we know and love as Godsmack.

Staind’s upcoming album, Confessions of the Fallen is set to release on September 15, 2023 via Alchemy Recordings/BMG. Staind actually opened their set in Raleigh, NC with the new single “Lowest in Me” which is the only track currently released on the new album. Starting their set with the new single was exciting way to start the show and get the fans jumping.

Aaron Lewis, lead vocalist of Staind mentioned he wanted to “modernize the sound and bring us up to date” with the new album. Let’s be honest, it’s been 12 years since Staind has released any new music so fans are eagerly anticipating any new music. Guitarist Mike Mushok, Johnny April on bass and Sal Giancarelli on drums.

Staind’s live set featured hits like “Right Here” , “So Far Away” , “It’s Been A While” and finally closing out with “Mudshovel”. Fans were also treated to an acoustic version of “Epiphany” by Aaron Lewis.

Nothing More was originally slated to provide opening support for this tour but dropped out last minute due to personal issues within the band. Fortunately for us, Mix Master Mike of notorious hip-hop group Beastie Boys stepped in and provided an opening DJ/turntablist set as well as a custom mashup of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” as the walk out song for Godsmack.

Godsmack and Staind have also announced additional tour dates for this Fall with opening support from hard rock legends like I Prevail, Atreyu and Jason Hook (formerly Five Finger Death Punch) new band Flat Black.

You can view additional tour dates on Godsmack’s website.