Known for the power and energy of their live performances, Godsmack has been steadily rocking crowds around the world since 1995. Their first and long overdue live album, “Live & Inspired,” hit the stores on May 15 and is a welcomed addition to their catalog. The new record is a two disc set featuring live tracks from their Detroit show in 2010 and some “inspired” covers of classic rock tunes.
If you have never seen a Godsmack show, you are truly missing out on something special. However, this new CD does a great job of capturing the energy of their concerts and is the next best thing. Amidst the sounds of helicopters and gunfire, Godsmack thunders into the opening track, “Straight Outta Line.” With the powerful vocals of Sully Erna and the heavy guitar of Tony Rombola, they quickly set the tone for the rest of the evening. Along with the pounding bass of Robbie Merrill and drums of Shannon Larkin, they rip through some of their best songs including “The Enemy,” “Keep Away,” and “Voodoo.” Other great tracks include “Serenity” and the instrumental, “Battala De Los Tambores,” which features the dueling drums of both Sully and Shannon and has become a staple of their live show.
The second disc features Godsmack’s versions of four rock classics including “Rocky Moutain Way” by Joe Walsh, the Beatles’ “Come Together,” and “Time” by Pink Floyd. Some critics will say that these classic tunes should not be messed with. I completely disagree. I think it takes a lot of guts and confidence to cover the best of the best. Godsmack stays true to the originals but gives them a heavier, grittier feel. The best of the cover tracks is their barebones version of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters.” Starting out with some beautiful piano instead of acoustic guitars, this track showcases the powerful growl of Sully’s vocals and is a great contrast to the heavier songs.
“Live & Inspired” is nicely done and a great release for fans in between studio albums. If you want to experience what it’s like to be at a Godsmack show or if you want to relive some of your favorite Godsmack concert moments, this record will do the trick.