The indie dickhead in me recognizes that Metallica playing a Guitar Hero party at SXSW runs kind of counter to what the original intention of the festival was. And while my junior high classmates were analyzing the lyrics to "One," I was listening to U2 and R.E.M. So what was I doing at Stubb's on Friday night?
Like them or not, Metallica's one of the most influential, important rock 'n' roll bands of the last 25 years. Opening with "Creeping Death" and going into "For Whom the Bell Tolls" showed they were not fucking around. I lived in Austin for several years, and while I've always loved seeing shows at Stubbs, sometimes the volume is a little too quiet. Not tonight.
A band like Metallica is on a higher plane when it comes to a live performance. Their equipment is superior, their sound guy is superior, their stage movements are well thought out without being cloying. Despite what you may have thought after Some Kind of Monster these guys are professionals who love what they're doing.
They mostly stuck to the hits, but played a couple off of the new album. Other highlights were: "Master of Puppets," "Seek and Destroy," "Fade to Black," "One," "Ride the Lightning." I probably won't pick up Guitar Hero: Metallica when it comes out in a few weeks, but I'm seriously considering getting those vinyl reissues of the first three records.
I saw some great indie bands before and after too - more about that later.
photo credit: Sylvia (we didn't have a photo pass, so we didn't get super close)