Metallica at Bonnaroo 2008

I’m not a die-hard Metallica fan, but I was looking forward to hearing some of the old classics live at Bonnaroo on the main stage. In high school, I think the only cds we had in the weight room were Boston and Metallica, and it rocked. I mean, in that context, you can’t help but act like Jim Breuer’s caricature/imitation of Metallica fans in his stand-up routine.

Of course, the band has pulled the YouTube clips of its Bonnaroo ’08 performance. Figures. They’re proprietary to the extreme: c.f. Napster and the blog review kerfuffle. You can of course pay them to download the mp3s of that show (and others) here.

It was predicted that Metallica would be anathema for Bonnaroo. And, yeah, having them there was a little incongruous. But us neo-hippies and indie rock geeks have other sorts of bands stashed in our musical foundation, bolstering our knowledge and impacting our tastes. I mean, no one was bitching that BB King and Willie Nelson were there. And I saw nothing but tens of thousands of people enjoying themselves.

We enjoyed ourselves because Metallica rocked our favorite old-school radio songs all night, and they were way into it. There were pyrotechnics (better than the unrealized Kanye West light show). And the sound was perfect (as opposed to the sound during The Raconteurs’ set on the same stage, which was wretched).

My only criticisms are that James Hetfield and crew looked so juiced-up (note that I said “looked” not “were”–I’ll have no libel suit over my head) that they appeared to be Lord of the Rings characters, like exaggerated action figures … oh, wait, Metallica action figures already exist. And James kept demanding that the audience adulate him, so much so that my friend started calling the band “ME-tallica.”

One more bit of trivia, to be filed under guilty pleasures: Metallica will be the feature in another band-specific Guitar Hero edition. Insert metal sign here!

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