Monthly Archives: December 2008

Night of Musical Madness 2008 update

Here’s a quick update on how things went during the 2008 Night of Musical Madness:

• Everything went as planned. I was able to see an hour of Wu-Tang and catch all of Metallica
• I lost my voice screaming along to Metallica. It happened during “Sad But True.”
• There were lasers and pyro at Metallica. Set highlights included “Motorbreath,” “Harvester of Sorrow” and “Sanitarium.”
• Metallica also broke out a cover of The Misfits (or is it Danzig song?) “Die, Die My Darling,” before which Kirk and Lars teased the crowd with about one minute of “The Shortest Straw.”
• Wu-Tang was sans Method Man but they still rocked the Showbox SoDo. I was in awe of the lyrical skill of all seven members who were there.
• I got to hear just about every Wu track I wanted to hear including an ode to O.D.B. suite and I threw up about a hundred Wu-Tang W hand symbols.

I’ll have videos, photos and more words later, but for now I have to boogie on over the hill and head to work.

My ideal Metallica set list

I know I have no say whatsoever in what songs Metallica chooses to play, but I thought it would be fun to put together a set list for tonight’s Metallica concert anyway. Also, it will likely be interesting to compare what songs I want Metallica to play with the songs the band actually performs.

If you’re reading this James, Lars, Kirk or Bob (can I call you Bob, Mr. Trujillo?) it would be great if you included “Breadfan,” “Creeping Death,” “Last Caress” and “Four Horsemen” in tonight’ set. I mean, can you remember the last time you guys broke out “Breadfan”? Me neither. Also, notice that I did not include “Sad But True,” “Unforgiven” or anything from the Load and St. Anger debacles. Just stick to the metal guys, stick to the metal.

That Was Just Your Life
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Master of Puppets
The Day That Never Comes
Enter Sandman
Broken, Beat and Scarred
Fight Fire With Fire
Last Caress
Creeping Death
Fade To Black
Four Horsemen
So What
Seek and Destroy

The method behind the madness: Why I love Wu-Tang and Metallica enough to see them both on the same night

Fact: I was once a metalhead.

Fact: Any self-respecting metalhead likes Metallica.

It doesn’t matter if it’s the speed and thrash of “Kill ‘Em All” and “Ride The Lightning,” the classic metal of “Master of Puppets,” the cerebral concept metal of “… And Justice For All,” the shiny, overproduced mainstream metal of “Metallica,” the stuff that Metallica attempted to pass off as metal in the mid-90s and early ‘00s, or the current “return to form” Metallica of “Death Magnetic,” what version of Metallica, every metalhead likes Metallica.

Personally, I prefer “Master of Puppets” and “… And Justice For All” versions of Metallica. I even wrote an English paper in high school where I dissected the lyrics of “Eye of the Beholder” and explained the reasoning behind the song’s anti-Big Brother message. So it only makes sense that because I was a teenage metalhead and am now a music journalist that Metallica has a special place in my music-loving, high school-English-paper-writing heart.

I’ve seen every Metallica show in this state dating back to 1994 when a young 16-year-old me was blown away by the band’s marathon set at Memorial Stadium. Almost every detail of that show, right down to the disappointing cancellation of Alice In Chains as openers, is still vibrantly etched into my memory. After that show I promised myself I would never miss a Metallica show in my life and so far I’ve been able to keep that promise.

Wu-Tang Clan, on the other hand, is a band I have always wanted to see live but for one reason or another I have never been able see all the members of the Wu form like Voltron on the same stage.

I had a ticket to see the killer bill of Wu-Tang Clan and Rage Against the Machine at the Gorge in 1997. That show had plenty of controversy surrounding it. A quick Google search shows that MTV heavily covered the events leading up to the show (including the legal proceedings) as well as the show itself. Personally, I think the whole mess behind the 1997 concert is the reason RATM has yet to schedule a reunion tour date in Washington state.

Unfortunately, when Wu-Tang dropped out of that tour I sold my ticket. Nineteen-year-old me thought it wasn’t worth a trip to the Gorge just to see Rage since I saw them a few years prior at Mercer Arena. Today, 30-year-old me wants to slap 19-year-old me in the face for making that decision.

The other opportunity I had to worship at the altar of the Wu came in 2007 when they headlined a night of Bumbershoot. I try to never miss Bumbershoot and I did make it to a day of the 2007 festival, but it wasn’t the day Wu-Tang was headlining. You see, I was leaving to attend a wedding in Maui during Labor Day weekend and, well, I wasn’t going to abandon Maui just to see the Wu-Tang Clan. So sorry Wu-Tang, when it comes to you versus Maui, Maui wins.

Because I love Metallica so much I have made the decision to not leave their show early tonight in an attempt to see more Wu-Tang. So I’ve accepted that I will not be able to see both sets by Metallica and Wu-Tang in their entirety. But man, if Wu-Tang takes the stage late and I am able to see more than an hour, or hell I’d settle for a little under an hour, of the Rza, Gza, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, U-God, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon it will be well worth all the frantic fuss.

Night of Musical Madness 2008: Metallica and Wu-Tang Clan

Tonight is going to be an unforgettable night of music for me. Or at least tonight will be a night the teenage version of myself will never forget.

Two very different high-profile concerts are happening tonight, and as per the fine print of my Music Critics Club card, it is my duty to attend both are report the details back to you. Tonight I will attempt to attend Metallica, The Sword and Lamb of God at KeyArena and then hightail it to Showbox SoDo to watch Wu-Tang Clan.

Now, I have pulled off the feat of seeing two shows in the same night before. Last year I drove 348 miles to see six bands perform for five hours and it was quite an exhilarating experience. I jokingly called that experience Ear Candy’s Night of Musical Madness.

This year I’m driving the same distance and going to two shows in the same night but the stakes are a little higher. For starters, the shows are bigger. The combination of arena rock and hardcore rap icons trump the indie rock and hip-hop legend I saw in concert last year (Although to be fair, Ghostface Killah was a part of last year’s experience and he will be spitting rhymes with Wu-Tang tonight so there are some parallels to last year.). Also, unlike last year, I paid for my tickets to both of tonight’s shows. I paid $90 for my Metallica ticket (the ticket price included a copy of “Death Magnetic” as well as a download of tonight’s show) and $50 for my Wu-Tang ticket.

So why am I doing this? Well, for several reasons.

First, I have been a huge fan of both Metallica and Wu-Tang since my early teenage years. Second, I love live music and these shows will likely be the last two I see this year so I want to end the year with a bang. What better way to do that than to attempt this? Finally, the third reason, which comes back to the first reason, is because I am a fan.

I’ve been a fan of Metallica since I started seriously listening to music back in 1991. I even remember waiting in line outside of Tower Records on Mercer Street at midnight to buy “Load.” And while I’m not the biggest hip-hop head on the block, I practically spent half my teenage years listening to “Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).” I simply could not pass up the opportunity to catch these two completely different, but equally important to me, groups on the same night.

Both shows are happening at the same time, so it will be tricky to get the timing right. I’m counting on a few things to fall into place tonight, such as Wu-Tang taking the stage late and being able to find parking near Showbox SoDo easily. Here is my timetable for tonight, keep your fingers crossed that things go as planned and come back tomorrow and throughout the week to find out how things went.

7 p.m. The Sword takes the stage
8 p.m. Lamb of God takes the stage
9 p.m. Metallica begins what is hopefully a two-hour set (I read that the band limits itself to two hours on stage due to the whole “Some Kind of Monster” therapy session film)
11 p.m. Leave KeyArena, find car and drive to Showbox SoDo
11:20 p.m. Find parking and arrive at Showbox SoDo
11:30 p.m. Catch the last hour of Wu-Tang

A blast from the past: A review of Metallica’s last Seattle concert

In case you haven’t heard, Metallica is coming to KeyArena tonight. I’m a big fan of the band and I wanted to review the show for the P-I (I purchased a ticket during the presale) but I did not get the assignment. But I’m not too worried about it for several reasons:

1) I already have a ticket, so I am going to the show with or without credentials (I actually buy tickets to most every show I want to attend since I cannot always depend on media credentials to get me in the door because I am a freelancer.)

2) I know Shawn Telford, the freelancer who will be covering the show tonight, will do a good job of reviewing the concert.

3) I’ve been fortunate enough to review hundreds of great bands and shows for the P-I during the last five years.

4) I reviewed the band for the P-I once, way back in 2004, when the group came to town during its “Madly In Anger Tour.” You can read the review by clicking here.

That last one is the main reason why I wanted to review tonight’s show for the P-I so badly. When I reviewed Metallica’s last show here I was pretty green as a critic and I wanted to have a second shot at reviewing one of my favorite bands. That’s not to say I delivered a poorly written review. I just know my writing chops have greatly improved in the last four years so I wanted to have another go at writing a review since I am not completely satisfied with what I offered up last time Metallica came around.

So I will be there at KeyArena tonight, acting as a fan and not a music journalist. I’ll be rocking out wearing my “Metal Up Your A**” shirt I bought in 1994, shouting along to every chorus and pumping my fist in the air every chance I can get. I’m going to the show tonight to have a blast.

Yes, I will likely be viewing the show with my music journalist goggles on (You wouldn’t believe how tough it is to take those off while listening to music once you’ve been doing this gig for a while.), and yes I will write about the show on this very blog. But I will write about tonight’s show as a fan, blogger and former teenage metalhead. Hopefully I’ll be more satisfied with what I write than I am with what I wrote four years ago.