May 31, 2003
Lazerfest Brings Godsmack, Cold and Trapt up North
By Randy J. Klodz
Our neighbors to the north, Milwaukee, Wis. offered a hard rock line-up
that featured Cold and Trapt playing shorter sets with Godsmack headlining
as part of the annual LazerFest, sponsored by Milwaukee rock station Lazer103
which took place at the Marcus Amphitheater on May 31.
With a brisk breeze blowing off the nearby Lake Michigan, an outdoor
radio festival at the end of May would seem like a warm way to start of the
summer concert series, but many patrons filled the amphitheater wearing heavy
coats and even gloves.
The band Cold, fronted by singer Scooter Ward, guitarists Kelly Hayes
and Terry Balsamo, bassist Jeremy Marshall (who only appeared onstage for
back-up vocal duties since he recently broke his right hand) and drummer Sam
McCandless, took the stage at a peculiar slot of time: three bands before
Godsmack was to take the stage. But the fans that arrived early were in for
a short set that featured tracks from the May release “Year of the Spider”
and 2000’s “13 Ways to Bleed on Stage.”
Cold whipped through new tracks “Remedy,” “Don’t Belong,” “Suffocate”
and the hit single “Stupid Girl,” which Ward introduced by saying “This song
is stupid.” Cold also threw in popular tracks “No One,” “Send in the Clowns”
and “Just Got Wicked,” which received the loudest response from the chilled
crowd. Cold is scheduled to be a part of the second leg of this year’s Lollapalooza
After a short set by the fairly unknown Ra, California natives Trapt
took the stage. In a suspicious time slot schedule, Trapt took the stage right
before the headlining Godsmack, although the members of Trapt have one album
under their belt, their self-titled debut which hit stores last November.
Trapt’s energetic vocalist Chris Brown darted about the stage, often
catching his microphone cord in the stage monitors. Brown, who resembles a
brown haired Mark McGrath, the famed lead singer for party band Sugar Ray,
lead his band through a quick set that included “New Beginning,” a song that
Brown dedicated to “everybody that gets up everyday and gets all their stuff
done,” and the hit single “Headstrong.” Other notable tracks include “Made
of Glass” and “Hollowman.”
Without a recent Chicago appearance, Chicagoans had to make way to Milwaukee
to see one of hard-rocks top acts Godsmack perform. With a patriotic opening
movie sequence which included scenes depicting war and typed inspirational
messages the Boston-based quintet took the stage to “Straight out of Line,”
the hit single and opening track to Godsmack’s new “Faceless” album.
Godsmack, which features Sully Erna (vocals/sporadic guitar), Tony Rombola
(guitar), Robbie Merrill (bass) and Shannon Larkin (drums), blasted through
a 14-track set that featured fire towers, cannon booms and a few surprises.
During the chant-like “Voodoo” from Godsmack’s self-titled debut a female
belly dancer arose from a platform on each side of the stage. Both dancers
gyrated to the tune in rhythm, but the surprise didn’t end there.
From each of the two stage props that resembled smoke stacks two bongo
players arose, which became the catalyst for what was to be a 10-minute instrumental
ending to the song. Erna disappeared momentarily and then arose in a drum
kit that rose above Larkin’s set and the two traded off drum solos. When all
was said and done, Erna played every instrument except the bass during the
During “Trippin’” a popular track from Godsmack’s second album, “Awake,”
a disco ball dropped, placing spots of light all over the darkened pavilion.
Other Godsmack also played set staples “Whatever,” “Awake,” “Keep Away” and
“Greed,” as well as several other tracks. Never one to speak much during a
set, Erna let the music speak for itself.
Godsmack’s current tour supporting “Faceless” is scheduled to run through
June 20 where the band makes its way to the Star Theatre in Spokane, Was.
For more information on Godsmack log onto www.godsmack.com.