Metallica Fridays (no. 16): How i am learning to stop worrying, and just love Metallica

Every time i do these posts i get a weekly reminder to get out of my own head. i make a ton of mistakes, but that is what happens when you are learning. i have to remember that i am also getting better. That goes for my experience in using the prosthetic, as well as playing music.

i love watching better players than me cover Metallica. As professionals (or at least people with some level of expertise) they are able to capture the nuances, way more than i can. They can properly do the double kick of ‘One’, ‘Fight Fire With Fire’ or ‘Hero Of The Day’. They understand the mechanics of a b-bender, or they effortlessly play the perfect trills on a precision bass. While i am not there yet, i know the music enough to play with a particular feeling, as opposed to the exact technical ability.

As i keep saying, the fact that i even took that next step to even attempt to play their music is a huge personal deal.

In playing drums, i also clearly understand one ting more and more: the relationship Lars has with James, as players. It becomes so clear how much Lars follows the rhythm guitar, and vice versa. It’s pretty hard to focus (especially during the live performances) when the lead is playing, so i have to focus extra hard on what the rhythm and bass are doing.

One of the bigger examples of this is ‘Battery’. When Kirk plays the solo i had to focus on James. i also love the dynamic between the band in that, when one of them is behind or out front, they easily catch up through particular cues. People tend to take issues with Kirk’s improvisation during shows (‘Why does he never play the solo like the album’ and so forth); and while it seems as if he’s in his own world (and sometimes makes mistakes) the man catches up, and is on time.

i remember being 15 years old and wanting nothing more than to see ‘Battery’. On the encore of the December 3, 1991 show in Buffalo, NY i got my wish. i really hope that it is something i see again, before i leave this earth. They are playing it more album speed these days, but the song is no less powerful. As with many of the older songs, i love the mature readings of them. The band has long since (except for Lars) left the Bay Area, but the spirit of Battery Street lives on forever.

The Seattle ’89 show is beloved, and is usually at the pinnacle of favorite shows in the Metallica fan community. However, this show is not in my top 3. The May 31, 2015 show in Munich (Germany), The 40th Anniversary shows, and the Metal Hammer show in 1985 are. The screams James gives out during ‘Battery’ though (from the Seattle show, which i am playing to here) makes the song one of my favorite live ones of all time.

Just like with ‘Blackened’ i wanted to challenge myself in terms of speed. This song is not easy to play, especially with the the time shifts. Playing that live? Whoo boy.

i came in a bit late after the break and rushed a bit, but got caught up. The thing i am most happy with is that i got the fill (without the double kick, obviously) before the final chorus. That fill is my favorite fill of Lars’ of all time. i also (subconsciously) added in another Lars’ type fill. Guess where that one is!

Many many posts ago i played to the OG ‘Green Hell’ (one of my two favorite Misfits songs). This time i’m playing to Metallica’s cover, which is slightly faster, as well as having different lyrics. My other wish before i leave this earth is that they SERIOUSLY play ‘Run To The Hills’ in full, instead of always messing around and playing the wrong notes on purpose (like they do at the end of Garage Days, as well as during live performances). The opening riff to that song is my favorite metal riff of all time; i don’t care how overplayed it is. Also, they have only played ‘Green Hell’ 11 times. i also hope, before i leave this earth, they play it alone, without Last Caress’- a song i’m not really that fond of.

Like Issac Hayes or Luther Vandross, Metallica takes a cover and makes it their own.

The St. Anger fanboi returns… It seems like more and more people are beginning to understand the greatness that is St. Anger, as the band is beginning to play other songs from it than ‘Frantic’ or the title track. They seem to be giving ‘Dirty Window’ some love, after the positive reception it received after the 40th anniversary show…. because they played it as well on this recent Sudamérica tour (in BRAZIL no less, where someone gave birth during ‘Enter Sandman’. Papa Het ended up calling the parents). They have played the song a total of 33 times. Obviously this gives me great joy, and hope that they will bring some more out.

‘Purify’ anyone?

The more i play to this music (mistakes and all), the more i appreciate this band.

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