It is hard to believe that Godsmack is finally releasing a live album after all of these years, but the Lawrence, Massachusetts band is finally giving their fans something that they have been asking for for years. There are not too many bands that bring the power and intensity that Godsmack brings to a live show. If you have not seen them live, you really should. You will see a completely different side of them. Frontman Sully Erna has one of the best voices in any genre of music and his stage presence is ever present during any live show.
The first thing to note is that Live & Inspired only covers Godsmack’s first four albums and you are pretty much getting most of the songs that you would expect to hear at a Godsmack show. All of the hits are here including Awake, Voodoo, Whatever, I Stand Alone, etc. Each track is performed exceptionally well with some tracks standing out (it is always nice to hear Moon Baby live too).
The intro before The Enemy is classic and show Sully’s love for this Detroit crowd, but of course, the songs are what we bought the album for, and they are just as intense as any live version that I ever seen them perform.
Disc 2 brings us four new tracks (all covers), and I have to say that 3 of these 3 songs are ones in which I love the original. While I live Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters also, it is nowhere near as great as the other three.
I was very curious to see how Godsmack would tweak these songs to make them their own. Right from the outset, you can tell that their version of Rocky Mountain Way is Godsmack’s version. The chunky riffs open the song, which leads into the classic slide that we recognize from the original. I was also very curious to see how Erna would handle the vocals, but he stayed true to himself and did it his way. This cover is one of the better covers that I have heard from anyone in a few years.
Next up in the classic Beatles’ track, Come Together. Once again, this track is much heavier than the original and, once again, Erna puts his stamp on this one to make the vocals the highlight of this track.
Pink Floyd’s Time is up next and we get another get version of the classic song. Pink Floyd is one of my top 5 favorite bands, so I am very critical of covers of their songs. Wrathchild America actually did a really nice cover of Time years ago on their debut album that you should check out as well. Back to Godsmack though. They handle this classic nicely and pay homage to true musical masters.
To close out the double album, we have a cover of Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters, which is one of the more obvious covers that you would expect to hear from Godsmack. The band, Erna in particular, have been very outspoken on their love for Metallica and Erna himself covered Nothing Else Matters on his solo tour. Their twist to this one is that it is performed with a piano. Overall, the song is done well, but it pales in comparison to the previous 3 covers.
Overall, this album is as solid as you would expect it to be and, just as we are accustomed to with Godsmack, there is never a letdown.
Live & Inspired Track Listing:
1. Straight Outta Line
4. Moon Baby
6. The Enemy
7. Keep Away
10. Batalla De Los Tambores
13. I Stand Alone
1. Rocky Mountain Way
2. Come Together
4. Nothing Else Matters