|» Metallica 2009 07 23||
(For various reasons I was not at the venue in time to catch the support acts this time, so there will be no reviews of Mastodon or Lamb Of God.)
With the scene in the middle of the middle-sized indoor arena Forum it got very intimate, wherever you chose to stand. With eight big lightning ramps in the roof, formed as the Death Magnetic casket of course, there was also an impressing show of lights, lasers and fires. James Hetfield had six different microphone stands to alternate with and Lars Ulrich's drum kit was rotating regularly between the songs. Kirk Hammet and Rob Trujillo were moving even more freely across the stage, of course.
That Was Just Your Life kicked off with an impressive laser show. The whole hall was almost entirely lighted up by laser beams. Sadly, this was almost a one song only phenomenon, and not much used during the rest of the show, that had more traditional lighting.
There is no possible way for Metallica to choose the wrong setlist, unless they decide to play St Anger in its entirety, but it is also impossible not to miss some songs. I have always preferred Fade To Black before Welcome Home (Sanitarium), for example. And Creeping Death was severely missed. On the other hand I got another personal favourite in Wherever I May Roam and the five Death Magnetic tracks worked surprisingly well. It is a great record, but still a bit away from the classics. And actually my three favourite tracks; All Nightmare Long, Cyanide and The Unforgiven III; were left out.
The highlight songwise was Blackened. It was more brutally heavy than ever. The lowest point in the set was the Diamond Head cover Helpless, which is simply not a tune in Metallica class. I would have preferred Am I Evil? - or rather no cover at all.
The moving around on stage was a two-edged sword. When you had Hetfield right in front of you, or somewhat on the side, it was genius. When he was on the other side of the stage things tended to get a bit more boring, with nothing really to lay your eyes on. But as a whole it is a concept that more bands should try.
Performance-wise the band did a great day at work, with Ulrich almost
keeping up with the drumming and Hetfield's voice at decent shape. But
those things are secondary when it gets to the energy, sweat, speed and
brutality presented. Those things are simply what Metallica is all about,
and why they are still, not just around, but leaders of the heavy metal
8 chalices of 10