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Metallica Rocks, As Usual on the World Magnetic Tour: January 26 & 27, 2009, Allstate Arena, Chicago IL

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Band Photo: Metallica (?)

Metallica has been touring the country promoting the new album “Death Magnetic” over the past four months, and the tour is their first in 5 years. The excitement was palpable in the arena, with the audience cheering every techie and roadie during the set changes. The excitement was warranted, and the wait was well worth it.

The evening started with The Sword and Machine Head. Both worthy bands in their own right, but the performances themselves were lackluster. The Sword’s songs were washed out in the big arena, and Machine Head tried hard to live up to Metallica, but couldn’t overcome poor sound quality and songs that really just sounded like a kitchen blender. There were an impressive amount of Machine Head fans in the audience, but even they seemed disappointed when the set was over.

Metallica took the stage in darkness while “Ecstasy of Gold” played. A little bit of a surprise as they didn’t play AC/DC’s “It’s a Long Way to the Top” on the PA before “Ecstasy of Gold” started, but a small quibble. The first song out of the gate both nights was “That was Just Your Life,” fitting as it is the first song on Death Magnetic as well. “The End of the Line” followed each night as well.

The center stage was accompanied by coffins suspending from the ceiling, a new laser light setup and the usual pyrotechnics. One surprise was huge inflatable Metallica beach balls falling from the ceiling during “Seek and Destroy” which was the last song of the night each time around.

Of 18 songs, the set list had six from “Death Magnetic” each night. This is to be expected on an album tour, but didn’t leave any room for songs from “Load,” “Reload” or “St. Anger.” Metallica seemed intent on going back to their roots and proving they can still thrash with the best of them. Say what you will about those albums, but “Ain’t my Bitch” and “Fuel” are always welcome concerts plays.

There weren’t many surprises during the shows – “Ride the Lightning” the first night was unexpected and awesome, as was “Motorbreath” during the encore. Mostly Metallica stayed to the big guns both nights, keeping to their best and most well known songs almost exclusively.

The set order seemed pretty standard as well, as all the “Death Magnetic” material fell in the same slots both nights. The other songs rotated somewhat, but each slot again was a particular type of song. For example, the third and fourth songs on the first night were “Creeping Death” and “Ride the Lightning,” while the second night they played “Harvester of Sorrow” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls” in those positions.

The sound also left something to be desired. It sounded as if the mid-range was brought way down, and the high treble and low bass were lifted. Once the volume was cranked it was difficult to pick out specific notes and chords, and the distortion reverberated around the concrete arena. If you didn’t have an intimate knowledge of a song, it was easy to get lost; this was particularly prevalent on the “Death Magnetic” material, as many of the fans don’t know those songs as well as, say, “Master of Puppets.”

All that being said, however, the shows were still some of the best I’ve seen in the last few years. This is for three main reasons. First, Metallica has written and can play some of the best metal fare of all time, and as good as the songs sound on an album they are stronger and more vibrant live. Secondly James, Lars, Kirk and Robert don’t just go through the motions, they rock. Hard. And it shows. Every note, section and song is played with aggressive abandon. And third, the band has fun on stage. They joke, smile, and genuinely enjoy the whole show. The unforced confidence transfers to the crowd, which can then relax and just enjoy.

So all in all, despite the somewhat sub-par sound production and lack of surprises on the set list, I would see Metallica play every night if I could. New metal bands, new metal music, none of it matters when Metallica is on - these guys are still the best. The two shows were the kind of shows that probably inspired the audience to play their Metallica records for weeks on end afterward, until the Metallica-withdrawal finally subsided.

Monday, January 26 Set List

1. That was Just Your Life
2. The End of the Line
3. Creeping Death
4. Ride the Lightning
5. One
6. Broken, Beat & Scarred
7. Cyanide
8. Sad But True
9. Wherever I May Roam
10. All Nightmare Long
11. Kirk Solo #1
12. The Day That Never Comes
13. Master of Puppets
14. Blackened
15. Kirk Solo #2
16. Nothing Else Matters
17. Enter Sandman
18. Last Caress
19. Motorbreath
20. Seek and Destroy

Tuesday, January 27 Set List

1. That Was Just Your Life
2. The End of the Line
3. Harvester of Sorrow
4. For Whom the Bell Tolls
5. One
6. Broken, Beat & Scarred
7. Cyanide
8. Sad But True
9. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
10. All Nightmare Long
11. Kirk Solo #1
12. The Day That Never Comes
13. Master of Puppets
14. Fight Fire With Fire
15. Kirk Solo #2
16. Nothing Else Matters
17. Enter Sandman
18. Die Die My Darling
19. Whiplash
20. Seek and Destroy

bloodofheroes's avatar

Joel is indebted to his high school friend Joe B. for giving him "Kill 'Em All," "Ride the Lightning" and "Master of Puppets" for his 16th birthday. Now that he works from home for his day job at a small ad agency in Chicago, he can play those albums, and Meshuggah, as much as he wants.

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29 Comments on "Metallica Rocks, As Usual"

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wilco's avatar

Member

1. wilco writes:

like allways shows of metallica rock
seem the got the fire back
shame about machine head sound strange normally metallica gives good sound to their suport guests

so i am wondering how much bashing will be there this time
waiting for branded
hornsup to him

# Feb 22, 2009 @ 4:53 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. jonboy writes:

I seen metallica this past december and they kicked ass. I went to mayhem fest and crue fest last summer and i must say both were good. The bands were awesome but, metallica by far is the best band LIVE i seen in years.

# Feb 22, 2009 @ 6:41 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
3. aussie metaller writes:

and us down here in Australia are unfortunately going to miss out this tour- sux big time!!
Metallica kicked a$$ last time - and it looks like they are still doing it!

# Feb 22, 2009 @ 7:35 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
brandedcfh420's avatar

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4. brandedcfh420 writes:

hey wilco...........................................................zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..................

# Feb 22, 2009 @ 7:40 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Fuck_A_Name's avatar

Member

5. Fuck_A_Name writes:

^ol' faithful, right on time to save the day haha.

nice to see ya back on the site after yer vacation branded. Between Red coming back on the site and you, I'm gonna have some good laughs up ahead lol

The only good thing about them playing their new album live, is that now they have little to none time to fit in their Load-St.anger album songs, and have to thrash all the way through most of it.
So at least I wouldnt be super-p***ed when they played a song that's not from their first 4 albums, just kinda p***ed lol

Now Playing: Dillinger Escape Plan- Milk Lizard

# Feb 22, 2009 @ 7:57 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
xFiruath's avatar

Content Manager

6. xFiruath writes:

Nice write up Bloodofheroes.

I am however quite disappointed to see that Wilco put his shirt back on. What the hell man?

# Feb 22, 2009 @ 8:29 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Jenny's avatar

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7. Jenny writes:

Nice set lists.

# Feb 22, 2009 @ 11:08 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
IWrestledABearOnce's avatar

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8. IWrestledABearOnce writes:

I'm calling it, Metallica is going to re record all of their old sh**. You just watch!!!

# Feb 22, 2009 @ 11:33 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Netromancer's avatar

Member

9. Netromancer writes:

Having seen Metallica at a time where I wasn't really a fan anymore I feel I should say I really enjoyed the show. After countless bands and beers at Lollapalooza I was throwing up the horns and banging my head. While I may not like the stuff after "...And Justice for All" this is still one of the bands that made us love metal.

A few of my like-minded friends went to see a show in this tour, mostly for Machine Head, but they found a great show in The Sword (whom I've loved since I first heard them) and watched a great show by Metallica. Yeah they might have grabbed a beer when "Enter Sandman" came on, but they still were presented with some kick a$$ metal songs that we all grew up loving. Their live shows are damn good. In many ways I agree with Branded, but I still play Master of Puppets almost every other day or so. They are a great live band.

# Feb 22, 2009 @ 11:51 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
MachineMan's avatar

Member

10. MachineMan writes:

You guys are a bunch suck up morons.This band should retire from playing music.The new album
sucks,the band sound worse than ever,and still you glorify this pathetic band .I guess you morons are still hoping that Metallica will do-another Master Of Puppets album.
Personally i think that Slayer album are far more better than Metallica.Kerry King was right to say that Metallica is a sinking ship.There live performance are better than Metallica.So the f*** to all you Metallica fans out there.

f*** Metallica and all Hail the Mighty Slayer.

# Feb 23, 2009 @ 1:07 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
tallica_fan's avatar

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11. tallica_fan writes:

machineman kerry king hates you

# Feb 23, 2009 @ 2:05 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
wilco's avatar

Member

12. wilco writes:

bllalalala
from machineman
he is so full of sh** that he likes to smell his own a$$hole

yes metallica is getting older and there will be never a master album but if thats the only thing
that boders you time to move on

but its the same with your slayer they never made a reign in blood album any more
so whats you problem

# Feb 23, 2009 @ 6:12 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
brandedcfh420's avatar

Member

13. brandedcfh420 writes:

his problem is he cant get laid, and mommy wont let him go out and play..........

# Feb 23, 2009 @ 8:34 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Jenny's avatar

Member

14. Jenny writes:

Um, just to clarify, many people here have stated that they are not expecting another MoP. Not everyone likes the new stuff, but there's no denying that their old sh!t kicked a$$.

# Feb 23, 2009 @ 10:22 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

15. deathbringer writes:

Let's stay clear of personal attacks, guys. I deleted the two main offenders. I let comment 10 stand as general b****ing since it's not attacking anyone in particular. It's pretty clear that's all it is since no one in this thread said they expected another MoP, etc.

# Feb 23, 2009 @ 10:55 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Leprosy101's avatar

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16. Leprosy101 writes:

the fact that machineman took all that time to think and type in that crap is funny, get a life dude

# Feb 23, 2009 @ 11:01 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
brandedcfh420's avatar

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17. brandedcfh420 writes:

right-o db..!

# Feb 23, 2009 @ 11:23 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
brandedcfh420's avatar

Member

18. brandedcfh420 writes:

really, you need to get laid..............!!

# Feb 23, 2009 @ 10:19 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Demoncleaner's avatar

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19. Demoncleaner writes:

In the dictionary next to the word, Tool box, there is a picture of Machineman

# Feb 23, 2009 @ 10:39 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Fuck_A_Name's avatar

Member

20. Fuck_A_Name writes:

OBVIOUS TROLL IS OBVIOUS!

I never get tired of that phrase...

I had never actually cared about seeing Metallica live before. Now, seeing as how they're cutting out the most of the sh** songs, I might decide to give them my money should they visit my lonely little town in the middle of nowhere, South Florida( they have yet to so far) not to mention they've been gettiing bands I actually like to tour with them(LoG, Machine Head, Sword, not a fan of Down, but Phil's the man, so who cares? lol)

Now Playing: Strapping young lad- Underneath the waves

# Feb 23, 2009 @ 11:03 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

21. deathbringer writes:

It sucks when people can't take a hint.

# Feb 23, 2009 @ 11:55 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
IWrestledABearOnce's avatar

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22. IWrestledABearOnce writes:

Lmao. This is why I love this website hahahahahaha

# Feb 24, 2009 @ 12:53 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
IWrestledABearOnce's avatar

Member

23. IWrestledABearOnce writes:

Even though nothing they have made since, or will in the future, is going to be like MoP, it is because they are evolving as a band musically. You don't repeat yourself to make something new and better, you evolve it. Or else we would be sitting back right now hunched over like the Homo Habilis. I'm also not saying it is better, peruse. They are just 'trying' to find a new way to deliver their material lol.

# Feb 24, 2009 @ 12:59 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Chuck_Norris's avatar

Member

24. Chuck_Norris writes:

i've said it before, and i'll say it again.

Metallica can fart on their records, and i'll still buy 'em.

they're THAT good.

# Feb 24, 2009 @ 6:42 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
IrishMetal's avatar

Member

25. IrishMetal writes:

@ Post 26 - NO U!!!1!!1one!!!

Get a life.

Ont topic - I wouldn't mind seeing metallica just to say I've been there, done that, but the tickets are way overpriced.

# Feb 24, 2009 @ 8:48 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

26. deathbringer writes:

I'm not even a fan of Metallica of late, which makes the "attacker" even more hilariously immature. The initial rant was totally unprompted and so are the attacks. Both have been without a bit of sense or reason other than the poster's lashing out like a angst-filled teen.

# Feb 24, 2009 @ 10:23 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
wilco's avatar

Member

27. wilco writes:

on the end it does not matter what metallica will do or record
even if the would make a next mop
some of you all will not be happy anyway
on the end it is metallica did it on there own
and they still kick a$$
so i will be there in june in holland to see them

hornsup

# Feb 24, 2009 @ 5:56 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
ChassMasterPlus's avatar

Member

28. ChassMasterPlus writes:

there past their prime, they should have quit while they were ahead, now their just riding out the "guitar hero generation" and getting a little extra royalty dough to spend on mroe booze to drink in their NEXT documentary where they continue to whine and b**** like 7 year old girls....some kind of monster ruined metallica for me, at least their newer stuff

# Feb 27, 2009 @ 9:52 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
ChassMasterPlus's avatar

Member

29. ChassMasterPlus writes:

i mean come on!!! just look at that pic at the top! they look f***ing rediculous. bunch of geezers, step out of the lime light gentlemen, the curtain has closed

# Feb 27, 2009 @ 9:53 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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