Metallica Live in Los Angeles

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Sunday, March 14, 2004 @ 11:48 AM

Metallica, With Godsmack Live

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REVIEW BY: Charles H. Smith

Last Friday night, I took my 12-year-old son, my fiancée and our friend Jen to the Metallica/Godsmack concert at the Forum. All of us (except for my son) had seen Metallica at least once over the years; I topped the list with three previous Metallica concert experiences (once in 1988 and twice in 1992).

Let me lead off by saying that Metallica had pretty much not come through for “the fans” since the early 1990’s due to inferior product and the whole Napster debacle. However, I’d heard that they still delivered live and I was particularly interested in exposing my son to a band that I had revered in my younger days (I’m now 43). I’m pleased to report that we were not disappointed by the evening’s show.

Godsmack opened the show with their brand of metal that is influenced by the late great Alice in Chains. We only caught the last 20 minutes of their performance since the line to enter the building was very slow. We liked what we saw once we got in the building, including a double drum solo by Sully and the regular drummer.

After a wait of about 35 minutes, the lights went down and we were treated to a brief snippet of “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” on the video screens with the theme song on the PA. The crowd roared in anticipation as Metallica made its way on to the darkened stage.

I must say that I was worried about the set list since I figured Metallica would play “Frantic” to open the show and then several other songs off of the St. Anger record in an attempt to promote it. My fears quickly melted when the boys opened with “Blackened” off of their 1988 album …And Justice For All. They played many other classics, such as “Seek and Destroy,” “Sad But True,” “Master of Puppets” (a somewhat raggedy version that I found very appealing), “Creeping Death,” “Nothing Else Matters” (my fiancée still refuses to have this as a first dance at our wedding reception), “One,” “Fuel” (okay, it’s not a “classic” but it’s a great song), “For Whom The Bell Tolls” and “Enter Sandman.” They closed with a frenzied version of “Dyers Eve.” Fortunately, they played only two songs off of St. Anger plus one I didn’t recognize (off of Load I think). They even played “I Disappear” from the MI2 soundtrack. Their set lasted about two hours and 20 minutes.

Sorry, folks, but I didn’t write down a set list in all of the excitement. However, I can provide some good impressions of the show. First, the concert was “in the round” insofar as the large rectangular stage was placed in the middle of the floor. Lars’ drum kit slowly moved once around the stage so, by the end of the show, he was back where he started. There were no seats on the floor, so fans were free to mosh. The seats in the loge and colonnade sections of the Forum were reserved and we were blessed with a location about 25 rows up in the middle, enabling us to see everything on stage. There was liberal use of flame and explosions, which was the best part of the show for my son (hey, he’s 12!). Metallica freely moved around the stage and interacted with the crowd well. New bassist Robert Trujillo was especially animated. James and Lars are certainly older (but aren’t we all), yet they played with the same fury that marked their early recordings. They do take longer breaks between songs. Kirk appears to not have aged at all!

In sum, it was a great show. When we were leaving the Forum, I heard happy comments and felt good vibes only. Despite having not put out a solid studio album in many years, Metallica still bring it live and you should make an effort to see them when they come to your town.

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