By Eric | September 14, 2001 11:59 pm
This show sticks out for a number of reasons, in large part due to it being one of the first concerts anywhere after 9/11, and also because this was the legendary “tour bus show”!
This was three days after 9/11 happened, and we weren’t sure they were even going to hold the show. Originally, we also didn’t care about this one so much, because Joe and I were going to go to see Nickelback at UB instead. However, Joe calls me the night before, and tells me that he got tickets for Rick for the Godsmack show, and by doing that got him entered into the grand prize drawing. Well, by luck of the draw, Rick won the grand prize: 6 people get to ride on a tour bus to and from the show, backstage passes, and front row tickets! So I’m pretty stoked that I got to go with them. We all convened at Rick’s place about 4:00 that Friday afternoon. The bus pulls up at about 4:45, with a huge Godsmack logo plastered on the side of the 45-foot long home-on-wheels. Michelle from the Edge jumps out, we take a couple pictures, and jump on the bus to Darien Lake!
En route, Godsmack’s wonderful tour manager Renee filled us in on what we could and couldn’t do, how the day was going to go, etc. We got to Darien Lake, pull in next to all the band buses, got off the bus and ate in the backstage catering area, among members of Luxx, Saliva, Godsmack and all their crew. Saliva was out playing basketball while we ate. At about 6:00 Godsmack came over to the bus area for the meet and greet, we got autographs, chatted a little, and got picutres next to the bus (see below).
We pretty much could go wherever backstage, save for a few restricted places, so we jetted out into the amphitheater, checked out our seats, checked out the merch, ran into a couple of Rick and Joe’s friends, and went back to the bus. As we’re sitting on the bus, Renee was holding a fistful of unused tickets, we asked about them, and she mentioned how she was going to go out onto the lawn and distribute the remaining front row seats to the hardcore Godsmack fans she found out there. Rick mentioned his 3 friends out on the lawn, and she gave him 1 ticket, when he mentioned the other two friends, she goes, sucks for them! smiled, and gave him two more. Al and company were elated to get the tickets, to say the least!
We got to our seats just as Luxx was getting out on stage. They’re from NYC and as such were especially fired up about performing, as this was the first show back since the World Trade Center disaster. They had a chick lead singer, and they sounded okay, nothing great, but not terrible either. The girls voice was actually strong, which usually doesn’t happen. Next was Saliva, who got the crowd into it right from the start, opening with Click Click Boom. They ran through a good chunk of the album, including Doperide, Superstar, and After Me, had lots of energy, and really had the crowd going for their entire set, closing with their big hit, Your Disease.
Before Godsmack hit the stage, Bull from 103 came out, and had everyone sing the Star Spangled Banner, and there were quite a few people with American flags and such. The Godsmack boys came out after their requisite cartoon ended, and ripped into Sick of Life. The set was almost the same as Rochester and Utica, with Sully talking in-between sets about how this was very emotional for the band, and how the band “needed this just as much as you the fans did”. About this time, a fan threw a bandanna up on the stage with an American flag on it, and Sully wore it for the rest of the night. At one break, he had everyone join hands and hold them up high, and they turned the house lights on so everyone could see everyone else, a very cheezy but special moment. For me, one of the highlights was Get Up Get Out, and an especially cool extended version of Keep Away. To start the encore, Sully came out by himself to sing the last few bars of America the Beautiful, and let the crowd finish. Say what you want about Sully and the band, but that was a moment that won’t be easily forgotten. They did Voodoo, and closed with Whatever, but not before they stuck a couple other songs in, fittingly, Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, then Kiss’ “Rock n Roll All Night”, and finally whipping the crowd into a frenzy with Pantera’s “Walk”, before closing the song.
Given the setlist from every other show on that tour, I can safely say ours was the same:
Sick of Life
Get Up, Get Out
America The Beautiful
We headed backstage once again, chilled on the bus for awhile until we saw a large group of fans being escorted over to the catering tent. We got off the bus and followed the crowd, with our laminates doing the talking to get us into the tent as well. Sully, Robbie and Tommy came out and signed our ticket stubs and chatted for a few minutes. After that was over, we got back on the bus, pulled out and headed home. The show was great, the ride was great, and it was an awesome excursion!
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