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Friday, Sept. 10; Kiva Auditorium (Convention Center, all ages, 8 p.m.): Prior to their ubiquitous single, “Touche,” taken from The Other Side EP, I considered Godsmack with the same degree of seriousness I generally reserve for most of the food-court rock bands I hear on the radio and see (briefly—it's all I can take) on televised music awards shows. But there's something about the earnestness of that song that sucked me in and didn't let go the first 600,000 times I heard it. It even got to the point where I went out and bought a copy of the EP which, to my surprise and delight, was just as solid as the single.

Once they were tapped to support Metallica on tour, though, I figured I'd simply been suckered by a remarkably strong “we made this because we ran out of material” EPs that turned out to be better than the band's long-players (see Alice in Chains' Jar of Flies). But lo and behold, Godsmack are using the spaces between legs of the Metallica tour to bring their acoustic “other” side to audiences in more intimate settings than arenas can provide.

“We've always wanted to make a record like this,” says vocalist/guitarist Sully Erna. “It [gave] us a chance to spread our wings a little bit and offer fans something different. I think they'll be pleasantly surprised by it.”


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