Music is a conduit for love and understanding. It brings us together in these large stadiums, either indoor or outdoor to show appreciation for it like a form of prayer from time to time. Earlier in the week, legendary front man, Chris Cornell for bands such as Soundgarden and Audioslave was found dead in his hotel room after a show after Soundgarden’s show at Detroit’s Fox Theatre. He was only 52 years old. Sometimes, it’s hard to fathom people with such gifts that help us alleviate our sadness sometimes lose their battle with their own.

The show had their tributes to the late singer in their own way. The Pretty Reckless, who opened for Soundgarden the night of their final show opted to reschedule their concert at the Starland Ballroom in New Jersey the night before. Heavy hearts prevailed during their powerful set as lead singer Taylor Momsen fought through a teary eyed acoustic cover of Audioslave’s 2002 hit, “Like A Stone.” Before that, the band poured their heart into the 50 minutes that they played, being forever thankful to share the love that was reciprocated by the crowd.

Bush, energetic as ever, that consisted of lead singer/guitarist Gavin Rossdale running all the way to the lawn with fans,  interjected bits of “Black Hole Sun” into their cover of R.E.M.’s “The One I Love.” Live,  in their first concert in the Philadelphia in years with the original lineup did a full band acoustic tribute of Audioslave’s “I Am the Highway.” Cornell will live on through the musicians and fans that he touched from years to come.

A rather cloudy day presided over the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, NJ, but any signs of rain held off. The 2017 iteration of the MMRBQ’s lineup was more on the classic side with a dash of youthfulness. Dinosaur Pile-Up and Rival Sons began the day on the right foot as fans started to fill up the amphitheater.  Guitar virtuoso, Zakk Wylde’s project Zakk Sabbath roared through classic Black Sabbath songs like “War Pigs”  and “N.I.B.” England’s very own, The Struts brought the youthful exuberance that urged the crowd to get up and dance.

To close the night, right after Live showed that they still had the same fire with renditions of “I Alone” and “Lightening Crashes” , Godsmack did a twelve song set that spanned their almost 22-year career.  If you don’t remember songs like “Awake” and “I Stand Alone,” you might be kidding yourself. MMRBQ serves as the unofficial kick-off to the summer concert season to rock fans across the tri-state area. There’s healing in the vibration of percussion or the reverb of a guitar. Rock is here to stay.

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