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2017 WMMR-B-Q Concert w/ Godsmack, Bush, Live, Pretty Reckless, The Struts, Zakk Sabbath and more
Written By: Gary Crouthamel
*Click images below to view larger versions.
2017 WMMR-B-Q Concert w/ Godsmack, Bush, Live, Pretty Reckless, The Struts, Zakk Sabbath and more
Godsmack
2017 WMMR-B-Q Concert w/ Godsmack, Bush, Live, Pretty Reckless, The Struts, Zakk Sabbath and more
Godsmack
2017 WMMR-B-Q Concert w/ Godsmack, Bush, Live, Pretty Reckless, The Struts, Zakk Sabbath and more
Bush
2017 WMMR-B-Q Concert w/ Godsmack, Bush, Live, Pretty Reckless, The Struts, Zakk Sabbath and more
Bush
2017 WMMR-B-Q Concert w/ Godsmack, Bush, Live, Pretty Reckless, The Struts, Zakk Sabbath and more
Live
BB&T Center, Camden, NJ  •  Saturday, May 20

        It was back to the BB&T Pavilion to kick off my 2017 concert season with the always fun WMMR-B-Q show, and for the first time in three years it was not raining so there were quite a lot of tailgaters in the parking lots already partying, grilling and playing corn-hole and cranking the music of one of their favorite bands that would be playing through the day.
 
        As I got inside it was time for the first band, Dinosaur Pile Up, a three-piece band from England who took the stage at 1:55 pm. Lead singer and guitarist Matt Bigland said, “we are from England and it’s a lot better being here!” I've never heard of the band but their 30-minute six-song set was pretty rockin' and I would like to see them again playing a headline set.
 
        Next up, Rival Sons, another band I have not heard but apparently many others had as they took to the stage to a thunderous applause from the already packed pavilion with the lawn filling up quite nicely for this time of the day. They ran through a seven-song 30-minute set with songs from their five albums released from 2009-2016.
 
       Like all WMMR-B-Q shows, they keep it moving well and quick with the set changes; so with another short change it was time for Zakk Sabbath, fronted by Zakk Wylde, playing a tribute to the music of Black Sabbath for whom he was the guitarist for quite some years. The band opened with "Supernaut" and their six-song 40-minute set had Zakk up on a platform at the edge of the stage, face full of hair, even playing his guitar behind his back and with his teeth. Other Sabbath classics included "Fairies Wear Boots", "War Pigs" and ending with "N.I.B", before Zakk addresses the crowd by saying, "God Bless Black Sabbath and God Bless Chris Cornell".
 
       After a quick intermission to clear out the GA pavilion in order to let the assigned patrons have their paid seats for the rest of the night it was 5:20 pm and time for The Struts to take the stage. Before they came out, WMMR DJ Pierre Robert comes out saying that this band has opened for bands like The Stones, and even Motley Crue's final show in California and told the crowd that they are going to be big. And funny, they played the Bottle and Cork the next night. The band opened their six-song 35-minute set with "Put Your Hands Up", and played all of their songs from their debut release "Everybody Wants".
 
     At 6:25, it’s time for Pretty Reckless, fronted by Taylor Momsen (sorry but when I hear her name I just think of little "Cindy Lou" on the “Grinch That Stole Christmas”) but man has that little girl grown up to be one hell of a leader of a rock and roll band. Their nine-song 35-minute set opens up with "Follow Me Down".  And with her usual sunglasses and hair in her face, she is always one tough one to get a good shot of her. She screams her way through most of her songs and even lies on her back to play "Heaven Knows".  But the highlight was a cover of Audioslave's "Like A Stone", a tribute to Chris Cornell.
 
     Up next, a band that I do not think I have ever seen before (wow, I don't say that too often) - it was Bush taking the stage at 7:40 and opening with "Machinehead" to a rousing applause from the audience. Their eight-song 50-minute set also included "The Sound of Winter" and "Everything Zen"; but it wasn’t until "Little Things" that lead singer Gavin Rossdale jumped off the stage and ran through the aisles and out onto the lawn before returning to the stage. A highlight of their set was a cover of REM's "The One I Love", with snippets of Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun", another tribute to Chris Cornell. Bush closed their set with their 1995 chart topper "Comedown".
 
      Now it was time for the re-united band Live to have their turn. At 9:00 pm Live opened with "All Over You",  "Operation Spirit" and played their 11-song 50-minute set with mostly all their mega-hits. Midway through their set they even played a cover of Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line". Once again it was time for another band to pay tribute to Chris Cornell with Live covering Audioslave's "I Am the Highway", which lead singer Ed Kowalczyk called, "One of the most beautiful songs ever written." Live closed with a 10-minute version of "Lightning Crashes."
        
       It was finally time for headliner Godsmack to take the stage; and at 10:20 pm, they did just that opening their 12-song one-hour set with "Awake", "Straight Out of Line" and "1000hp", with major fire spewing up from behind the band. Singer Sully Erna said the band was working on a new album and will celebrate it with a 20th anniversary tour next year. The hits kept coming with "The Enemy", "Keep Away", "Something Different", and their always crowd pleasers "Voodoo" and "Batalla de los Tambores", before closing the set with "Whatever".  After a quick break the band returned for their encore with a cover of the Beatles "Come Together", which has been getting a lot of airplay on WMMR, and finally closing with their 2002 gold hit "I Stand Alone".
 
        Another WMMR-B-Q has come and gone but what a great day of rock n’ roll from such a wide variety of bands. It’s always a fun day as well and you gotta love WMMR for putting this all together through the years. Always curious on the following year’s lineup but wait ... it’s my first show of the year and there are a lot of great bands on the road this summer, so let’s pack up the car and cross Rt 50 or 90 and get off the island for some major headlining bands. It’s worth the travel, trust me, or I wouldn’t have been doing this since 19??.
 
– Gary Crouthamel, Concert Photo Journalist
 
CLICK HERE For Full Photo Gallery: http://www.coconuttimes.com/oc-md-photo-gallery/May-26-2017/2017-WMMR-B-Q-Concert-w-Godsmack-Bush-and-Live-/images
 
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