I got to see Metallica live for the first time since the late 90s’ last night and I have to say they were fantastic sounding. Guitar tones were thick and meaty, the drums sounded fantastic, and the vocals were as clear as a bell. They had their Meyer Sound "In the Round" array system going. 8 banks of 12 speakers arrayed together with 40 subs under the stage. Very good coverage of all frequencies, however I found some of Kirks solos didn’t pierce through as much as I thought they would. I don’t think it had anything to do with his rig, it might have been mixing or just where i was standing who knows.
The stage setup was awesome, 360 degree stage with only a sliver at one end for the band to get in. About 8 mics placed around the stage with wah stations peppered around as well. Stage was about 5 feet up, with about a 5-6 foot gap to the fence. There was no problem getting a good view from general admission. The guys just moved from station to station making sure the crowd got to see them as often as possible.
Crowd participation was awesome too and James seemed to respond well to that. You can really tell when the artist is getting off on the cheers or if the crowd is lackluster as it affects their performance significantly.
As far as the health of the band, I was impressed. It’s late in a tour and they were pretty much on their game. Lars fucked up a few times, but his job is harder than any one else’s on stage. It was like he couldn’t keep up. Kirk seemed a bit distant, like he was stoned, or maybe just really tired or sick but he played well.. .he makes it look so fucking easy it makes me sick.
James and Robert were amazing though. James stood up and did his thing all night long without skipping a beat. He seemed genuinely into it. And I have seen him when he’s not into it before. Robert, I’ve only seen with Ozzy before, but he definitely loves playing with Metallica.
All in all, it was a great show, definitely the best sounding show I’ve ever seen them do. I am getting old though so I wasn’t quite as into it as I would have been 10 years ago.
Metallica with Lamb Of God
Scotiabank Place – November 3, 2009
Review By Mike Elliot