Written By Nathan Holt
Photo By Nathan Holt

The Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Michigan shook when the Mass Chaos Tour came to town. The tour featured heavy hitters Godsmack, Staind, Halestorm and Brookroyal who opened the show. With so much talent in one place, how did the show turn out?

Brookroyal got the crowd ready with a decent seven song setlist that included “Motives,” “Tear Me Down,” “Hello,” “There Was A Time,” “Friend” and “Drama Queen.” The alternative rock band did a great job with moving around the stage and not staying still for long, which is a great change of pace from the usual opening band which is just there for filler. One of the biggest differences in their set were how bright and quick the lights changed, which was topped by the moment when lead singer Jack Wiese jumped into the crowd for the first song. Wrapping up the set with “Jump,” the band did just that along with the crowd.

As the lights dimmed for Halestorm’s set, drummer Arejay Hale and sister/lead singer Lzzy Hale yelled “Michigan!” and off the band went with their first song “Love Bites (So Do I).” The three songs afterwards being “Mz. Hyde,” “I Miss the Misery” and “Freak Like Me” like it’s played in order straight off their newest album The Strange Case of…. The music seemed focused on their newest album, with six out of the nine songs being new ones. The set took a slower turn with “Familiar Taste of Poison” and the band’s final song “Here’s To Us,” while having tons of energy packed into their other songs like “Rock Show,” “It’s Not You” and “I Get Off.” While yelling out “Michigan!” multiple times during their performance, they had the same flashy lighting as Brookroyal. The band was mostly in the dark during their set, but nothing seemed to keep everyone from having a great time.

Staind also played six songs off their new self-titled album with the same lighting treatment as the previous two bands, but not as sporadic. They began their set with a huge scream from front man Aaron Lewis before launching into “Raw,” “Right Here,” “Eyes Wide Open,” “Spleen” and “Failing.” His screams seemed to be the best I’ve personally heard, especially during songs like “Paper Wings” and “Mudshovel” later in the set. The crowd really began to roar for “So Far Away,” “Outside” and “It’s Been a While” to the point where they were louder than Aaron’s vocals.

Focusing primarily on the music, there wasn’t too much interaction with the crowd except for the occasional encouragement to sing. The rest of the band did a great job with the other songs including “Now,” “For You,” and “Not Again.” Aaron played his solo song “Country Boy” and wrapped up the set with himself and guitarist Mike Mushok playing “Something to Remind You” that gave most of the crowd goose bumps with how surreal it sounded in comparison to the rest of the set.

Using the same sporadic lighting, Godsmack began their set with warning sirens and the song “Awake.” Godsmack really got the crowd moving with their heavy sound throwing songs at the crowd one after another: “Straight Out of Line,” “The Enemy,” “Good Day to Die,” “The Oracle,” “Cryin’ Like a Bitch” and “Keep Away,” with the talented front man Sully Erna yelling “I know you know these words Michigan!” urging the crowd to sing the chorus. After “Speak,” “Love, Hate, Sex, Pain” and the eerie song “Voodoo,” Sully took to a second drum set alongside drummer Shannon Larkin that moved around the stage for a drum battle. While playing songs like AC/DC’s “Back in Black,” Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” and “Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” during the battle, the two had a great time as the rest of the band played along for the song snippets.

The true highlight of the show came during “Whatever” when Sully told the crowd how good they sounded and how he wanted people to stop sitting and participate in the show. “What are you doing? This is not a widescreen TV, unless you’re handicapped or pregnant, stand up! First you’re gonna help us close this show. When this song kicks back in, I want to see the whole floor lose your goddamned minds!” As the crowd yelled “Go Away!” the arena shook with almost every single person jumped up and down to the music. Finishing the night with “I Stand Alone,” every single person in the crowd seemed satisfied with the bands and how they got their money’s worth of entertainment that night.

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