TAG | Metallica
This last week I had the great pleasure of making my way to the Allstate Arena to see Metallica perform live…twice. On Monday night I headed over with Andy, Iman, and Scott. Scott hadn’t been to a Metallica show in 15 years and Andy had never been to a show so it was nice to treat the “old” guys to some fun. We were seated right in the players bench from when the Allstate hosts the Wolves hockey games. Sitting in the 3rd row was great. The first two rows had to look up and around the people on the floor. We were able to look right over everyone and as Iman put it so eloquently – “Right at crotch level” – What can I say…We’re classy!
As for fun, Metallica didn’t disappoint. The 2 hours and 6 minute show spanned the catalog of music from the past 3 decades including 7 songs off the new album. These guys still know how to bring the house down. The show starts out with a great laser light show as they break into “That Was Just Your Life” and they don’t slow down from there blistering through “The End of the Line”, “Creeping Death”, and “Ride the Lightning.” 20 Minutes into the show there are no signs of age, lost aggression or slowing up. Metallica looks like they’re having fun! The quick and heavy vibe of the new album mixes extremely well with their down stoke heavy early albums.
One thing Iman and I both noted about the sound when the concert first started it seems “rattled” and “fuzzy” something you’d expect out of an opening band or the United Center , but not from a headlining band like Metallica. This was not noticeable by the end for the first batch of songs. My assumption is it was a soundboard fix or guitar pickup that was fixed by the constant changing of axes throughout by both James and Kirk.
The energy for night was was electric. It had been 5 years since Metallica had made its way to Chicago which is way too long. The set list was blistering and of the three shows I’ve been to this tour (Phoenix, Chicago x2) it was my favorite.
Here are some great videos from the two shows (more review after the videos):
Tuesday night was just Iman and myself rocking out general adminsion style on the floor. (You’ll notice the upward angle and occasional arms in the recordings from night two.)
Metallica setup stage in the round complete with 8 mic locations and a rotating drum setup for Lars. While the opening bands struggled to occupy the entire stage it couldn’t be less true for Metallica. They made what was a gigantic stage seem as close to a local club stage as you can in a 20k+ capasity building. Their stage presence and ever growing personalities shined through and captured the audience song after song. I even noticed during a guitar doodle Lars hopped off stage and saw a young kid at the end of the stage taking a picture. Lars asked him for the camera, handed it to a stage hand posed for a once in a lifetime shot with the young boy before returning to the stage. I know there have been many jabs at Metallica since the Napster situation a decade ago, but these guys really care about their fans and they get it!
Further example of this care for the fans is their encore ritual of Seek and Destroy, but this time there was a slight twist. The house lights were brought up and as the first guitar riff echoed through the arena, dozens of large Metallica beach balls were launched from the rafters into the masses. They also stayed around on stage kicking any left over beach balls and throwing out every pick and drum stick into the stands for suvinirs. I saw multiple guitar picks get 15-20 rows up into the stands not to mention the 100s fo pics tossed into the pit. I was lucky enough to grab a 20 years edition Master of Puppets pick to add to my collection. It looks like it will be framed up with my Master of Puppets picture LP and added to Erin and my’s newly finished basement aka man-cave.
It was a great two nights and I can’t wait to be able to see them again. For those of you who didn’t have a chance to see the show, Metallica has made the MP3 and FLAC versions of the shows available for purchase at www.livemetallica.com