Robyn Lane

Weekdays 10am - 3pm

It all started with an invitation to a networking event from a colleague in the music industry. The event is called,  G2: An Active Rock Gathering™ it’s described as the ultimate showcase platform for new and developing Active Rock bands, gathering the best and brightest minds in the music business. 

In other words, lots of eating, drinking, and watching live bands at a handful of venues with people who love music and try to make things happen for young bands when possible. Some bands may already be somewhat familiar with our format, and baby bands looking to get music industry ears and eyes on them in hopes of getting to the next level.

I arrived in Las Vegas on Wednesday, September 28th at around 1:30 and grabbed a cab to the hotel downtown.  Checked in, had a few hours to myself, and then it was off to dinner at Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club.

My focus should have been on the keynote address from Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix, and the few bands that followed his keynote, but I was stuck on the fact that dinner was happening at a strip club. In my head, it was the equivalent of eating gas station sushi.

Well, well, well, what a surprise! A beautiful Middle Eastern- Mediterranean spread was laid out for about 60 guests on a rooftop terrace complete with a bistro and indoor lounge. Creamy flavorful Baba ghanoush, hummus, kebabs, stuffed grape leaves, falafel, Pita bread, and assorted grilled vegetables. A feast carefully planned by a brilliant chef.

 Who knew? In fact, it was the best meal I had in Vegas the whole time I was there.

 After Jacoby addressed the crowd, it was all about the band showcase which included an artist named Christopher Shayne, and an open bar.

The next day (Thursday), it was off to lunch and bowling at Red Rock Casino & Resort. We got to listen to some new tracks from the British Metalcore band, “Architects” and a speech of sorts from lead singer Sam Carter, a man with a great sense of humor.

 I can’t bowl with my long claws, so I skipped the bowling and opted to be a spectator. I actually suck at bowling with or without my claws. One time after plowing through a couple of cocktails, I bowled a 152. Last time I bowled sober, I bowled a 26.  Lunch was nothing to write home about, it included chicken parm sliders and regular cheeseburger sliders with a French fry bar.

A few hours after lunch, some of us piled on the bus and went to the Circa Hotel to hang with Godsmack to listen to some tunes from the forthcoming album, “Lighting Up The Sky.”  The album hits the streets in February 2023. There’s a ballad on the album about a failed relationship that seemed to have gutted Sully. You can hear the deep hurt in his vocals.

Sully Erna, the lead singer of Godsmack spoke about the album, calling it, “An incredible journey”. I got the feeling it was more about his personal journey, and less about his bandmates.  He said that this very well could be the last album for Godsmack because Sully believes he’s said all he has to say in the last 25 years and doesn’t think the band could possibly top this album. He also said, “It’s not that we’re breaking up and this is some farewell tour or whatever; we’re just saying that this could be the last full body of music that you hear from us.” He repeated the part about Godsmack NOT breaking up. They’ll become a touring band playing all their hits. Plus they’ll get to do stuff that they’ve always wanted to do outside of music.

Later that evening two party buses filled with music and media people headed to the Hard Rock on the Las Vegas strip for dinner and another round of live music.

Devil’s Envy, Return To Dust, and Beartooth played for the crowd, and again they had an open bar.  You’d think I’d be absolutely hammered by this point. I was fairly sober and alert taking in the music and enjoying the company of my liquored-up colleagues. I try to never drink like a sailor when I’m more than 2,500 miles from my own bed.

Friday afternoon, I hung by the pool with some folks for about an hour, and guitar Goddess, Nita Strauss showed up to say hello.  

The finale was on Friday night, we piled into the big party bus with a kick-ass sound system and headed out to see Godsmack.

The venue, “Dollar Loan Center Arena” is just outside of Vegas in Henderson Nevada.  The place holds less than 6,000 people and it was perfect in every way. The sound, the security, the food, and the service staff, were all professional and courteous. 

 I even told the guy in charge how impressed I was with the entire staff and how well run the place was. Even the drunk unruly guy I saw go nuts during Godsmack’s set, went willingly when the Henderson Police showed up.

A young Seattle band, “Moon Fever” opened the show, followed by Vegas locals, “Otherwise.”

I didn’t get back to the hotel until almost midnight, so I didn’t go to sleep because I was afraid I’d miss my 6 am flight.

Godsmack will be heading to New Jersey in the Summer of 2023 and again, I will be there because these mofos put on a great show.

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