The good: they sounded good. It is, after all, Metallica. You don’t do stadium tours unless you’re doing something right. The stage production was pretty cool: the lasers, the flames, the videos they played with the songs, especially recreating the album cover of “Master Of Puppets”. They also kept solos to a minimum, and made them count, especially what might have been my favorite moment; Robert Trujillo’s bass solo. That solo just happened to be “(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth”, a Cliff Burton track of their first album “Kill ‘Em All”. I won’t lie; my eyes watered & my heart swelled when they showed Cliff playing the Day On The Green concert back in 1985. Good stuff.
The bad: the venue. This was only the third concert I’ve seen in a stadium, and it could be my last. If not for Metallica, I’m not likely to pay more than we did last night to get down on the floor. Regardless of the ginormity of the video screens, the stage still seemed so far away. I’ve been spoiled the last few years in that most of the shows we’ve seen have been in theaters. We’ll be able to make an immediate comparison when we see Iron Maiden at the AT&T Center next Saturday.
The ugly: the setlist. I talk about this all the time with my coworker Mark, who happened to be there last night, also. This is another thing that’ll be on our minds at the Maiden show. First off let me say that I’m glad these bands make new music if they have it in them. Invariably however, some other older songs get dropped from shows in favor of songs from the album they’re promoting. That said, thank goodness a few of these bands (Slayer included) do occasional ‘classics’ tours, where all they play is older stuff. Fortunately, I like all the new ones Metallica played last night (though they could drop the mega-bongo part from “Now That We’re Dead”), the roving flame shoring up the weakest one, “Moth Into A Flame”. I know the black album is where Metallica made it big, but at least “Wherever I May Roam” and “Unforgiven” could have been replaced with any number of better tunes. Maybe “Nothing Else Matters”, too. Alas, I’m realistic about it.