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Metallica @ Prudential Center – pics, a review, three setlists

photos by Eric M. Townsend, word by Black Bubblegum

Metallica

Metallica played three NYC area shows in a row this past weekend, the final stops on their Death Magnetic US tour including Nassau Coliseum on 1/29 and a two night stay at the Prudential Center in beautiful Newark, NJ (on 1/31 and 2/1, the latter coinciding with the Superbowl). Machine Head and The Sword supported on all three nights, with The Sword adding a show at Bowery Ballroom on 1/30. The Metallica pics are from 1/31, I attended the 2/1 show.

I headed into the doors of the Prudential Center right around 6:45, settling into my GA “seats” (the floor) a few moments before The Sword hit the stage. My early arrival gave me a few moments to thoroughly inspect the unique “in the round” set-up. Placed in the center of the arena floor, with six mics positioned at various parts of the stage, members of the band were within ten feet of me at times, and on the opposite side at others. Overhead, seven sheet metal “coffins” the size of a Cadillacs containing lighting rigs and lasers rotated up and down and in a circular motion. On stage, located behind a short wall of amps was a line of pyro…. I guess James didn’t learn his lesson? Later on, we would learn that Lars Ulrich’s kit was also on a swivel. Low-budget, this show was not.

The Sword took the stage at 7PM, playing a shortened 25+ minute set and drawing from both of their Kemado releases. The Austin crew were simple and effective and it was truly surreal to see the band on THAT stage as opposed to the last time I saw them (Bowery Ballroom in 2007).

Machine Head were next, and even if I wanted to hear them (I didn’t), I wouldn’t have been able to. The mix was absolutely abhorrent, and if it wasn’t for the metal-requisite whammy pedal, I probably wouldnt have been able to hear ANY guitars. My life-long Metallica fan friend commented:

“Those dudes are straight up corny”.

Mostly. That said, the masses in Affliction/Don Ed Hardy tees, mohawks, and mock wallet chains were contented. Thankfully, guitarist/vocalist Rob Flynn is a good showman, spraying water about and leading the crowd in chants of “Ma-sheen-head” and “Machine-fuckin-head”. At least he, unlike the music, held my interest.

Metallica took the stage a shade after 9PM, emerging with their usual intro music, “The Ecstasy of Gold” from Ennio Morricone‘s The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly soundtrack. Kicking off with “That Was Just Your Life” from the new LP, Death Magnetic, the band was accompanied a laser-light show of epic proportions…. Daft Punk is jealous. Although the concentration was on Death Magnetic material (six songs in total), the band did dip into the classics (“Master of Puppets, “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)”, “Blackened”, Seek & Destroy”), the records that propelled them to the top (“Enter Sandman”, “Nothing Else Matters”), and deeper fan favorites (a cover of “Die Die My Darling” by the Misfits, “Breadfan” by Budgie) over the course of the evening.

As a fan of the Cliff Burton & Justice era of Metallica, I would say this show was alot like a Jerry Bruckheimer film: loud, lots of explosions, an obscene amount of special effects, a little something for everyone, a touch on the dumb side, but big time entertainment.

More pictures from 1/31 and setlists for all three shows below…

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Note the “Coffins”
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METALLICA Setlist 1/30 @ Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY:
That Was Just Your Life
The End of the Line
Creeping Death
The Thing That Should Not Be
One
Broken, Beat & Scarred
Cyanide
Sad But True
The Unforgiven
All Nightmare Long
Kirk Solo #1
The Day That Never Comes
Master Of Puppets
Damage, Inc.
Kirk Solo #2
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman
Stone Cold Crazy
Phantom Lord
Seek and Destroy

METALLICA Setlist 1/31 @ The Prudential Center in Newark, NJ:
That Was Just Your Life
The End of the Line
Ride The Lightning
For Whom The Bell Tolls
One
Broken, Beat & Scarred
Cyanide
Sad But True
And Justice for All
All Nightmare Long
Kirk Solo #1
The Day That Never Comes
Master Of Puppets
Battery
Kirk Solo #2
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman
Blitzkrieg
Hit The Lights
Seek and Destroy

METALLICA Setlist 2/1 @ The Prudential Center in Newark, NJ:
That Was Just Your Life
The End of the Line
Creeping Death
Harvester Of Sorrow
One
Broken, Beat & Scarred
Cyanide
Sad But True
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
All Nightmare Long
Kirk Solo #1
DISC TWO
The Day That Never Comes
Master Of Puppets
Blackened
Kirk Solo #2
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman
Die Die My Darling
Breadfan
Seek and Destroy

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