For those of you who don’t keep track of such things, Metallica recently held a contest in South America in association with Coke Zero. Winners of the contest got to go see Metallica play in Antarctica1.
So, here’s the video. For my thoughts on the whole thing you can jump on past the other side of the break.
So, yeah, that was pretty bad, right? I mean, the set list was pretty solid Except for “Nothing Else Matters” there weren’t any obvious missteps in song choice. All classics and “Enter Sandman.” Added bonus, even though I was making dinner while this was playing, I didn’t hear Hetfield scream “Gimme fue!! Gimme Fie!!! Gimme dabajabazai!!!!!!!”
And those are good things. Unfortunately. Just, wow. If you played a drinking game where you took a shot every time someone played a bum note, you’d have died of alcohol poisoning by song two. People are chalking it up to “the cold” and I’m sure it’s not warm there, but this also happened in late spring. It is probably colder wherever you’re reading this than it was when they shot this. Note the several guys rocking out in t-shirts. Also note that there exist pretty efficient space heaters. You can’t tell me that one of the biggest bands in the world can’t afford the same widgets that were used to keep the smokers from dying of hypothermia on the balcony of my wife’s company party. Especially since…
Metallica, apparently bought all of Fractal Audio’s stock of Axe-FX units. All of them. I think they used three of them just to model Kirk’s wah. I don’t understand why they needed more than six. Three units, three backups. It’s not like they go through a bunch of insane SFX tones or that there’s even a lot of patch changing during the set. From what I can tell, Hetfield has two sounds (clean/dirty) Hammett has three (wah/less wah/clean) and Trujillo has one (the intro to “For Whom The Bell Tolls” in the Metallica bass tradition, he is muted at all other times during the set). Ignoring that, they spent money on Axe-FX units so that they could have an ampless show…but they apparently didn’t spend any time programming the Axe-FX units, because they sound terrible. Combined with playing so sloppy that I actually didn’t pay attention to Lars’ drumming. This wasn’t their finest hour.
That being said, a bunch of South Americans will be able to say that they took cellphone video of a Metallica show on Antarctica. I can’t say that, so they win.
- One comment I read about this whole thing was how it was mean to only let people from South America, “where it is hot as fuck” go to a concert in Antarctica. Apparently the person who made this comment has never looked at a globe. The southern tip of Brazil is close enough to Antarctica that it has penguins. That is not a joke ↩