Archive for the Babble Category

Concert Review: Metallica Live at Madison Square Garden November 14, 2009

Posted in Metallica, Shows with tags on November 15, 2009 by gearsofrock

11-14-09 JamesFor the second time this year, Metallica played the New York metro area, this time taking the critically acclaimed live metal show to the World’s Most Famous Arena.

Still supporting the Grammy award-winning Death Magnetic album, the band opened their set with the album’s first two tracks and proceeded to tear through the required classics like “Master of Puppets,” “One,” and “Enter Sandman.”

There were several pleasant surprises in the mix such as “Holier Than Thou,” “Helpless,” and “Whiplash.” The only shortcoming of the show, was the lack of “Creeping Death” in the set.

After the show, drummer Lars Ulrich acknowledged that it was pathetic that Metallica has not not played MSG in over a decade, although the band did play the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary show two weeks ago.

The supporting acts for this leg of the World Magnetic Tour are Danish rockers Volbeat and Lamb of God.  However, I much prefer to see Machine Head support Metallica over Lamb of God any day.

11-14-09 James LasersA friend texted me during Lamb of God’s set, “these guys so want to be Pantera.” I never understood the big deal either.

If you have not seen Metallica on this tour yet, you are missing out on a huge and an important rock show experience and should do everything in your power to get there.

Over the last year, the band has been more than making up for the disappointing St. Anger album and tour of 2003-2004 –Meds


  1. “That Was Just Your Life”
  2. “The End Of The Line”
  3. “For Whom The Bell Tolls”
  4. “Holier Than Thou”
  5. “One”
  6. “Broken, Beat And Scarred”
  7. “Cyanide”
  8. “Sad But True”
  9. “Turn The Page”
  10. “All Nightmare Long”
  11. “The Day That Never Comes”
  12. “Master Of Puppets”
  13. “Fight Fire With Fire”
  14. “Nothing Else Matters”
  15. “Enter Sandman”
  16. “Helpless”
  17. “Whiplash”
  18. “Seek & Destroy”

Top-Left: Frontman James Hetfield at the mic with Lars Ulrich on the drums by R.Meds on 11-14-09; Bottom-Left: Hetfield in lasers

Reunited Metallica Performs at the 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Posted in Metallica, Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame with tags , on April 5, 2009 by gearsofrock

After sitting through three and a half boring hours of lame inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Metallica was finally introduced by a blue-haired Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Flea talked about hearing “Fight Fire With Fire” for the first time in 1984, the forces that make metal magic possible, and the brilliance of Cliff Burton.

During the induction, Burton’s father spoke on his late son’s behalf and Jason Newstead received an arousing round of applause before administering a teary eyed speech. Rob Trujillo, Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich, and James Hetfield thanked their families, road crew, and fans.

Metallica performed “Master of Puppets” with Trujillo and Newstead playing bass together which provided a bass-heavy mix, and singing backup into the same mic. Hetfield hit a few sour notes during the mid-section guitar solo, while Hammet’s solo was flawless.

A performance of “Enter Sandman” and an all-star jam with Jeff Beck, Jimmy Paige, Ronnie Wood, and Flea of “Train Kept A-Rollin'” followed. Hetfield’s aggressive vocals sounded excellent on the jam.

Overall, it was great to see Newstead play live again with Metallica and watching him share the stage with Trujillo was surprisingly not awkward. Congratulations to Metallica and their families on the evening and accomplishment, even though the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a highly flawed institution when it comes to heavy music.

Review: “Guitar Hero Metallica” [Nintendo Wii 2009]

Posted in Guitar Hero, Metallica with tags on March 29, 2009 by gearsofrock

After waiting in line at Game Stop, with 16 other metal geeks, for the stroke of midnight, Guitar Hero Metallica for the Nintendo Wii was finally in my hands. Following reckless speeding, hours of late night gaming, bleeding, sweating, and joyous tearing, it became clear that this is the best of the franchise to date.

Why is GH Metallica better than World Tour? One area of improvement can be seen in “career” mode where you can play one song at a time instead of being forced into five songs per gig, which is time consuming if you only have, say, 10 minutes to play. The game screen also contains a new star ranking meter that displays how many stars you have earned while playing the song, rather than waiting for the song to be completed. “Quickplay” mode is fairly identical in format except the song selection is far superior to World Tour—there is not a bad song on the song list—no boring and wasteful bands such as Interpol, Coldplay, and Oasis. Instead the loser bands have been replaced by Slayer, Machine Head, and Corrosion of Conformity to name a few. You can also play as Lemmy of Motörhead and King Diamond!

Double-bass drum option: In “expert+” mode, you can now perform the faster thrash tracks on the drums, the way they are meant to be played. Remember how awkward performing “Pull Me Under” was in World Tour? The second bass drum pedal (sold separately) remedies this issue, however it does take some time to get used to this option for us non-drummers. Read how to set them up here.

Portrayal of the Metallica culture: Career mode begins with Metallica walking to the arena stage with “Ecstasy of Gold” pumping in the background, adding to the anticipation of the band’s performance. You then perform two songs as Metallica before the story begins. Basically, you have to prove yourself a worthy opening act for Metallica, while the devil tries to strike a deal with the Hall-of-Fame legends. You play tunes from Bob Seger, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Thin Lizzy as you earn stars to achieve the Metallica level. The detail of the band is another highlight of the game. From the band’s live mannerisms, stage setup, classic tours, and the authenticity of the instruments (such as the hysterical ping sound on Ulrich’s snare drum during “Frantic”), to the head banging signature “scary guy” on the load screen, the game-makers did it the right way!

The Flaw: There was a lot of Internet talk about the band’s decision to not include legendary bassist Cliff Burton and former bassist Jason Newstead in the game. It is still disappointing, but I still have confidence that they will one day create the characters for download, but I am a wishful thinker.

Guitar Hero Metallica is the best of the GH franchise because of the improvements in game-play, double bass drum playability, and the song list, however, the lack of Burton and Newstead prevent the game from achieving total perfection. A

Buy Guitar Hero Metallica here

Track your stats on the Guitar Hero Community and challenge other gamers like me. C’mon bring it!

Announced: Metallica Fall 2009 North America Tour Dates

Posted in Metallica, Shows with tags on March 24, 2009 by gearsofrock


Here are the Metallica tour dates for the fall 2009 leg in North America:

Sep. 14 – Nashville, TN – Sommet Center
Sep. 15 – Cincinnati, OH – US Bank Arena
Sep. 17 – Indianapolis, IN – Conseco Fieldhouse
Sep. 19 – Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
Sep. 28 – San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center
Sep. 29 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
Oct. 01 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Bank Atlantic Center
Oct. 03 – Tampa, FL – St. Pete Times Forum
Oct. 04 – Atlanta, GA – Phillips Arena
Oct. 12 – Winnipeg, MB – MTS Centre
Oct. 13 – Minneapolis, MN – Target Center
Oct. 15 – Cleveland, OH – Quicken Loans Arena
Oct. 17 – Charlottesville, VA – JPJ Arena
Oct. 18 – Charlotte, NC – Charlotte Bobcats Arena
Oct. 26 – Toronto, ON – Air Canada Centre
Oct. 29 – Ottawa, ON – Scotiabank Place
Oct. 31 – Quebec City, QC – Colisee Pepsi
Nov. 09 – Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena
Nov. 10 – Buffalo, NY – HSBC Arena
Nov. 12 – Albany, NY – Times Union Center
Nov. 14 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
Dec. 05 – Las Vegas, NV – Mandalay Bay
Dec. 07 – Boise, ID – Idaho Center
Dec. 08 – Sacramento, CA – ARCO Arena
Dec. 10 – Anaheim, CA – Honda Center
Dec. 12 – San Jose, CA – HP Pavillion


Metallica’s “Death Magnetic” Will Win 4 (or 2) Grammy Awards Tonight

Posted in Grammy Awards, Metallica with tags , on February 8, 2009 by gearsofrock

amazon-metallica-death-magnetic1Historically, Metallica is 7 for 16 at the Grammy Awards which works out to be a measly .438 winning percentage. The official Gears of Rock prediction is that Metallica will walk away from the 51st Grammy Awards with a more respectable .550 (11/20).

Here is how it will work:

  1. “My Apocalypse” will win Best Metal Performance because Slipknot’s mediocre “Psychosocial” is the only posed threat. Slipknot lacks the history and the level of talent to compete with the Bay Area Thrashers.
  2. “Suicide & Redemption” will most likely take Best Rock Instrumental category. David Gilmour and Steve Vai are cool but undeserving of this award because Vai’s tune is a Frank Zappa ripoff and Gilmour’s track was recorded in Poland.
  3. The Metallica production team will win Best Recording Package without a doubt due to the fact that no one has ever heard of (or cared for) any of the other albums in the group.
  4. The one category I am worried about is Best Rock Album and that is due to the presence of Coldplay’s Living La Vida Loca or was it Viva La Vida? Death Magnetic should win with ease but the Academy has a soft spot for loser-riffic pop rock such as Coldplay.

Bonus Award: I would also throw Best Producer to Rick Rubin over (interesting play on a common name) and Danger Mouse (or Brian Burton by birth).

Other sites to watch for: What will the reunited Blink-182 do at the show and following the ceremony? Does Green Day have anyhting planned (hints have been placed on their website)? How hard will Sir Paul McCartney and David Grohl rock?

Addendum: Metallica took 2 out of the 4 categories above for Best Recording Package and Best Metal Song. They lost the instrumental category to Steve Vai’s Zappa cover and the Best Rock Album went to the non-rocking belly shirt wearing Coldplay.

Metallica Live at the Prudential Center [1-31-09]

Posted in Metallica with tags on February 1, 2009 by gearsofrock

Metallica continued delivering a devastating onslaught of heavy metal to the Tri-State region, this time taking down the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Jan. 31, 2009. The band blazed through all of the great Death Magnetic cuts that they performed at the Nassau Coliseum on Thursday, however, fans were presented with several old school surprises and rarities.

This show marked the first time I have seen Metallica perform “Ride The Lightning,” “And Justice For All,” “Blitzkrieg,” and “Hit The Lights,” in this area all in their entirety. Other treats included “Battery” and “For Whom The Bell Tolls.”

James Hetfield still sounds perfect at the mic and Kirk Hammet’s pre-song guitar solos were more interesting at this show compared to the weak licks doodled at the Coliseum. Rob Trujillo sported his signature spider walk during the intro to “For Whom The Bell Tolls” and Lars Ulrich brought a little kid on stage to hit his drum kit.


That Was Just Your Life

The End Of The Line

Ride The Lightning

For Whom The Bell Tolls


Broken Beat & Scarred


Sad But True

All Nightmare Long

Kirk Doodle

The Day That Never Comes

Master Of Puppets


And Justice For All

Kirk Doodle

Nothing Else Matters

Enter Sandman


Hit The Lights

Seek & Destroy

Metallica Live at the Nassau Coliseum [1-29-09]

Posted in Metallica with tags , on January 30, 2009 by gearsofrock

1-29-08-james-2Last night Metallica delivered over two hours of headbanging heavy metal delight to a sold out crowd of ecstatic Long Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. Ripping through new cuts “That Was Just Your Life,” “The End of the Line,” “Cyanide,” “The Day That Never Comes,” and “Broken, Beat, & Scarred,” the 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees never gave their fans a chance to find a flaw within the Death Magnetic record.

1-28-09-rob1April 2004 marked the last time Metallica came to town and there was no better way to deliver a powerful rock show after nearly a five year break. The band led the fans through classics “Creeping Death” (DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE…), “The Thing That Should Not Be” (perfectly placed towards the beginning of the set), “Enter Sandman” (obvious crowd pleaser), and “One” (My eyebrows have begun to grow back after the scorching “Darkness” 1-28-09-kirkflames).

The band played through some classic rarities as well including “Damage, Inc.,” “Phantom Lord,” and “The Unforgiven” (have not seen this one live in quite some time).

James Hetfield’s voice was perfect throughout the show although he did develop an old man gut which was visible for the encore. Kirk Hammett’s guitar solos were excellent within the songs but weak during the short solo breaks. He also wore far too much “guy liner.” Lars Ulrich seemed to be in the best physical condition of them all and looks as if he hasn’t aged a day since the ’97 “Load Tour.” Rob Trujillo’s bass-work is fantastic and fits in really well but I still miss Jason Newstead’s powerful stage presence.

The stage was centered in the middle of the arena with a rotating drum kit and approximately six microphones so the band could perform for every fan in attendance. Large steel coffins lowered towards the stage from above with attached laser lights (awesome during “That Was Just Your Life”) gunning throughout the venue. During the encore, large black inflatable beach balls plummeted from the ceiling converting the Coliseum into a magical heavy metal beach party.


That Was Just Your Life

The End Of The Line

Creeping Death

The Thing That Should Not Be


Broken Beat & Scarred


Sad But True

The Unforgiven

All Nightmare Long

Kirk Doodle

The Day That Never Comes

Master Of Puppets

Damage, Inc.

Kirk Doodle

Nothing Else Matters

Enter Sandman

Stone Cold Crazy

Phantom Lord

Seek & Destroy

Above photos courtesy of R.Meds

“Guitar Hero Metallica” Track List Unveiled

Posted in Guitar Hero, Metallica with tags on January 28, 2009 by gearsofrock

Here are the tracks slated for Guitar Hero Metallica, hitting the streets on March 29, 2009 for XBox360 and PS3 (Nintendo Wii and PS2 release date is May 31 according to

The game will feature an option for double bass drum action on expert+ mode. Note that the original Bob Seger, Diamond Head, Queen, and Lynyrd Skynyrd versions are incorporated into the game rather than Metallica’s covers. It is also great to see Slayer’s “War Ensemble” and C.O.C.’s “Albatross” on the list.

While the above are all excellent ideas, it is important to note that leaving Jason Newstead and Cliff Burton out of the game is a very poor idea. Maybe next time.

All Nightmare Long
Alice In Chains – No Excuses
Bob Seger – Turn the Page
Creeping Death
Corrosion of Conformity – Albatross
Disposable Heroes
Diamond Head – Am I Evil?
Dyers Eve
Foo Fighters – Stacked Actors
Enter Sandman
Judas Priest – Hell Bent For Leather
Fade To Black
Kyuss – Demon Cleaner
Fight Fire With Fire
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Tuesday’s Gone
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Machine Head – Beautiful Mourning
Mastodon – Blood & Thunder
Mercyful Fate – Evil
Hit The Lights
Michael Schenker Group – Armed and Ready
King Nothing
Motorhead – Ace of Spades
Master of Puppets
Queen – Stone Cold Crazy
Mercyful Fate (Medley)
Samhain – Mother of Mercy
No Leaf Clover
Slayer – War Ensemble
Nothing Else Matters
Social Distortion – Mommy’s Little Monster
Suicidal Tendencies – War Inside My Head
System of a Down – Toxicity
Sad But True
The Sword – Black River
Seek And Destroy
Thin Lizzy – The Boys Are Back in Town
The Memory Remains
The Shortest Straw
The Thing That Should Not Be
The Unforgiven
*Track list subject to change*
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
Wherever I May Roam

Gears of Rock Quick Start Guide

Posted in Metallica with tags , , on January 13, 2009 by gearsofrock

While reading over some my favorite posts from the past year, I decided to put together a short sampling, consisting of nine entries, that define the key content, aims, and overall essence of this blog. Without further ado, here is the 2009 “Gears of Rock Quick Start Guide”

  1. Single Review: Metallica – “My Apocalypse” [2008]
  2. Track-By-Track Album Review: AC/DC – Black Ice [2008]
  3. Traditional Album Review: Exodus – Let There Be Blood [2008]
  4. Album Brief: Deadbird – Twilight Ritual [2008]
  5. DVD Review: Halford – Live at Rock in Rio III [2008]
  6. Concert Review: Twisted Sister on Broadway 12-5-08
  7. Rock-in-Movies: The Wrestler [2008]
  8. Rock-on-Television: Kat Von D & Nikki Sixx on L.A. Ink [2008]
  9. Gamer Rock: “Guitar Hero World Tour” Nintendo Wii [2008]

Yes, I could have easily added a 10th category and post but these nine currently feel the most right to me. Cheers.

Classic Moment In Heavy Metal: Backstage Metallica & Guns N’ Roses Tour [1992]

Posted in Guns n' Roses, Metallica with tags , on January 12, 2009 by gearsofrock

amazon-year-andIn this scene from A Year And A Half In The life of Metallica James Hetfield reads Axl Rose’s list of show demands and Sebastian Bach of Skid Row does a mock MTV interview with Lars Ulrich and an intoxicated Slash. Also, hanging out backstage is the greatly underrated Jim Martin, former guitarist of Faith No More.