Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on

18Oct/0924

Setlist: Metallica at Quicken Loans Arena – 10/15/09

Metallica in Cleveland

You know, it’s crazy when I think about the fact that I’ve seen Metallica 36 times now, yet this was the first time I’ve seen them in the last decade. I have worshipped this band since I was a kid, but the facts are the facts, and the fact is that they did a solid decade of performing and recording that just didn’t interest me at all. The last two times I saw them were at Blossom Music Center in 1998 with Jerry Cantrell, and then again in 1999 with Sevendust and Kid Rock.

The show in ’98, complete with hardly any classic Metallica tunes except for when they brought out the stools to jam material from the first two albums acoustically, was the worst performance I’ve ever seen from the band I would call the best live act of all time. More upsetting still was their performance a year later, when they were blown off the stage by both Sevendust and Kid Rock. After that, the clangy sound of St. Anger didn’t even remotely interest me enough to venture out to see them. Truth be told, I had pretty much decided that Metallica was done.

A funny thing happened though that changed all that. That “funny thing” was the release of Death Magnetic. Now, is it the best Metallica album ever? No. In fact, it’s about middle of the pack when ranking their albums. That being said though, it’s the first Metallica album in two decades that brought the ferocity fully back. It’s also the first album in forever that the band stopped worrying about record company conventions and simply wrote songs that fit THEIR mold. If Death Magnetic did anything, it proved that there was life left in Metallica. Seeing the show on October 15th, it’s clear that the life is still there in the live arena as well.

Metallica gave fans of old and new what they would want, and that’s something they haven’t done in a very long time. Their set was top heavy with new material from Death Magnetic, while at the same time bottom heavy with …And Justice For All. Making the set even more strong were the songs that weren’t there. Nothing from St. Anger. Not a note from Load or Reload. More importantly than any other aspect of the show for this veteran of 3 dozen Metallica shows, this night didn’t do what these guys have done for the last 20 years. Metallica simply didn’t overplay the Black Album or the tired hits that have forced so many of us to the beer line over the years. Yes, the “mandatory” songs were there (“Sad But True”, “Enter Sandman”, “Nothing Else Matters”), but it was refreshing to not find the middle of the set flooded with boring, by-the-numbers minutia like “King Nothing”, “Fuel” or “Wherever I May Roam”.

To their credit, the band took over what would have to be considered a barren stage and rocked hard for 2 ½ hours. As we stated, the set spent a good part of the time working their new Death Magnetic. Songs like “That Was Just Your Life” and “End Of The Line” came off with a lot of power and energy as an older, somewhat more vocally disciplined James Hetfield roamed around the large in-the-round stage spewing lyrics. It’s clear that Hetfield and current bassist Robert Trujillo have developed a real on stage chemistry with each other, as many times throughout the set they ended up together jamming out songs. They roared together on songs like “The Judas Kiss” and the surprising inclusion of “Dyers Eve” from Justice.

Guitarist Kirk Hammett was solid as well as he steadily walked the stage while riffing and soloing in all the appropriate places. To be honest, there were a few times when Hammett sounded a bit sloppy, such as on “Fade To Black”, but overall he hit his marks as he usually does. Drummer Lars Ulrich, always an average drummer, was just that on this night. He spends a lot of time jumping up and down and posing for the crowd, but on this evening he did a solid job at keeping the beat to each song. You could tell on songs like “Hit The Lights” that Ulrich has to push himself to play that fast, but he accomplished the goal without any major issues. Overall, aside from an alleged PA problem that we didn’t hear on our side of the stage, Metallica’s set was pretty much spot on and flawless.

If there is a criticism to the show, it’s the same one I’ve had since these guys stopped being a partying band and started being a corporate entity. Sure, they play the songs well and bring a good amount of energy to the set, but the old, blazing fire from the past is no longer there at all. Hetfield seems afraid to swear anymore. His newfound “we’re all a big family, and we appreciate you” banter lacks the snarling rage that the band used to bring night after night when he would challenge the crowd to out “crazy” them on stage.

Even at the end of the night, when the band let loose a collection of Metallica beach balls into the crowd, it just wasn’t the same. It was much more family-oriented and completely not the band who’s raw passion and power moved so many of us to heavy metal in the first place. To that end, Hetfield’s classification of what they do as “heavy live music” instead of “heavy metal” is a bit disturbing as well. But whatever. The songs were good, and the show was enjoyable. The bottom line is that nice, corporate Metallica playing well is still better than 9/10ths of the bands out there playing today. Quality show from Metallica.

Metallica in Cleveland

Metallica and a buncha beach balls

Setlist:

That Was Just Your Life
The End Of The Line
Harvester Of Sorrow
The Shortest Straw
Fade To Black
Broken, Beat And Scarred
Cyanide
Sad But True
One
The Judas Kiss
The Day That Never Comes
Master Of Puppets
Dyers Eve
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman

Encore:

Last Caress
Hit The Lights
Seek and Destroy

Photos courtesy of Metallica

  • Ann

    It worked last time…

    Soundboard?

  • Matt

    Haha – http://www.livemetallica.com – every show, every tour :-)

  • hype23

    Holy crap..No “All Nightmare Long”… that's the best song off Death Magnetic

  • Matt

    Yeah – I was hoping for that one too… I agree – it's one of the best tracks from the album – not sure why it's not in the setlist. That one should be in the setlist for every show, in my opinion! Cyanide was badass though, as was Broken, Beat, and Scarred.

    Some interesting show stats from LiveMetallica.com – particularly the first performance of “Hit The Lights” since the band first played here in 1983!

    # This was the US debut of The Judas Kiss.

    # Hit the Lights was performed in Cleveland for the first time in 26 years. It was last played here on December 18, 1983.

    # The Shortest Straw was performed in Cleveland for the first time in 17 years. It was last played here on July 3, 1992 at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls.

    # Fade to Black was performed in the 5th slot, normally occupied by One, for the first time in the US on the World Magnetic Tour. It was also the first time in 12 years that Fade was played in Cleveland.

    # This was the second time that Dyers Eve has been played in the US on this tour. Prior to its performance on September 29, 2009 in Dallas, TX, it was last performed in the US on November 6, 2004 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The song has only been performed live in the US 10 times.

    # Overall, Metallica played 5 songs that haven’t been played in over a decade in Cleveland: Harvester of Sorrow (1994), The Shortest Straw (1992), Fade to Black (1997), Last Caress (1997), and Hit the Lights (1983)

    # Metallica performed 18 songs tonight from 7 different albums: Kill ‘Em All (2 songs), Ride the Lightning (1 songs), Master of Puppets (1 songs), …And Justice for All (4 songs), The Black Album (3 songs), Garage, Inc. (1 songs), Death Magnetic (6 songs)

    # Metallica played 7 songs for the first time in Cleveland: That Was Just You Life, The End of the Line, Broken, Beat & Scarred, Cyanide, The Judas Kiss, The Day That Never Comes, Dyers Eve

    # Metallica played 3 songs that have been played once before in Cleveland: The Shortest Straw (1 time in 1992), Hit the Lights (1 time in 1983)

    # Metallica played 8 songs that have been played multiple times Cleveland: Harvester of Sorrow (6 times), Fade to Black (8 times), Sad But True (9 times), One (11 times), Master of Puppets (11 times), Nothing Else Matters (7 times), Enter Sandman (9 times), Last Caress (8 times), Seek & Destroy (10 times)

  • Ann

    It worked last time…

    Soundboard?

  • Matt

    Haha – http://www.livemetallica.com – every show, every tour :-)

  • hype23

    Holy crap..No “All Nightmare Long”… that's the best song off Death Magnetic

  • Matt

    Yeah – I was hoping for that one too… I agree – it's one of the best tracks from the album – not sure why it's not in the setlist. That one should be in the setlist for every show, in my opinion! Cyanide was badass though, as was Broken, Beat, and Scarred.

    Some interesting show stats from LiveMetallica.com – particularly the first performance of “Hit The Lights” since the band first played here in 1983!

    # This was the US debut of The Judas Kiss.

    # Hit the Lights was performed in Cleveland for the first time in 26 years. It was last played here on December 18, 1983.

    # The Shortest Straw was performed in Cleveland for the first time in 17 years. It was last played here on July 3, 1992 at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls.

    # Fade to Black was performed in the 5th slot, normally occupied by One, for the first time in the US on the World Magnetic Tour. It was also the first time in 12 years that Fade was played in Cleveland.

    # This was the second time that Dyers Eve has been played in the US on this tour. Prior to its performance on September 29, 2009 in Dallas, TX, it was last performed in the US on November 6, 2004 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The song has only been performed live in the US 10 times.

    # Overall, Metallica played 5 songs that haven’t been played in over a decade in Cleveland: Harvester of Sorrow (1994), The Shortest Straw (1992), Fade to Black (1997), Last Caress (1997), and Hit the Lights (1983)

    # Metallica performed 18 songs tonight from 7 different albums: Kill ‘Em All (2 songs), Ride the Lightning (1 songs), Master of Puppets (1 songs), …And Justice for All (4 songs), The Black Album (3 songs), Garage, Inc. (1 songs), Death Magnetic (6 songs)

    # Metallica played 7 songs for the first time in Cleveland: That Was Just You Life, The End of the Line, Broken, Beat & Scarred, Cyanide, The Judas Kiss, The Day That Never Comes, Dyers Eve

    # Metallica played 3 songs that have been played once before in Cleveland: The Shortest Straw (1 time in 1992), Hit the Lights (1 time in 1983)

    # Metallica played 8 songs that have been played multiple times Cleveland: Harvester of Sorrow (6 times), Fade to Black (8 times), Sad But True (9 times), One (11 times), Master of Puppets (11 times), Nothing Else Matters (7 times), Enter Sandman (9 times), Last Caress (8 times), Seek & Destroy (10 times)

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