I seldom talk about Metallica. I reckon they really don't need that much of an attention considering how LARGE an act they are. If I had any urge in the past, it was to write about Death Magnetic. But it came at a very low point in my life. Needless to say, I missed my chance. Also if I were to say anything Metallica-related, chances are it would be whinin' about how they had failed me in this or that aspect.
Whatever, I need not do that really, for that would be a total waste of time. Off Metal Hammer TV: Guilty Pleasures - Just Don't Get It, Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed already said it: "anything you say about Metallica bad, it's like pissing in the ocean, it doesn't [expletive] matter!".
So clear yourself of any inhibitions, I'm not here to take potshots at them!
An overload of Metallica live videos clearly can't get me stoked enough to have a few more. Cunning Stunts, in hindsight is something to remember with fondness. Even if it has been ridiculed to the max, it was a huge affirmation of a big turning point in the band's history. I have it in my rack, along with their set in the Monsters of Rock in Moscow, Woodstock '99 and some other live clips from the hillbilly-where's-the-handlebar-moustache James Hetfield era. I have none from the present line-up, and I dig Robert Trujillo. Problem is, I already got Ozzy's Live in Budokan, and he's already more than amazing there.
But it's just too hard to ignore the fact that Metallica: Français Pour Une Nuit(French For One Night, is that it?) is one badass almost-medieval metal live dvd. I found it impossible not to get my hands on this one, evidently everything about it tells me it falls into great halls of awesomeness. True enough as it actually took place in the literally awesome halls of a Roman amphitheater!
Aaah, Metallica. It's no question you disappoint at times but you sure know how to win your fans back!
Shot in the Arena of Nîmes in France with a completely French crew, it's remarkable seeing this almost 2,000 year-old Roman structure ooze with so much electricity as if recreating what took place eons ago. Take note that it's impossible to deliver Creeping Death live, without the 'DIE! DIE! DIE! chant. Come to think of it, centuries ago it must have been that same feel with Gladiators and a huge crowd raising fists and yelling DIE! in whatever Romance language form used at the time. And have I said these Four Horsemen actually entered the arena via the coliseum's gladiator tunnel?
I can cite a hundred reasons but I'm not sure really, as to why I was completely blown away by this live disc. Maybe I was expectin' less, and they came out 'round prepared for this one. Multiple cams, combined with good mixing, well that's a given. Maybe a decent audio set-up got me surprised how tight they played as a four-piece. Close scrutiny tells me how perfect their parts were, how well-executed the thrashing of both guitars was done. Especially in the song Dyer's Eve, which I must say, stands above the rest of their other performances for that night. Hell, maybe it was the old Roman coliseum and my insatiable thirst for anything and everything bloody in European History that got me into this dvd!
But the location shot can only get one so far. If I were to single out one factor why I was so snagged by this that it finally got me writing, it would have to be that they played so much from ..And Justice. Which by the way, is my favorite Metallica record. And merits more space and time for me to brag about. But I'm just too damn glad the ..And Justice songs were played in full length, not like the medleys they used to do!! The tracklist below shows it, they launched forth with Blackened, and they even played Harvester Of Sorrow! I'm sure there's just four tracks from it, but better that than any other post Black Album stuff. But then I realize there's no better theme for such a location other than what the cover of ..And Justice speaks of.
You all know the drill. You must have seen a lot of Metallica's live performances, and quite tellingly, you might place them as predictable in a way. Well set this one aside, for it's an entirely different ride. There's just no better way to appreciate the Arena of Nîmes in a rockin' show, unless maybe, you dig Rammstein or Dire Straits.