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Metallica Concert Review – Anaheim, Honda Center, 12/10/09

16 February 2010 13 Comments

By: Darius

This review is way overdue, so my apologies in advance. I saw Metallica for the first time in almost a decade at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on December 10th. Why the prolonged absence? Well, I went through a personal Metallica “fandom” crisis, if you will. Metallica was my favorite band all through High School. I had multiple t-shirts, all the albums, imports and collectibles I bought off eBay, and even a decal for my super-sweet 1995 Toyota Corolla. When I saw them headline Atlanta’s Lakewood Amphitheatre in August of 2000, that was it for me. This was the best band on the planet.

Metallica Supercuts Promo circa 1987

Metallica Supercuts Promo circa 1987

Within three years of that show I was through with Metallica, stopped listening to the music, and swore I’d never see them live again. There were many aspects of the band that turned me off but you can pretty much summarize my divorce from Metallica with 3 succinct reasons:

1. James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich began acting like a couple of D-Bags with the Napster nonsense and pretty much everything else, in general. Their arrogance sickened me.

2. Jason Newsted quit the band. I loved Newsted and him quitting really drove home point #1.

3. St. Anger, like the bubonic plague, was released unto the world and we all suffered because of it. I don’t even want to get started on this abomination of a Metallica record. Has there ever been a more disappointing release than St. Anger in the history of music? Maybe not.

I guess time heals all wounds, because a couple of years ago I started listening to Metallica again. For one thing, Death Magnetic was released. Fantastic metal record. At first I was unimpressed, but with successive listens, I realized that it is a true Metallica record; before the Load era. However, the primary reason for becoming a fan again was one simple fact: Metallica is the greatest heavy metal band of all time.

Metallica 2010

Metallica 2010

Bold statement? Not really. I defy ANYONE, to name a band that has an unrivaled catalog, a blistering live performance, and has single handedly revolutionized an entire genre of music like Metallica. Metallica turned the entire music industry on their heads and this was back when heavy metal was never taken seriously. Metallica, through seemingly unstoppable record sales, forced people to recognize heavy music. Hell, the quintessential “Black Album”, released way back in 1991, sold over 2,500 copies this week. That’s crazy!

So after a couple years of listening to all the Metallica records again it was time to see them live and discover if they could still destroy the stage after all of these years. I received a pit ticket to see them in Anaheim and drove down to check out the show. HOLY SH*T did they deliver. For over 2 hours, Metallica ran through 30 years of material and solidified their reputation that they set the standard for live performance. Also, I want to mention that I loved the circular stage in the middle of the floor. In a typical arena, you can get crushed on the floor if you are close to the stage, but with this set-up I was within 10 feet of the band the whole time since the pit audience is spread out around the floor. It also forces the band to constantly move to various points on the stage.

The set-list was awesome although I would’ve loved a track or two from Load or Reload. There were definitely a few nice surprises in there, notably “The Shortest Straw” and “Trapped Under Ice.” After closing the show with “Seek and Destroy”, I drove home realizing that nothing short of the guys in Metallica committing mass-murder will make me turn my back on them again. Excellence cannot and will not be denied. Like Bret “The Hitman” Hart, they are the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.

    METALLICA: ANAHEIM, CA 12/10/2009

That Was Just Your Life
The End Of The Line
For Whom The Bell Tolls
The Shortest Straw
Fade To Black
Broken, Beat and Scarred
Sad But True
The Judas Kiss
The Day That Never Comes
Master Of Puppets
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman


Too Late, Too Late (Motorhead cover)
Trapped Under Ice
Seek and Destroy

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  • Andrew (author) said:

    I agree with this entire article.

    People can say what they want about Metallica, but when they’re on top during festival time, no one questions their position.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • Dropbows said:

    I believe The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase would take great umbrage with this article, but I think it’s badass.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • godblessya said:

    much respect for saying load and reload when the rest would say there shit compared to the others, they didnt play any when i saw them on this tour either

    million dollar man and virgil hahaha

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • Dennis said:

    Way overdue? Everything on the site is way overdue. I’m waiting for a review of United Abominations to post.

    The first time I saw an in the round set up was when Def Leppard did it in the 80’s. It’s definitely a cool thing.

    The poster above me is correct in that most sites would rip you for the Load and Reload comment but it’s cool you speak your mind. On BM, you tend to think anything newer isn’t as good.

    Keep up the good work.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • Dennis said:

    Oh! I heard Bret is back on Raw now. I can’t watch the product but did in the late 70’s and 80’s.

    My favorite was Don Muraco. No one was better on the mic than him. If you doubt that, go back and watch the footage on You Tube.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • Oscar said:

    Dennis is right. I can’t watch the new shit either. I have old VHS tapes in my closet of old WWF shows. Bobby Heenan. Jesse the Body. Piper. Adonis. Those guys were gold.

    I was at the Saturday MSG show. Does anyone know why they usually don’t know Sanitarium live any more?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • darius said:

    Load and Reload are great albums. just get past seeing kirk hammett with a haircut and listen to the music. fantastic songwriting on both records. i’d be willing to wager that most of the detractors owned both albums and liked them at one point. i think a lot of people don’t want to admit that they’re great records for risk of losing their street cred or something. get a grip.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • Andrew (author) said:

    I purchased both albums and enjoyed both at the time and to some extent, still enjoy both. Sure, opening the jacket to Load and seeing the new snazzy haircuts was a little shocking. It was a drastic change. That’s all.

    I was not a fan of “Until It Sleeps” and still think it shouldn’t have been a single. The album as a whole was excellent and the more bluesy elements were great.

    These are not the best Metallica albums but with the exception of St. Anger, all their albums have been excellent. You’ll never change the minds of some people who hate everything that’s new and not “super heavy” or anything like that. And, here’s a typical Andrew comment that some of you love to hate – have you ever seen the shape of some of those people that think that way?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • 1942 said:

    Speaking of pro wrestling, Chris Jericho is hosting the Revolver award show this year.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • mAAT said:

    2500 in US?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • invlvals said:

    Jason Newsted is perhaps the luckiest man in music for getting that gig. All the shit he’s thrown against the wall: Echobrain (remember that disaster?), Supernova (reality TV).

    He is the worst bassist to ever play for this band. I share most of the sentiment in this review.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • worldaway said:

    I came across this review while searching Google. I was at the show. The review is accurate. I like how you mention the setup and how you’re not crushed. That is one thing I took from the show and this stage setup. GA is much more comfortable when the stage is in the middle of the floor.

    Rob Trujillio is an animal!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • flood damage glendale said:

    All I can say is continue. Some professional bloggers post 3 to 5 times a day on their blogs, simply because this endless addition of new content helps the crooks to get regular readers.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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