Nothing Else Matters

[Updated to add links to photos, etc at the bottom]

Metallica

On Monday night nothing else did matter, not even WoW (or my hearing for that matter.) After months of waiting, Syrana and I got to see Metallica live at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. For me, this would be my sixth show since 1996 (I came in late cuz I’m a young’n) and I think Syr’s third. It took me back to the same place I saw them for the first time and it ranks right up there with that show.

We got there a bit earlier since we decided to come straight from work. We somehow had gotten our hands on some really nice seats. We were in row A (Section 202) right near the corner of the floor-sized stage. So, when the show started and we stood up, we had absolutely nothing blocking our view since we were a few feet above the floor crowd.

The first opening band was The Sword. They’re probably not too well-known outside the metal community, but gamers may know one of their songs. The had their song “Freya” in Guitar Hero II. They got the crowd warmed up and as Syrana said, the singer had such a huge voice for such a skinny, little man.

The next opening band was Machine Head. They’re a little more popular and their fame may spread a bit further out of the metal community. They also had a song in Rock Band, though it was from a download pack, called “Aesthetics of Hate.” They did even more to get the crowd warmed up. I think they did a really good job of getting the crowd involved and really seemed to enjoy what they were doing.

We then had the standard 20-minute wait while the stage was officially prepped. They had a cool stage setup. It was almost as long as the arena floor with mics at six places around the edges. Up above the stage they had these big light rigs shaped like coffins (to match the theme of their latest album, Death Magnetic.) During the show, the four coffins right above the stage would drop down and rotate at certain points.

Then, as with any Metallica concert, the lights go out, the crowd goes wild and “The Ecstasy of Gold” starts to play. Once that was over you heard the heartbeat which was the sign that the first song would be “That Was Just Your Life” from their new album. After saying hello to Milwaukee, they went straight into their second song “The End of the Line.”

Sadly, after being beaten senseless with a barrage of bass drum, lead guitar and growling vocals, I’ve forgotten the exact setlist. Though, they did play a nice selection of their massive discography. I’ve always wondered how difficult it was for them to pick songs knowing that they easily have over 100 songs to over 25+ years choose from. As expected, they played a good chunk of stuff off of their newest album, but that’s fine since that album rocked. They ended the night with a flashback to Kill ‘Em All with Seek & Destroy. On unique thing that happened on the last song which I haven’t seen before is that they dropped huge Metallica beach balls from the ceiling for everyone to kick around (or deflate and take home) while they played it.

All in all, it was one of the better Metallica shows I’ve been to and I never regret going to them. Even if you’re stuck in pre-1990 Metallica, you only like a few songs or you, for some reason, still aren’t over that the whole Napster thing, I would always recommend a Metallica show. They were built for live shows. They’ve mastered them. For being in their mid-40s, these guys can still rock harder than a lot of the bands around today. \m/


Update: Photos from the show on their MySpace page. There are two more after that one. And also Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s review of the show. You can also see more photos, the setlist and even download the show from LiveMetallica.com.

Comments

  1. Syrana says:

    The show was frickin’ awesome and the energy level was so high throughout the entire place. I loved our seats! I’m short and often have people blocking my view at metal shows.. but I could make out James’s facial expressions. So you know that was a good thing! ;)

    I can’t remember the exact setlist either, but I don’t recall anything from St. Anger. Probably since that album wasn’t quite as well received.

    I know you get amazed at how they can select their setlists… but it’s amazing (to me) the number of songs I know all the words too. (Including almost the entire new album now!)

  2. Fulguralis says:

    Rock on. Some of the first riffs I learned to play on guitar were Metallica. Mostly because I played with a buddy and they’re uber fun to jam out to; they rock hard. (Mind you, real guitar, not GH, though I’m a fan of fake guitar too). Gotta respect their music even if you don’t agree with their stance on digital downloads. :-) Along with Metallica we played a lot of AC/DC. Wonder why we could never find a vocalist to sing with us…

    Never been to a Metallica concert though, sounds like a blasty blast.

  3. Sideshow
    Twitter: brianjz
    says:

    What? You need to comment louder. All I hear is ringing.

  4. Wise Fox says:

    I have a confession to make, I have never been to a concert. I’m not a giant fan of heavy rock but I will have a listen to some of the songs mentioned in the above post while working on my manuscript tonight, see what they are like

  5. Syrana
    Twitter: Syrana
    says:

    *gasps at Wise Fox* Never been? No matter what genre of music you enjoy, experiencing it firsthand and live… it just takes it to a whole new level for me. Concerts have their own atmosphere. Sort of like going to a live sporting event rather than watching on TV.

    Hopefully you’ll get to go to one, if you are wanting to, that is. :)

    (I loves me music!)

  6. Fulguralis says:

    sorry…. ROCK ON!! /makes horny hand gesture

    … No, not *that* horny hand gesture. :-)

  7. Syrana
    Twitter: Syrana
    says:

    LOL Fulguralis!

    \m/

  8. Saresa
    Twitter: Saresa
    says:

    Ooooh, so jealous! I have also never been to one either (well, not a Metallica concert, although I am hoping to rectify that this year when they come to Aus). Sounds like it was fricking awesome!!!

  9. Fear.Win says:

    I lost a bit of faith in Metallica from Load, Reload and St Anger but I really like Death Magnetic.. a lot. I’m also a pretty big Machine Head fan as well so that would have been a sweet show. I see Megadeth on your Last.fm widget lol.. reminds me of the last AV honor grind I did – I’d have Hangar 18 & Peace Sells But Whos Buying? on repeat. Good times!

    (GWAR is still the best live band, IMO =X)

  10. Sideshow
    Twitter: brianjz
    says:

    While Metallica seemed to slump a bit during the Load-St. Anger period, it was still decent music. Maybe not your standard Metallica, but a lot of it was still really good. But, I agree, I’m really glad they got back to their roots with Death Magnetic.