May 18, 2003
Let's start with random words, because listen, this was a really, really unique and random kind of night. Heavy. Energy. Fast. Passionate. Happy. Loose. Good. Roaring. Energy. Where do I stop? I don't want to. And frankly, I don't think they wanted to either tonight...because believe it when I tell you that I firmly believe this is the most fun this band has had playing live for a decade, maybe even more, but let's begin with a decade.
This was the turbo-charged set. the high-octane one. The one that suggested to me Metallica have been kind of 'cruising' for years prior to now. You can't truely recognize how hungry they can be until seeing them wanna wolf these moments down like the first meal after a starvation diet, and tonight these chaps were stuffing themselves, gorging themselves silly on the ferocious energy generated between themselves and the loudest audience I've ever heard at The Fillmore.
"You think we've rehearsed for this?" laughed James. " This is reharsal. Are the lights working? The crowd's working!" Correct on both counts. Oh yes it was loose. of course it was. but that is PART OF THE FUN OF LIVE SHOWS, and for the first time i can remember, Metallica seem to not only understand but agree. mistakes which would normally have encouraged a shower of spat water were instead met with loose fun, calm, laughter and the inner-knowledge that in the bigger picture, they don't matter. And the crowd was on hollar-duty, screaming and yelling the roof off (though it must be said they got beaten down by the set)
Opening with 'Hit The Lights', there was more energy and charge than anyone could've imagined. These aren't empty words, and I intend to ask the guys in the next few days, but I'm guessing that they were reduced to awestruck teenagedom. They all looked 18 again. seriously. and surely a lot of that must stem from the fact that this feels like a band who no longer take things for granted. this might explain why there was more 'KIll 'Em All' material played tonight than I've heard for over 15 ye...no, ever. read it here: these guys are happy to revisit those Carl Lewis (with the steroids and all of it!) classics, the corner stone foundations for the 'Black' album and all that has come with it.One song description I know you want, the newbie. 'Frantic'. Wicked riffs, '...Justice' like changes with a sharpened, razored edge, abrasive, caustic, raw raw RAW!
The only way I can describe Robert Trujillo's performance is seamless, fluid and like that of a man who's been in this band for aeons already. He has brought a waviness, a bendiness, a fluidity (and don't start picking apart the adjectives, this is really what he feels like, in sound and in presence, a connecter up there, the quiet positive elastic superglue of the band.And the other performances were just as exciting. A tad rusty here and there, but that (and I know I've made the point once but I'd like to re-emphasize it) is the wonderful uniqueness of alive show, the sort of thing which makes that night your special night, and the fact that now these guys ride with it, safe in the knowledge that these are the sorts of squeaks that happen when the car hasn't been driven for a while
Again, the most stunning aspect of the night to these eyes and ears was the abundant positivity up there. No games. No grumps. No motions. Just clear, raw, unfiltered and unpasteurized focus, the sort of focus that only occurs when people really, really want it. And because of that, you'll really want it too. And they won't disappoint, the proof was here.And I fel it will be here tommorow, and the next show, and the Summer Tour, and the '...Sanitarium' and their now-confirmed longevity.
There's more to say, so much more, but that's it for now. Yes it was great and yes, I'm sorry you weren't here. Really...to-be-continued.
Hit The Lights
The Four Horsemen
Harvester Of Sorrow
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
Sad But True
Fade To Black
Master Of Puppets
Ride The Lightning
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Am I Evil?
So What! Editor