Filmed at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia on March 1, 2013 on the Soundwave Tour (which is basically a travelling festival around Australia during the summer, but it doesn’t exist anymore due to increased demands from artists to be paid upfront as the promoter didn’t always pay, a dwindling turnout and a promoter that uses Twitter like Trump).
The thing with this show is that Metallica are not really touring on an album as “Death Magnetic” is 5 years old by now. So it’s like a best off. And after watching this show, it’s a best off, based on songs which work really well in the live arena.
Hit the Lights
It’s become their standard opener in the YouTube live recordings I’ve seen. It’s simplicity is its energy.
Master of Puppets
There is no denying the power of that intro riff.
And the tempo of the song is increased a few more beats per minute. To put it into context, a 7 plus minute song at its normal tempo is reduced to a 6 plus minute song because of the tempo increase.
And as is the norm, the crowd singalong in the slow harmony lead is Maiden-esque from “Rock In Rio”.
The Four Horsemen
As the feedback from “Master Of Puppets” keeps ringing out on James’s guitar, and after asking “if Melbourne is ready” (we pronounce it Mel-Burn while James pronounces it as its spelt, Mel-Bourne), James launches into the opening riff.
And I forgot to mention how Lars is the master of the facials.
And finally there is a pause after the triple knockout of the first three songs.
Harvester of Sorrow
Lars cops a lot of crap for his drumming, but the dude can play and his drum parts are uniquely his.
This song is heavy, and the drum patterns from Lars definitely add to it. Simplicity at its finest.
And I’ve always said that if this song wasn’t written, then “Enter Sandman” wouldn’t have been written to become the beast it became.
The slower tempo, the open string arpeggio riff which grooves and the intro drumming pattern all combine to become the embryo of what “Enter Sandman” is. Check out the version on YouTube from Moscow on the Black tour.
Then there is a two minute “Guitar Doodle” where Kirk plays a few riffs and a lead guitar spotlight, but to me these kind of things are best left in the warm up room.
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
But the “Guitar Doodle” was a side piece, a sleight of hand, while they set up James with the acoustic guitar for “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)”.
And Lars owns the ending with the harmony guitars as he nails the double bass drumming.
There is a section in this song during the intro, when the bass just plays and the guitars play a heavily palm muted E5 power chord, staccato like.
And the title came from the late Mr Cliff Burton (RIP).
To reiterate, I’ve always said to all of the people who dissed the “Black” album for “selling out” to refer to songs like “Leper Messiah”, “For Whom The Bells Toll”, “Escape”, “Jump In The Fire”, “Harvester of Sorrow”, “The Thing That Should Not Be” and “Trapped Under Ice”. They are all slower tempo songs, like the “Black” album songs.
My Friend of Misery
One of my favourite tracks on the “Black” album. My actual favourite is “Holier Than Thou”.
The bass riff is “iconic” and that slow breakdown section with that emotive lead is my favourite part of the song. It’s the norm now for the crowd to sing the harmony part but Melbourne (pronounced Mel-Burn) was the first to do it.
I gotta admit, this is the shit for an artist.
Hearing the Metallica family sing back their riffs and leads, is moving and emotional. If you don’t feel it, check for a pulse.
Sad But True
Its heavy and you can tell the band enjoys playing it.
Then a little “Bass Doodle” is another sleight of hand as the band gets ready for “Fade To Black”.
Fade to Black
For a song that generated so much controversy in the 80’s during that whole “kid commits suicide so let’s sue the heavy metal artist the kid likes” period, it’s become one of their biggest songs ever.
And that whole outro section is some of my favourite piece of music.
All Nightmare Long
I haven’t heard this song for almost a decade, and man, I’m asking myself “why”. It’s a good song. So many riffs in it and that Chorus is excellent.
Then I played “Death Magnetic” and I remembered why I stopped listening to it.
“The Loudness Wars”.
This is when bands compressed their mixes so much to get maximum volume in the master.
I don’t think there will be a set list that will not have this song on it.
The clean tone intro with the leads, the “landmine” double kick section and that finger tapped outro along with the harmony guitars.
How can you not like it?
For Whom the Bell Tolls
The intro in this song is head banging stuff. A perfect song for the live arena and they played it a bit quicker.
The backing tape of the backwards harmony guitars starts it off and it’s one of my favourite Metallica cuts and man, don’t they bring it.
It’s 7/4 staccato intro riff is thrash metal prog. Even in the Chorus it moves between 4/4 and 2/4. It leaves all other pretenders behind as it begins whipping the dance of the dead.
Then there is another “Guitar Doodle” which then sets up, “Nothing Else Matters”.
Nothing Else Matters
Even though Kirk plays the intro live, this is James’s song. It’s his spotlight moment and he takes the Dave Gilmour like lead with a guitar hero gusto.
And I remember when the “Black” album came out, I was reading some of the comments about this song from artists of the thrash genre and writers for magazines like Metal Mania.
Like it was a sell out or whatever.
Tell that to the 50,000 people in attendance who sang every word of it.
One thing about Metallica is that they never remained fixed.
There was always growth in their music.
If you want an example of a growth mindset in music then this band is it. IF you want an example of a fixed mindset in music then AC/DC is it.
There is no right or wrong. It all works.
So James lets his guitar feedback ring out, shows his Australian minted guitar picks to the camera which the audience sees on the big screen and they raise their voices in appreciation and “Enter Sandman” begins.
This song is a live powerhouse.
The “Die By My Hand” chant evolved in the live arena.
This song was also mentioned in one of those “Satanic Panic” articles and documentaries I read in a newspaper written by clueless journalist or saw on TV like 60 minutes.
I remember a lawyer saying, “what kind of band tells their audience to “die” in a concert”.
It’s unbelievable shit to see and hear how desperate people became to blame someone.
It’s not my favourite song but I love the title for its uniqueness.
Seek & Destroy
And the closer, sending the Metallica family on their way to seek and destroy.
You can take it literally or you can use it as growth, to seek new knowledge, gain new skills and destroy your old self as you create a new self, stronger and better.
Metallica, once again is doing something different and not fixed during this COVID break.
Breaking out the archives for free.
Most artists would release these as DVD releases. For a fee. But not Metallica. There is a reason why they are on top.