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