Monday, February 2, 2009


What Super Bowl? I was stoked to get my hands on a pair of decent tickets to see Metallica at the Prudential Center Sunday night. It was my 18th or 19th time seeing the band, starting with a 1986 show when they opened for Ozzy at the Meadowlands (Cliff Burton was still alive). Then one of their first shows with Jason Newstead at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey. And many times since.

This was one of the best shows I've ever seen them do. They played six new songs, which is a lot for a band that has been around for as long as they have. A few years I saw Iron Maiden do a bunch of new songs (they opened with four in a row) and it just didn't work. But the thing is, with this Metallica show, it never felt like they were ramming it down our throats, the new songs held up to the older ones. For me, that was the first time I felt that way since ...and Justice For All. But it was the first time the band really had the confidence to play that much new stuff since "The Black Album." The show made me proud to be a fan.

The night before, I watched the documentary Some Kind Of Monster. I give them a lot of credit for it. For being that honest and open. For Kirk Hammett who has kept this near-Buddah like calm in the storm between James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich for two decades (Death Magnetic was like his reward for that - and for dealing with the dumb "no solos" rule on St. Anger). For James, who finally faced down his demons and emerged stronger, both as a bandleader and (I assume) as a family man. Robert Trujilio: if anyone deserved the gift of joining such an incredible band, it's him. And Lars... so he can be bratty sometimes. He still keeps the band together. Incredible show, and I hope they tour in the summer so I can see them again. One request: start playing Maiden's "Remember Tomorrow"! (Metallica covered it for a Maiden tribute that came with an issue of Kerrang!). And P.S. thanks for ditching the medleys - I'd rather hear complete songs than fragments.

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