Light, camera, Metallica!

At what age do you reach musical maturity? When do you hit a ceiling as an artist? And when does the musical show become just another business unit, on autopilot? These, and several more questions, are the ones that go through the groups that passed the pinnacle of their career and, by dint of creativity, resilience Y quest to perpetuate yourself on topgo ahead.

This is the case of Metallicathat of a band that knew how to age and mature, where the new times adapted to an emblematic group and not the other way around. Because the band led by singer and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield and the drummer Lars Ulrich They were always one step ahead of the rest. And that’s why they made history, music and, on this occasion, a movie show.

experience, wisdom, timing and knowledge of the market (together with two more than acceptable last albums, DeathMagnetic Y Hardwired… to Self-destruct) are ingredients for a group of musicians, who average 58 years, and leave everything on stage. Or at least that’s what they try after going through the turbulence of 2000, haircuts, psychologists, the departure of a bassistamong other avatars, today show a enviable musical musculature Y updated to the times that run.

From rigorous black on stage, in the midst of a multicolored era of Generation Z, tik toks, deconstructions, cancellations and various awareness raising, the group from San Francisco came to Argentina (for the sixth time) demonstrating that it is timeless. They keep the same stage routines, show after show, tour after tour, case of Lars Ulrich, handing out chopsticks to his people after concerts, talking to the public and waving his arms, while running, as he did 30 years ago. At that time he traveled the world with a black-album destroying everything in its path.

Metallica is the locomotive within a musical genre to which an imminent replacement is approaching, with its popes (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Megadeth, for example) enjoying good health, but which several decades ago left room for new names.

More lights and images and less sound

The show, in a packed Argentine Polo Field, gathered around 60,000 souls (and others 250 thousand watched it on the Flow platform) transforming it into an atypical concert: after two years of being announced, Metallica went through a two-year commercial break (like most of the planet), the result of the pandemic unleashed by covid. But despite this, the world’s biggest heavy-thrash band He gave no signs of getting off the boardson the contrary, redoubled the bet, for example, opening his recent concerts with whiplashthe seminal lash of the disc Kill ’em All.

The muscular proposal at the beginning of the show is correct, except for one small detail, not a minor one: Sound. The guitars of Hetfield and Kirk Hammett -at least that’s how they were heard from the middle part of the vip field- they are almost imperceptible and a serious pounding of drums and bass make it sound like Metallica rumbles inside a boxwith the crude voice of James lost in the air. Something unforgivable for a concert of this caliber with five-digit tickets.

If the rain and the cold threatened to tarnish the night, the former fled, frightened by the stridency of metal in Palermo and the impressive staging: the best of all his arrivals in the country. And here the first dilemma arises, Metallica, in its last two decades, was characterized by a certain scenic Minimalism, everything faded to black, three screens (two side and one central) and not much else. On this occasion, a pointed M and an A flank the stage, giving rise to completing the name of the greatest metal band of all time. and some five central vertical screens (with independent images or coupling between them), in addition to the lateral ones, they completed an unprecedented cinematographic staging (in ultra-high definition).

Because if the image was intended to distract the viewer, and not focus on the stage performance of the musicians and sound in question, that battle is lost. On the one hand, it was evident -due to a logical matter of time- that a large part of the songs played will sound slowed down (especially in Ulrich), rubbing the concert a bit and taking speed and power away from themes. Although the final result was brutal, with a double bass drum hitting the chest and very strident strings, which unleashed several pots of pogo in the field, especially when playing eighties classics by the likes of Creeping Death either Master of Puppetsone of the best performances of the night, with a level of sound brutality worthy of envy for these almost sixty-year-olds of metal.

The long road to the top

It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll (“It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll”) is the theme-sentence-prelude to AC DC before every Metallica show. After that comes the most goosebump-mileage intro in rock history: the groovy instrumental ballad. The Ecstasy of Goldby Ennio Morricone, with final images of the film the good, the bad and the uglyfrom 1966. The classic opening from more than 30 years ago.

and start whiplashwith the aforementioned technical problems, to then give free rein to ride the lightning trying to shed light on a concert that started timorous, hidden. To warm the atmosphere, the arsonist Fuel (the best of the album ReLoad) shows a new technical pearl of the night: 12 flare columns (included at the top of three towers between the VIP and general fields) that warm up the field and temper a little this new cold night. And Hetfield talks to people about him, telling them that it took a long time for this musical date to crystallize.

For seek and destroy, Nostalgia arrives, since on the screens it reproduces a concert ticket from May 8, 1993 at the Velez Sarsfield stadium (the second date of Metallica’s debut in the country), where they played 21 songs, including two covers. Those were times without cell phones filming concerts or taking photos, social networks that took attention away from the show, VIP fields that split a venue and, where to go see the band from San Francisco, it was a real adventure. Almost 30 years ago, Metallica made an extended version of this great classic, the penultimate of Kill ’em All.

In Holier Than Thou (the heaviest of black-album), arguably started the show: the sound settled and the strings of Hetfield and Hammet made friends with the rest of the show (especially Robert Trujillo’s bass) forming a solid musical ensemble. The detonations for the warlike Oneimmediately referred mentally to the war between Ukraine and Russia that is bleeding Europe. On the screens are animations of the slow march of the troops along with deep images of trenches that, as the song progresses, the screens will turn red, transforming the soldiers into walking bones. His inexorable destiny.

Prior to sad but true, James Hetfield surprises by sipping a mate and the chant “Argentina-Argentina” resounds in Palermo. The singer presents moth to flame (harvest Hardwired…the Self-destruct) as a theme that talks about “addictions and the problems that these bad things create”, something that the vocalist suffered firsthand with alcohol, which led him to rehabilitation centers. A guitar duel between James and Hammett is one of the few moments in which the Hetfield-Ulrich duo breaks the stage hegemony and gives room to your co-workers. Not for nothing the drummer has an exclusive camerawhose projection can occupy three screens, taken from a zenithal plane.

Kiss in Argentina: the last kiss

For The Unforgiventhe edition of the video clip of the song delivers a crude version of the theme, with some tweaks from the original, and black and white projections. It is one of the most dark and introspective of the showwhile For Whom the Bell Tolls is its counterpart: give away the best scenic passage of the night as an intimidating flock of ravens is seen flying over a bloody sky, as bells toll and crack and shatter.

At encore time, Spit Out the Bone, also one of the most recent of the group, shows on the screens the Metallica logo that occupies all the visuals and, in the background, the Argentine flag with the national sun, in the middle. And rescues another momentary nationalist spirit of the public to the cry of “Argentina-Argentina”.

On December 8, 2013, Metallica performed a show in Argentina and became the first band to perform on all 7 continents.

The end is here and with it Nothing Else Mattersa true generation clash. That hated song from the ’90s where “old school” fans got off the Metallica ship, over time it became a hit and a fixed theme in the set list of the Americans. To see a twentysomething, with his eyes closed, and singing from the heart each verse of this ballad of the black-albumIt was something unthinkable three decades ago. At that time, the producer Bob Rock (who had worked with Bon Jovi) was indicated as the culprit of having “softened” the group. The times change.

The closure with Enter Sandman unleashes the last stampedes in the field and fireworks in some of his courts. The metal anthem is sung loudly by thousands. The theme that marks the death rattle of the concert works as a temporal-musical ouroboros that goes back to the show in Liniers, back in 1993.

The black album opening It was the song that also gave rise to the presentations in Vélez. The snake, like the one that starred in that album, here it bites its tail. And hopefully this doesn’t mean a final goodbye to Metallica, but a see you later, as the musicians on stage promise after offering their audience picks and toothpicks.

Greta Van Fleet, the heirs of the ’70s

If there’s one thing Metallica knows how to do, it’s choose support bands. Greta Van Fleet It is a perfect example of this as a prelude group to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The Frankenmuth, Michigan-based combo assembles a raw rock that fits perfectly with the vintage patina of the ’70saesthetics with which many groups take advantage to get the most out of the market.

beloved sons of Diamond Head either thin lizzy (groups loved by Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield), Greta Van Fleet are the rock revelation of the last five years. These Led Zeppelin, millennial versionthey have released three albums (with their debut From the FiresGrammy winner) and are poised to revive the aesthetics and sounds of a founding period of rock.

Guitarist Jake Kiszka is a Jimmy Page clone mixed with Ritchie Blackmore, two guitar wizards. And if we talk about spells and sorceries, the background of the American stage showed the enigmatic cover of The Battle at Garden’s Gatepublished last year, a kind of portal surrounded by various magical symbols.

Its frontman, Josh Kiszka has a huge sound record (somewhat strident at times) with which he performed six songs (he was left out Weight of Dreams) all with a hooker sound, roadie, a blend of inks with the best of the ’70s. A great combination.

PAIR

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