Some of the bands covered here.

Some of the bands covered here.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Stitched Up Heart
Van Andel Arena
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Van Andel Arena hosted Godsmack, Volbeat, and Stitched Up Heart last Friday on
April 19th.  I knew with this lineup the show would be sold out and it was.  I
fumbled around getting my cameras together and made sure I brought a double
camera set up for experimental stereoscopic 3d photos for the 3d viewers for
smartphones.  I was only an hour away in South Haven, Michigan and had no
worries so I wasn’t in a hurry and left early.

I soon found out I should have checked on driving reports because I-196
freeway heading into Grand Rapids was completely closed.  I felt it was more of
a struggle getting into the Van Andel Arena but it was well worth every minute
seeing three great bands. Van Andel Arena is a great venue to cover or see
shows because everyone working there is friendly and glad to help with any

First thing is to get parking and find something to eat around the Van Andel Arena
area.  I decided to go either to the Hop Cat or Lucky Luciano's pizza, I went with
the pizza.  At this restaurant you pick a raw pizza slice to have baked.

I enjoyed the laid back atmosphere and a slice of feta cheese pizza before the
wild night at the concert.  I made it to the Van Andel Arena security office waiting
with other photographers to be chaperoned to the media.  We spotted the band
members from Stitched Up Heart behind us.

The first thing I did was mention to Mixi, the lead singer, how much I enjoyed
the album.  Afterwards, we were lead backstage past where the bands have a
buffet in the private dining area.  I was last in line heading down the hall and the
door swings open and Michael Poulsen of Volbeat walks out as I walk by.

Stitched Up Heart:  The opening band is made up of Mixi on vocals, Decker on
drums, Merritt on guitar, and Randy on bass.  The band hales from Hollywood,
California and the band’s first release date was 2015. While listening on Spotify
to Stitched Up Heart I tried to find one bad song and couldn’t find one.

All the songs were great sounding metal with the lead singer drawing you in
and the bass, drums, guitar, and backing vocals make great flow.  The band is
on tour in support of their album titled “Never Alone”. The whole album passes
the Metal Axe Gallery’s three tests.

Metal Axe Gallery’s album tests:
1. Can you cruise to the album with the music up loud and proud?
2. Can you play it up loud at a party?
3. Can you rock out to it with your gym workout?

The answer was yes to all three and a plus is that the total album will melt your
face off, thus no bad songs at all.

Stitched Up Heart setlist:
1. This Skin
2. Warrior
3. Catch Me When I Fall
4. Dirty Secrets
5. I Can’t Breathe
6. Finally Free
7. Lost

Metal Axe Gallery Stitched Up Heart playlist:
Finally Free
Turn You On
Event Horizon
I Can’t Breathe
Never Alone
It’s So Easy
City Of Angels
Catch Me When I Fall
We’re Alive
Is This The Way You Get To Hell?
Presence Felt
Now That You’re Gone
Bleeding Out

Stitched Up Heart tour date links:

Volbeat:  The band consists of Michael Poulsen on vocals/guitar, Jon Larsen on
drums, Rob Caggiano on guitar, and Kasper Boye Larsen on Bass.  The band
formed in 2001 and the hometown is Copenhagen, Denmark. We had the
honor to cover Volbeat at the Deltaplex Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

This is another band that you never get tired of seeing live.  Volbeat is on tour
in support of their album titled “Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie”.  This album also
passes the three test. The cruise, party, and gym workout test make it tough on
some albums but Volbeat’s.  

Their music appeals to young and old rock and metal heads alike.   

Volbeat setlist:
1. The Devil’s Bleeding Crown
2. Lola Montez
3. Sad Man’s Tongue
4. A Warrior’s Call/I Only Want To Be With You
5. Let It Burn
6. Black Rose
7. The Everlasting
8. 16 Dollars
9. Dead But Rising
10. Fallen
11. Seal The Deal
12. Still Counting

Metal Axe Gallery’s Volbeat playlist:
Still Counting
For Evigt
The Devil’s Bleeding Crown
A Warrior’s Call
Black Rose
Lola Montez
Maybellene i Hofteholder
Seal The Deal
Guitars Gangsters & Cadillac Blood
Doc Holliday
Lonesome Rider
Let’s Shake Some Dust
Pearl Hart
The Sinner Is You
Our Loved Ones
The Mirror And The Ripper
Heaven Nor Hell
Who They Are
A Better Believer
Magic Zone
Still Counting
Hallelujah Goat
Wild Rover Of Hell
Mr. & Mrs. Ness
Devil Or The Cat’s Song
Radio Girl
Soulweeper #2
Caroline Leaving
Another Day, Another Way
Rebel Angel

Volbeat tour date links:

Godsmack:  The band is made up of Sully Erna on vocals/guitar/drums/keyboard,
Tony Rombola on guitar/vocals, Robbie Merrill on bass, and Shannon Larkin
on drums/concussions.  The legendary band’s hometown is Boston,
Massachusetts and are on tour in support of their new album titled “When
Legends Rise”. You can’t help but hear and listen to their new single titled

The tough Metal Axe Gallery test of three is a yes to all three questions.  Can
you cruise, party, and rock your gym workout to the “When Legends Rise”,
album?  When you look at our playlist below it'll let you know how much
Metal Axe Gallery enjoys rocking out to Godsmack.

Throughout the history of my family and I covering shows we had the honor to
catch Godsmack live at the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, Tinley
Park, Illinois, and then again at Rock The Rapids, Grand Rapids, Michigan.  
You can never experience a great band live enough so you show up and see
them again.

Godsmack’s setlist:
1. When Legends Rise
2. 1000 hp
3. Say My Name
4. Keep Away
5. Cryin’ Like A Bitch
6. Awake
7. Unforgettable
8. Something Different
9. Voodoo
10. Batalla de los tambores
11. Whatever
12. Under Your Scars
13. Bulletproof
14. I Stand Alone
15. Highway To Hell (AC/DC cover)

Metal Axe Gallery’s Godsmack playlist:
Eye Of The Storm
When Legends Rise
Under Your Scars
Let It Out
Say My Name
Take It To The Edge
Every Part Of Me
Bad Religion
Now Or Never
Keep Away
Black Magick
I Am
Dead And Broken
I Fucking Hate You
Make Me Believe
Bleeding Me
The Enemy
Running Blind
I Stand Alone
Good Time, Bad Times
The Whiskey Hangover
What If?
Good Day To Die
Shadow Of A Soul
The Oracle
War And Peace
Saints And Sinners
Cryin’ Like A Bitch
1000 Horsepower
Something Different
Locked & Loaded
Living In The Grey

Metal Axe Gallery’s true test of a live performance as a whole:

The true challenge of any artist whether they perform music, act in a movie or
play is the ability to draw the audience in to focus on enjoying the
performance.  The performer/artists connect with the crowd and the worries of
the next day work, bills, and many other things are set aside. The three bands
did a great job of the true test and if you don’t believe me see for yourself.

By photojournalist Dan Spratt and by photojournalist/editor/violinist for hire
Kayla Spratt.04/24/2019

Tour date links:


Sources of information:

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