The tight knit community of Western Massachusetts holds a strong bond when it comes to making things happen. When Aaron Lewis’ daughter’s school was threatening to close, an organization was formed to bring the towns together to provide proper education to the students and leave them in the schools where they already were, rather than uprooting them.
It Takes A Community was formed to save RH Conwell School in neighboring Worthington, MA, just minutes from where The 6th Annual Aaron Lewis & Friends show took place at The Pines Theater at Look Memorial Park in Northampton, MA. This made the evening that much more special to friends and families alike because of its “home” show vibes.
Even with an amazing star studded ballot of musicians scheduled to attend and play on the evening of August 4th, there were even more surprises in store. Sully Erna of Godsmack (dear friend of Aaron), was in attendance, and performed with Aaron when the scheduled Adam Gontier (Saint Asonia), could not make it.
Kicking off the intimate show was Aaron and his country band, playing 45 minutes of hits from the 2011 Town Line album to the recent release of Sinner. Transitioning his voice from a raspy metal and screamer to a dirty country twang seem to be natural to Lewis. Chills roll down your spine when he hits those high notes. Joining Aaron Lewis on stage for “Travelin’ Soldier” by the Dixie Chicks, was none other than his sweet daughter Zoe Jane Lewis. Her performance of this song was beautiful and had the crowd in tears. On a personal level, I really enjoyed seeing him play “Tangled Up In You,” as this is the song that my wife and I first danced to on our wedding day.
Up next, the one and only “Frienemy” of Aaron, Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour was joined by his lead guitarist in Stone Sour, Christian Martucci. Dubbed to play four songs and hit the road for their next show, they played acoustic versions of “Take It Easy” by The Eagles, “Dead Flowers” by The Rolling Stones, and “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd. The duet absolutely rocked and brought the crowd to its feet for the second time of the night.
Aaron took the stage again and invited some friends to join him. This time around, it was Mike Mushok (Staind/Saint Asonia), Sully Erna (Godsmack), Corey Lowery (Saint Asonia), Sal Giancarelli (Staind), and Ben Kitterman of Aaron’s country band. The all-star cast that was now on stage played well over an hour of amazing hits, including tributes to both Chester Bennington with “Crawling” by Linkin Park, and Chris Cornell with “Hunger Strike” by Temple of the Dog. Aaron and Friends were “just winging it” and didn’t play any of their own music, sticking with absolute rock classics. Watch a quick snippet of the tribute below.
As if this weren’t enough of the surprises that Aaron Lewis had in store for his near and dear community, he brought the encore that wasn’t expected to possibly be seen ever again. His bandmates in Staind all came on stage to perform three songs to close out the night (Aaron Lewis, Mike Mushok, Johnny April, and Sal Giancarelli). They performed amazing renditions of “Outside,” “Something To Remind You,” the intro to “Zoe Jane,” and last but not least, “It’s Been Awhile,” three staples to Staind’s fame.
We don’t know the future ahead, but seeing Staind together again even if for a brief three songs, can make fans hopeful that one day they may see them back on stage again.