Tuesday night, the Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls, New York, saw Boston natives Godsmack, with special guest Extreme, come to town, supporting their latest and final album, Lighting Up the Sky.
Having seen Godsmack as recently as this past May in Tennessee, I believed that this would be my third time seeing them live. Upon further inspection, however, it turned out it was my eighth time. Huh.
Fanboy-dom aside, this was my only time seeing them in the month of October, so that’s new. (three times in Glens Falls was surely what I was thinking.)
Let’s be honest – when we go to see our favorite bands in concert, we’re there for the hits. And with over two decades of chart-topping singles, Godsmack has had 27 songs reach the top 10, including 12 number-one singles. With this extensive collection, it pretty much guarantees you’ll get to hear all the songs you love.
When attending a concert, the opening act is something I pay attention to. I mean, there is a better-than-average chance that you will be standing, shaking your groove thing for upwards of four hours. It should be worth it.
If it is someone I am not interested in seeing, I generally time my concert arrival to miss them or come toward the end of their set. This also can have the added benefit of entry into the venue being less busy and chaotic, thus allowing the pat down to be enjoyable and more in the moment.
So, I guess what I am saying is that both have their perks.
To the Extreme
I was happy to learn two weeks prior that fellow Bostonians, Extreme would be the sole opener for the last four dates of the Godsmack 2023 tour, beginning in Glens Falls. Being a big fan of the band, I was looking forward to this change.
Having only seen Extreme once before, in 2016, at the Rock ‘n Derby Festival, where the sound was terrible. So much so that the band walked off the stage frustrated near the end. This was an opportunity to see them in better circumstances.
With my pat down rushed, I made my way to section A of the arena. You’ll need to allow yourself time as the seating bowl is very steep, and though not proven by me, I’m pretty sure you can step off the top step of the row and land at the bottom. Most likely after consuming Anheuser products.
Extreme took the stage @ 7:30 PM which included a couple of songs from their latest album, RISE. It was definitely a much better experience this time around. Their style of blending rock, metal, and funk is what makes them good, and with solid sound, that comes across great in an arena setting.
After a 45-minute set that also included some of their timeless hits, ‘Decadence Dance,’ ‘ More Than Words’, and ‘Get the Funk Out.’ they lived up to what I expected live. I certainly would have welcomed more, particularly from their first and second albums, but as Nuno mentioned when sitting down to play ‘More than Words‘, at age 57, this has become a highlight of their sets, sitting down.
Godsmack hit the stage around 9:10 P.M. with their usual Mix Master Mike intro seen here from the 2022 WAAF 50+ Anniversary show (apparently, I have a preferred seat choice – stage right) and then quickly drove into ‘When Legends Rise’. They followed by ‘1000hp’ and ‘Cryin’ Like a Bitch’ (written for Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue) before playing a song from the new album, ‘What about Me.‘
They performed four songs total from the new album Lighting up the Sky, and with the exception of ‘Surrender,’ they were not quite yet hitting the arena anthems status as others like ‘Keep Away’, ‘Awake’, and ‘Whatever’, have.
While not entirely sold out, the crowd was having a good time and singing throughout, particularly the ladies in front of me dancing and regularly showing their breasts to whoever asked them to or pointed a camera at them. Even once being acknowledged by Sully Erna for their effort. This made them happy and all the more flashy.
Before finishing their set with ‘Whatever’, they performed ‘Voodoo/Batalla de los tambores’, (clip below), the duel drum solo that has become a staple of their live shows featuring Sully Erna on one kit and drummer Shannon Larkin on the other. If you have to have a drum solo, this is the way you should do it.
They returned for the encore with ‘Under Your Scars’. ‘Bulletproof’, and ‘I Stand Alone’ to end the evening. ‘Under Your Scars’ is their ballad played by Sully on piano with a shoutout to their foundation to support mental illness. The Scars Foundation is their foundation to address mental illness.
High energy, concert atmosphere, and good songs are what make attending a Godsmack show worth it to me. Will I see them again? Probably. As the band has stated, they won’t be making any more new music but will be touring the hits for years to come.