Metallica Live in Melbourne

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Monday, February 2, 2004 @ 12:29 AM

Metallica Live at the Sidney M

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REVIEW BY: Lachlan McLeod

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It was with a sense of fear rather than excitement that I attended my first Metallica concert. My fears were:

We would have bad seats

I would want my money back after the show

Too many songs from their last 3 albums would be played

Without Jason Newsted many of the songs wouldnít sound as good

The venue

The Sidney Myer Music Bowl is best known for Carols by Candlelight, which doesnít seem the ideal place for a heavy metal concert.

My brother and I thought we would arrive early enough to avoid the rush. We get to the gate to see a massive line. Security didnít look like letting us through so we begun the journey to the back of the queue. Not a good start to the evening. Wondering whether we would ever get to the end of the line some blokes let us cut in, horrified that we werenít allowed straight through.

Eventually we get to our seats. Thinking it took a while to get there, we were disappointed to see it was still 45 minutes until the opening act. The seats we werenít disappointed with. Close with a clear view of the stage. So far worth the 150 dollars we paid.

Around 7:30 the opening band came on. Words cannot describe how bad they were. Plenty of screaming, not much singing -- although I think he thought he could sing. Giving the opening slot to an Australian metal band like Alchemist, Dungeon or Pegazus would have been much better. Tired of getting booed after every song the singer decided to take matters into his own hands. He criticized the upper section claiming he couldnít hear them because they were in the cheap section. I am uncertain what the singer was trying to achieve with this statement. Not surprisingly the booing increased and was followed by many chants of "you are a w***ker". Not learning any lessons from this, the singer later dedicated a song which I believe was called "Motherf***er" to someone in the front row. No talent and no brains either. After what seemed like an eternity, their set came to an end. I donít remember the band saying who they were at any stage, which was the only smart thing they did. Metallica would have to put on a good show to make up for this debacle.

For the next half hour, the music was ordinary and the place became packed. My clear view of the stage decreased rapidly and I felt the occasional drop of rain. The night wasnít going according to plan.

Suddenly the lights came on and AC/DCís "Long Way to the Top" began blaring over the sound system. Everyone in my section stood up and my clear view was gone. This meant to see you had to stand yourself. This is all very well if you have the ability to stand.

As AC/DC finished, Metallica burst onto stage and played "Battery" from what I could hear. Fantastic way to start a show, now if only I could see. "The Four Horsemen" followed and the frustration continued. During "Ride the Lightning" I decided Iíd better move otherwise there was no way I was going to see anything. This already happened with Megadeth and Strapping Young Lad and I didnít want it to happen again if possible. I moved into the aisle hoping security wouldnít make me go back to where I was supposed to be. Got myself in a reasonable position in time to see "Sanitarium." This was more like it. Metallica played a fan friendly set with Load and ReLoad completely ignored.

Unfortunately they did play 3 songs off St. Anger. I thought they might have sounded better live. I was wrong. Itís still the same problem, the heavy parts are great but the other parts drag it down to mediocrity. Interesting to hear James talking about releasing anger before "Frantic." Donít think James realizes that there he and Lars caused much of that anger.

Still I could cope with 3 songs, particularly when they play "Seek and Destroy" and "Creeping Death," even if they donít quite sound as good without Jason.

And then thereís "One." The introduction alone is not for the weak of heart. Donít know if it sounds anything like a real war. Know enough that I never want to find out. Brilliant song, which makes it all that more difficult to comprehend their latest release.

During the encores the rain began to fall. No one seemed to care and I know I will never forget head banging to "Enter Sandman" while getting soaking wet.

Metallica played for around 2 hours ending with "Hit the Lights." I was impressed with the set even if it didnít include "Fade to Black," "For Whom the Bell Tolls" or "No Remorse."

On the way out, we met up with the guys who helped us in and they loved the show. From all accounts, pretty much everyone thought it was a great concert. My brother and I rated it very highly certainly one of the best we have seen.

But the night wasnít over yet. Waiting for the taxi, I was insulted for wearing a Megadeth T-shirt and told that was the reason I was in a wheelchair. Bizarre conclusion to come to, if you ask me. I was also given a Metallica T-shirt. Made the night very memorable. Well worth the 150 dollars.

Set list:

The Four Horsemen
Ride The Lightning
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
The Thing That Should Not Be
Creeping Death
The Unnamed Feeling
Sad But True
Damage Inc.

First Encore

Seek and Destroy
Nothing Else Matters
Master Of Puppets

Second Encore

St. Anger
Enter Sandman

Third Encore

Die, Die My Darling
Hit The Lights

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