Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Metallica at the Allstate Arena, Jan. 27 2009

Huh? You want to know about what? I’m sorry, you’ll have to speak up, you see I went to the Metallica concert last night and now I can’t hear a damn thing. I said, I WENT TO SEE THE…oh never mind, my hearing’s fine today.

So we put Logan to bed early, had the baby sitter situation all taken care of and left to get to the Allstate to see both opening acts. Brandi wasn’t too thrilled about seeing the openers, but I figured if we paid for the tickets, we might as well see them.

First up was The Sword. They took the stage promptly at seven and played for a half hour. The music was ok, but there was a lack of lyrics, and what they did sing, neither of us could understand a word of it. Then there was Machine Head. They came on at eight and also played about half an hour. They did a better job of trying to get the crowd into it, and from what I understand they’re a little more well known in the metal world. They were louder than The Sword, but we had an equally difficult time of understanding the lyrics. Except of course, when the lead singer, who had one of those deep, gravely metal voices, would sing something like “head bang motherfuckers!” which was accompanied by an arm pump move that looked like he was going to drive some guy’s skull into his kneecap.

For Machine Head, only about half the seats were full, and we had some space on either side of us. I (foolishly) thought that maybe it would stay that way. Boy was I wrong. By the time Metallica took the stage, there were NO seats left, and the space for people on the floor was full too.

Before I get into Metallica’s performance, let me explain some of the things I saw while we were there. First off, there were the Teenage Mutant Mega Nerds behind us, a group of three or four mid-teen geeks that Janiece would know a thing or two about. In between Machine Head and Metallica, I heard them quoting lines from Zoolander. I have no idea why. Then, when the bands would get everyone to do the rhythmic clap thing, they could never get their acts together to clap in sync with a stadium full of people. Come on guys, I’m standing here with my Batman t-shirt on (it’s the only black t-shirt I have, I think), and I’m as uncoordinated as they come, but even I could get that part down. They were like Steve Martin in The Jerk

Then there was the mosh pit people. I don’t understand what the point is of skipping around in a circle and bumping into other guys as a sign of just how much you rock out. Seriously, dudes, you look like the gorillas at the zoo when they chase each other around in their enclosure. Some of them were even removing their shirts to mosh more effectively. Maybe that makes less wind resistance so they can skip more effectively.

During Machine Head’s performance, the roadies and tech guys were constantly running around, switching stuff out on the stage and doing other things. They were all wearing black t-shirts, except for this one that had a bright yellow shirt that said Cheerios on the front. He really stood out and it was pretty funny. At one point the lead singer of Machine Head made note of him between songs, saying something along the lines of “This guy really fucking likes Cheerios.”

Anyway, Metallica took the stage at 9:10 and played pretty much non-stop until 11:30. I though I knew what loud was. I was wrong. Metallica is loud. For the record, I did not have earplugs because Brandi pretty much told me I would be a wuss if I wore them. If my body were to vibrate any more from the bass and drums I think I would have phased through the floor.

I’m not really a Metallica fan, but their concert was great. They did a theater in the round kind of performance. James, Kirk and Rob would move around the stage as they played guitar, and every few songs, Lars would get off the drum stand and it would rotate about a quarter turn. They also had a variety of pyrotechnics and eight giant metallic coffins dangling from the ceiling and adorned with spotlights. Four of the coffins were stationary and four would come down and rotate a little.

The guys played a bunch of stuff from their new CD The Death Magnetic, and then a bunch of old stuff. Seeing as how I don’t know what songs are on what albums, I can’t really comment on what they played and what they skipped, but Brandi said it was an interesting selection of songs and that a couple of albums were completely skipped. Most notably lacking, song-wise, was Fuel.

Not that the band really needed to sing anything. They could have just played their instruments and the crowd would have taken care of the rest. The assembled masses sang along with almost everything and were nearly as loud as the band themselves. We probably could have stood outside the arena and heard everything just fine.

Being that it was Brandi’s fourth Metallica concert, she said there was something missing with the absence of Jason Newsted, the band’s former bassist. And then, about half way through, a bunch of fliers fell into the crowd behind us, and we saw after the show was over that they were ads suggesting people reserve their copy of Guitar Hero: Metallica before it comes out. (lame) And of course, thanks to the magic of the Intertubes, footage of Monday night’s show is already on youtube (of course, the videos are of crappy quality so I found some better ones from other concerts).

We definitely got our money's worth out of the show. I would go see them again, because it was a really good show, and in the end, nothing else matters.


Janiece Murphy said...

SmartMan is a huge Metallica fan. He always sees their shows when they come out.

I, however do not attend. I'm not a huge fan of their music, and they're too loud.

Now get off my lawn.

MWT said...

Sounds like a good time. Glad to hear your hearing is coming back. ;)

Eric said...

Sounds like an awesome show, man! I'm not a big Metallica fan: don't own any of their albums but kinda liked 'em until they began to annoy me by shafting Newstead* and with Lars' anti-Napster epoch. But if they still rock, that can make up for a lot.... :-)

*As I understand it, they basically fired him because they wouldn't record any of his songs, weren't going to record any of his songs, and then when he went off to record them himself while the band was on a break and with what he apparently thought was tacit consent from Hetfield--they shitcanned him. As I recall, it was the douchiest firing in the history of hard rock until Eddie Van Halen canned Michael Anthony so he could give his son a job and posted a Photoshopped version of the cover to VH's first album on the website--with Wolfie's picture inserted over Anthony's--as if to cover up the fact there'd been another bass player in Van Halen before Wolfgang was born. It was, like, rock'n'roll's first "unpersoning" or something similarly Orwellian.

mattw said...

Metallica's not generally my kind of music, but they did put on an incredible show.

Newsted was Brandi's favorite, so she was really disappointed with the whole blow up and she knows all the history about it and all that. I guess he's supposed to be there when they're inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame this year. That should be interesting.

Tania said...

::looks around guiltily::

I like mosh pits

::slinks away to play some metal and head bang::

::realizes she can head bang effectively again since she's grown her hair out. yay!::

vince said...

I've never been a Metallica fan, but loud concerts don't bother me.

Eric, I've been a Van Halen fan since their first album, but their recent bad decisions like the Michael Anthony decision and the horrid Van halen III with vocalist Gary Cherone I don't follow them any more and wouldn't see them in concert. However I do revisit their music often.