red lights


Metallica dishes out metal mayhem

Allstate Arena
Rosemont, IL
Aug. 27, 2004


Story and Photos By Andy Argyrakis

The career of metal masters Metallica hinders mostly on the ebb and flow of becoming immensely popular for a period and then dying down for a couple years. The first wave started throughout the 80s when these "masters of puppets" first reigned on the MTV generation, followed by a pre-grunge era resurgence with the eponymous black album. Come 1999 the gang hit its next stride courtesy of the double live disc S&M, which backed by a symphony orchestra, cast the band's concerts in an entirely new light. The latest comeback for these aging rockers comes courtesy of the full-length effort St. Anger, which they've been touring on for the last year and still racking up record size audiences.
In fact, for a concert season plagued by sluggish ticket sales and cancellations, Metallica's two night, jam packed stand served both a treat for fans and an economic surge for the area music community. And given the band's sheer grit, chaos and pummeling power, it's easy to see why so many of its admirers flocked to see the band's "in the round" show, backed by steady streams of fog, strobes and pyro. But members lived up to its spectacle, with especially mighty roars and strums by front man James Hetfield and startling thuds by Lars Ulrich. With a set list that promised a mix of greatest hits and St. Anger spread across at least two hours, it officially marked the latest return of these trend-setting thrashers.
Opening the night were hardcore blasters Godsmack, who cite Metallica as a major influence and were visibly stoked to be sharing the stage with them. Though the group's latest disc is the acoustic specialty project Other Side, there was hardly a sign of stripped down simplicity from the guys, but rather derivative destruction and careless cacophony. In doing so, these budding bellowers couldn't come close to matching the sheer energy and presence of their heroes, and though Godsmack may have picked up a few new followers, members still have a long way to longevity.


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