As AC/DC's 'For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)' blasts out from the PA, it's clear that each and every person in the Forum tonight has waited nine years too long to see Godsmack hit our shores once again. It's the first night of their European tour and as they burst onto stage to 'Straight Out Of Line' the pent up energy comes flooding out of the crowd, and when Sully welcomed London, the Forum showed their appreciation back ten fold.
Out came the talk box for start of 'Re-Align' and the atmosphere intensified but it's when the opening to 'Awake' played that mosh pits kicked off all around the venue, and not just at the front. We'd got a spot near the stage but decided to move back a bit past the bar, where a bunch of kids had even got a moshpit going - seriously, at the bar!
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Frontman Sully kept the audience in the palm of his hands, guitarist Tony Rombola pulled off some almost Schenker-esque riffs, and bassist Robbie even got to sing a bit of 'We Will Rock You', but it was Shannon Larkin who stole the show for me with his lunatic drumming. His arms looked double jointed and I've never seen anyone pound skins like he did, and was just mesmerising to watch.
As they launched into 'Whatever' Sully took this as an opportunity to test the audience, saying he had the feeling London would be the best audience of the tour and encouraging his adoring fans into joining in by throwing out pints of beer. He asked them to go wild after the singalong and my god they did exactly that. I haven't seen a moshpit that intense or heard fans singing quite so long in a very long time, which just served to prove that this is a band that still have a future this side of the pond, even after their hiatus.
A short break before the encore, which started with the calming track 'Serenity' before bringing the night to climax with 'I Stand Alone', lending to a huge amount of people taking it upon themselves to throw plastic glasses in every direction, especially people upstairs who were likely retaliating for the people downstairs getting the free booze earlier.
An amazing return and I hope that they keep to their promise of coming back soon, which Sully mentioned several times throughout the show, even saying "we'll see you guys next June" at the end. So is that a hint that there could be festival appearances pencilled in to their calendar for 2013? I really hope so. And when they do come back, after seeing them at Cruefest 2 in Dallas, and witnessing the truly spectacular double drum duel between Sully and Shannon, I pray that it makes it over here next time.
Straight Out Of Line
Cryin' Like A Bitch
Keep Away (including We Will Rock You by Queen and Walk by Pantera)
Love Hate Sex Pain