The Big Four (Disc Two)
As promised a little while back, I have managed to see disc two of this set, which comprises Metallica’s blistering performance to close off the concert-filled day. Hooray! By now, we all know that Metallica is a superlative concert act, as big as a ticket can get. And this outing is further proof.
Each song is ripped through with precision, verve and absolutely punishing volume. These are musicians at the absolute top of their game, and they’ve been there so long that, at this point, they’re simply soaring.
Hetfield’s vocals, particularly by the end of Cyanide, made me long for the way he used to sing. He’s a little… shrill, these days. In fact, only a few songs in, he seems to be struggling. And fair enough, he’s been howling nightly for a long time, now. It’s just noticeable, is all.
It was great that he dedicated a song in the set to the Big Four, since Metallica is proud to be a survivor from the 80s thrash scene, like the others who’d been on stage before them. Funny, though, that the song chosen for the dedication was Sad But True. A conscious choice? Probably. Haha.
The fireworks display mid-set was a nice touch, too. Distract the fans with pretty lights so the band has a chance to go take a leak, change shirts, whatever they needed before ripping into absolutely cool versions of One and Master Of Puppets.
Live videos like this , to me, always hammer home how absolutely punishing and monstrous the main riffs of Metallica’s songs are. Sure, they can be heard on the albums, but somehow the live setting brings the primal core of the songs more to the fore, gleefully shoving the brutal force of them right into your face. I love it.
Long live Metallica.
By the time of the mass band with Anthrax and Megadeth as an encore (Slayer noticeably missing), it’s such a frenzy I can’t even imagine actually being there. Fun to watch Joey Belladonna reading the lyrics to Am I Evil? But even more interesting is seeing Mustaine hugging Lars and James. What a long road they’ve travelled to reach that hug. Something still off about it all, but what do I care? When Metallica adds Hit The Lights, and Seek And Destroy on the end, it’s almost too much. Damn.
NB: With the Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer sets on the other disc combined with this monster of a concert from Metallica, the Big Four will be the best $20 you’ve spent on Amazon this year. Holy shit, this package is incredible.