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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rockin' Out: Metallica/Lamb Of God @ Madison Square Garden 11/14/09

So much for my Blackberry camera improvements. One step forward and two steps back.

Metallica descended upon Madison Square Garden for the first of two nights this past Saturday. They had Lamb Of God and Volbeat in tow as openers and as I was ready for a night of fun. We opted to have a beer or two after dinner instead of watching Volbeat (which I would find out the next night was a bad call) and enjoyed a few rousing Metallica sing alongs with the rest of the faithful at the bar. Texts started to come in that Lamb Of God was going on at 7:45, so we rushed across the street to get inside The Garden for the show. That night we were going to be standing on the floor and watching Metallica perform on an "in the round" stage as they have been doing for quite a while now. After being redirected to a different entrance, we made our way to the floor a song or two into Lamb Of God's set. I have seen Lamb Of God live enough times that I don't remember exactly how many times I've seen them now, but I do know that they are usually quite good. A friend that was with us had never seen them live was ready to be blown away after the talking up myself and a few others had given the band. Unfortunately, we were proved mightily wrong as they sounded terrible. Not like they weren't playing well, but more QUIET. We would later come to find that the particular spot we were standing in was to blame for the poor sound quality and not the band or their sound guy. Anyway, interest was lost quickly and we spent most of the set talking and not paying attention.

After LOG finished up, everyone began to prepare for the main event. I've seen Metallica a bunch of times since the early '90s and they are one of the premiere live rock bands of not only their generation, but I'd dare say of all-time. Having already seen them on this tour twice back in January/February, I knew to expect a bunch of songs from Death Magnetic mixed in with older material. My fingers were crossed that they would again ignore Reload and St. Anger and mercifully my prayers were answered (they also ignored Load, but I don't mind that album, so would have been OK with a song or two from that album). After their intro music, they hit the stage and cranked out "That Was Just Your Life" and "The End Of The Line" from Death Magnetic. Again, the sound was a little off and a few songs later my friend would discover that a new spot to stand in was all that was needed to hear the band better (I'm assuming this had something to do with the positioning of the speakers above the stage). Once that issue had been settled we were treated to classics like "Fight Fire With Fire", "Master Of Puppets", "One", the Bob Seger cover "Turn The Page" as well as the Diamond Head cover "Helpless" and show closer "Seek And Destroy". That being said, I wasn't wild about the night's set list (which you can see in it's entirety here), but even on a night where the set list may not be what you hoped for, Metallica is still better than most bands out there in the live setting.

We left MSG happy, but not blown away. Thankfully, the next night would prove to be a completely different story......

Lamb Of God "Black Label"

Metallica "Fight Fire With Fire"

Metallica "Broken, Beat & Scarred"

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