The Tucson leg of the Godsmack-headlined Rockstar Energy Drink UpRoar Festival rolled into Kino Memorial Stadium for Fall Ball 2014 on Sunday (Sept. 21), and we were there to cover the event from 5pm-10:00pm.
We got to see Buckcherry and Seether, and we were really glad we did, but the main event for us was an exclusive sit down with Godsmack front man Sully Erna, a chance to taste some high-octane artisan tequila from Pura Vida Tequila Company and, of course, to watch Godsmack do their thing. More on all that below.
KFMA Fall Ball 2014: Godsmack, Seether, Buckcherry & More Rock the Old Pueblo’s Annual Autumn Rock Fest
Soon after we arrived, Buckcherry (whose latest album is simply titled “F–K,” by the way) did a deliciously R-rated cover of “I Don’t Care” by Icona Pop, which was well-received by the crowd and this Examiner in particular. The band also played some new songs along with more familiar tracks, including what is arguably their biggest hit, “Crazy B–ch.”
Seether put on a good set, playing tracks like the haunting “Broken” and the adrenaline-laced “Remedy.” There was nothing not to like, and the sun-baked, beer-soaked crowd was appeased…but only temporarily. They were ready for Godsmack to come out and set the stage on fire, which is almost exactly what the band did when they hit their 8pm set time.
Opening and closing the show, as well as peppering the entire 90-minute performance, were impressive pyrotechnic displays and impressive use of lighting production. This, along with the notes and riffs that came screaming out of the band’s guitars, bass and drum kits (not to mention Sully’s vocal chords) were exactly what Tucson showed up for.
Among the opening numbers was Godsmack’s new single “1000hp” – the title track of their most recent studio effort. (Watch the official “1000hp” music video here now.) Loyal fans in the crowd already knew every word to the new anthem, while others were amped to hear some of the band’s older fare. Those fans would not be disappointed.
Godsmack played “Voodoo,” “I Stand Alone,” “Awake,” and a slew of other radio favorites. Before the night was over, front man Sully Erna and drummer Shannon Larkin engaged in a little “Batalla De Los Tambores,” a fun band tradition which allows Sully to show off not his singing and guitar skills, but his impressive drum style, carefully honed since the age of three. (Shannon, who at 47 has insane levels of stamina most 20-year-olds could only hope for, started playing drums at age 10.)
Rockstar Energy Drink UpRoar Festival 2014: Relive the Tour (Click)
After the show, we hung out with the guys at their tour bus, shooting the breeze and being gifted a full bottle of triple-distilled Pura Vida tequila from Sully.
As you may or may not know, Pura Vida is the official tequila of Godsmack. The band’s partnership with the craft batch liquor company has culminated in a Pura Vida VIP party bus that has hit most stops on the current Godsmack/Rockstar UpRoar Festival 2014 tour across the U.S., allowing a few lucky fans and reporters special access to the band, and the band’s favorite tequila, in each tour city.
Check Out the Pura Vida Party Bus Yourself Here Now! (Click)
Unfortunately, for technical reasons, the party bus never made it to Tucson. Also, since the traditional, pre-show 8:15 shot actually took place closer to 3:45, we missed that too. Do we feel cheated? Not even a little bit! Here’s why:
We got to interview Sully before the band’s set, shoot some great photos from the media pit during Godsmack, and hang out with Sully, Robbie and Shannon after the show. (Where were you hiding, Tony?) Then, there was the bottle of ultra-smooth Pura Vida Gold from Sully – a thoughtful gift meant to make up for missing the party bus and 8:15 shot experience. What more can a girl really ask for? (We even got rock-star hugs, and few things beat that. Musicians just do it better!)
Stay tuned for more photos, more details of our time at Fall Ball 2014/Rockstar UpRoar Festival 2014 and an exclusive interview with Godsmack frontman Sully Erna, coming soon!
Special thanks to New Creative Media, Pura Vida, and Godsmack security for facilitating access and ensuring an awesome night. Thanks to the band for being very, very cool.
Compensation Disclosure: This reporter received free tickets and VIP access to be able to competently report on the event and conduct interviews. No other compensation was received. The bottle of Pura Vida tequila was a personal gift from the band to make up for some confusion during the event and because Sully just seems to be a pretty nice dude.