Metallica
Live At Grimey's


4.0
excellent

Review

by Irving Tan STAFF
November 26th, 2010 | 55 replies | 13,898 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Blackened Friday.

Being on the wrong side of a Metallica concert is a strange feeling. Picture this: just yonder onstage, the band have set about trying to bring the house down, and are thundering away into the night as much as their mortality (and the host city's by-laws) will allow them to. Yet, from the perspective of one that is stuck in a hidden corner of the mosh pit, the visual range afforded by the show is nothing more than the rather unattractive sight of James Hetfield's rear end, as the vocalist has willfully fixated himself upon one hemispherical section of the arena - the one that isn't yours. It's a weird set of circumstances to find oneself in, particularly as the juxtaposition of mind-numbing delirium with moments of raw frustration will, in many countries, be seen as a form of cruel and unusual punishment.

Yet, that's kind of how Metallica fans in North America feel at the moment, having watched their friends from Down Under be treated to not one, but two live EPs (Six Feet Down Under Part I and II). But fret not North America, for the biggest of the Big Four hasn't entirely forgotten its home continent: the band's Black Friday release for this year is a nine-track EP entitled Live at Grimey's, and is sold exclusively on both CD and double 10-inch vinyl at participating independent retail outlets in North America. As its name suggests, the EP documents a tiny pre-Bonnaroo gig that Metallica played in 2008 underneath Grimey's New & Preloved Music store in Nashville - and what a recording it is.

In many ways, the uniqueness of this live release lies in the incredibly small size of the venue in which Metallica was playing (around 150 people, tops). As Peter Standish (Warnor Bros. senior VP of marketing, and one of the 150 hardy souls that attended the show) explained, "It was very hot and sweaty. I remember turning around at one point and seeing at least a half-dozen Nashville police officers at the back of the room-definitely a moment of, 'Uh-oh, what's going on?' But then I realized they were there as fans, not as security. They did whatever it took to get inside." And honestly, who can fault them? Indeed, once the band starts proceedings with "No Remorse" - a cut from their 1983 debut album Kill 'Em All - there's no turning back. The pace is furious and intense - even despite Hetfield throwing the crowd off ever so slightly by introducing the song as one off the "new album". The momentum seamlessly transitions into a blistering rendition of the band's 1998 hit, "Fuel", which itself is met head-on by the popular Ernest Hemingway-inspired number "For Whom The Bell Tolls". On the latter, bassist Rob Trujillo coaxes a deep electric rumble from the depths of his bass guitar, producing a stellar moment of technical ability that acts as a shining example of how fresh and unprocessed some of the band's older tunes sound on this record.

Although there are many criticisms that can be made about Metallica, the fact that they are born entertainers is hardly ever in question; on this EP, it is easy to see why. Ever the seasoned group of performers, the band grab every opportunity to interact with their audience with both hands. Take, for instance, the fact that one of the EP's most memorable moments comes early in its second half when the band allows for a fan-based rendition of "The Frayed Ends of Sanity". The sing-a-long runs for a good two and a half minutes, and is probably the closest one can get to a live performance of the song (Metallica have never played it live). There's also something terribly endearing about the version of "Master of Puppets" which can be found on this release. Claustrophobic and constrained it may be, yet it somehow manages to lack the the theatrical panache that sullies the song's many other live performances; I would not hesitate in dubbing this particular rendition of "Master of Puppets" as the best live recording of the song that one can find.

Like many other Black Friday releases, Live At Grimey's is intended to be nothing more than a novelty item and a sharply designed treat for the band's fans. Yet, in a year that has been chock-full of live releases (Metallica themselves have released four), this EP stands out, simply because it is that rare thing: a recording which captures the dynamic energy and intimacy of a gig which was initially reserved for only the most ardent of fans. By putting together this EP and releasing it to the public sphere, Metallica and Warner Bros. have extended the area of confluence to a wider circle of fans, if only for them to do with it what they will.

And it is thus that North America pulls one back from Oceania - in style.



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user ratings (27)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2010



7011 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This review may also be found on my personal blog (at the address http://snuffleupagush.wordpress.com/2010/11/27/thisalmightyriff/).

As always, constructive criticism and comments are very much appreciated.

Digging: Pixies - Indie Cindy

Bfhurricane
November 26th 2010



6194 Comments


Good review. Definitely not something I'd be interested in buying, but awesome setlist nontheless. Still haven't seen these guys live yet.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2010



7011 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks bfhurricane.

I admit it was rather difficult to write - particularly as I've already done two write-ups on VERY SIMILAR Metallica releases (Six Feet Down Under Parts I and II). I'm glad you liked it though.

Also, Metallica live = amazing.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2010



7011 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Where did you see them Sonic?

SCREAM!
November 27th 2010



9591 Comments


i just saw them for the first time last november. Was a great show

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2010



7011 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Their World Magnetic tour was indeed phenomenal. I'm also amazed at their stamina - it's one thing to have to perform at high quality, but to do it for over a 13 months, at almost 200 shows the world over...that's just superhuman.

Jemidu06
November 27th 2010



115 Comments


i'll return the pos

awesome summary, very timely, and pretty well written considering there's really nothing left to be said about the actual songs themselves

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2010



7011 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@ Jemidu: Haha, thanks man. But seriously, only pos if you think that the review's alright - I'd like to have a better feel of whether my reviews are doing their job in conveying a.) my opinions and b.) information.

Good point on mentioning that there's really nothing left to be said about the actual songs themselves. They're a bit of an old chestnut by now to be honest, and Metallica's song production rate is PATHETIC. If I were Hetfield I'd be bored with the amount of tracks available to me by now.

@ geddy: Thanks mate. Glad to see that there's at least one person out there who doesn't mind reading my nonsense =)

@ Sonic: lol

SowingSeason
Emeritus
November 27th 2010



14513 Comments


im way too tired to critique this in detail...so i'll just tell you that it is very well written and i pos'd =)

RiversCuomo
November 27th 2010



439 Comments


why does this band have so many live albums?
What a gay ass band

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2010



7011 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hahahaha, gee thanks Sowing =)

I feel like I'm well aware of the faults in this one though. Very simply, it doesn't flow as well as the other stuff I produce when I'm "on form". I'm really having trouble recapturing the vibe I had in that P!nk review =( I think that this review and the recent Gilmour one, although decent (IMHO), are definitely not as good as the P!nk review. Oh well.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2010



7011 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@ Rivers: Couldn't tell you. Maybe they're trying to make up for the lack of new albums?

SowingSeason
Emeritus
November 27th 2010



14513 Comments


ive found that flow is just a matter of "being on" that day. some days reviews flow simply, other days they require a bit more effort and thats usually when they dont sound as natural

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2010



7011 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Honestly, I couldn't agree more with that assessment. That said, some writers - like you and Chan - perpetually seem to be "on" lol. But any case, here's hoping our days come soon, and often.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2010



18228 Comments


Another great review man, have a pos.

Digging: Benoit Pioulard - Hymnal Remixes

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2010



7011 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hey Jamie. Thanks a lot! I appreciate it!

And do let me know if there's anything in this here review that you feel could use some editing/tightening/improving!

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2010



18228 Comments


^There's nothing that jumps out at me as needing to be improved or edited, keep up the good work!

scottyvee
November 27th 2010



68 Comments


TALLICAAAAHHHHH!!! Released at the same time as the biggest sale day of the year? Also just in time for Christmas? Santa's gonna be getting heaps of requests! Too bad Tallica fans are all badasses :D

LepreCon
November 27th 2010



3544 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Can't believe it's been almost 15 years since I started listening to Metallica. I feel so old. Great review man

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2010



7011 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@ Jamie: Thanks! Will do my best =)

@ Scotty: Hmmm. I wouldn't call myself badas...but okay! LOL.

@ LepreCon: Thanks dude. I admire you for being a veteran who actually knows what it's like to experience some Load/ReLoad release excitement. In my case, I only picked these guys up in 2008; effectively, Death Magnetic was the first album I ever bought.



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