(Video after the jump) As it turns out, my lady has a friend connected to Metallica. And that afforded us a VIP pass to the second of Metallica’s concerts in Chicago, along with a pass to Club Magnetic and near-front row seats. His name is Rob Trujillo, Metallica’s bass player.
So, as the lights went down and the band walked on stage, I was fixated on Trujillo’s performance. And he can play. He plays with his bass down low, plucking fast with his right hand and shuffling frets with his left. It’s a torrid, yet measured pace, and not since the departed Cliff Burton have I felt the bass’ influence on the band.
From the beginning of the show, the set list remained largely the same as Monday. But there were variations, including an early For Whom the Bell Tolls – a song so perfectly Metallica and perfectly suited to get the crowd involved …”the march is on!”
Again, the rocked some classics like One, Sad But True (my personal favorite) and Enter Sandman. This time, being off the floor but close to the stage, we got a better look at some of the pyrotechnics and lighting effects. As you would expect from Metallica, there were plenty of fireballs and some cool multi-colored flamethrower-like effects, especially during One (video below.) Songs played from the new album, Death Magnetic, were mostly the same from Monday, including Cyanide which turned out to be one of the weaker songs on both nights.
Both nights they closed with one of Metallica’s best and widely-known songs, Seek and Destroy, among a barrage of large, black inflatable balls coming from the rafters and thumping unsuspecting fans in the head.
But on Tuesday, during the final song of the night, Trujillo suddenly dropped his bass on the ground – it appeared to be an equipment malfunction. As Trujillo struggled to get a grasp on the fallen instrument, a roadie quickly jumped on stage with a replacement. Suddenly another roadie ran up behind him and shoved a shaving-cream pie in his face. That was followed up by other crew members, friends and even some kids, dousing the victim with more pies and a torrent of silly string, while James Hetfield continued the song, trying desperately to suppress his laughter. Turns out the crew member was celebrating a birthday – Trujillo’s equipment malfunction was all a ruse to get him onstage for the traditional Metallica birthday bashing. Kirk Hammett got the same treatment on his birthday.
After the show, the band stayed on stage throwing guitar picks and drumsticks to the crowd, taking bows, waving and telling Chicago how much they were appreciated. We headed back to Club Magnetic for a drink before being summoned by security into the hall, where Trujillo was waiting. We spoke briefly and met his wonderful wife. They are both seem like great people. He thanked us for coming and hoped we had a good time. A couple of young fans walked up and told him they were fans, one since he was four – which made me feel very old, but happy. “Dude, that was @#*! sweet!” one of them exclaimed while walking away.
Then a father and son walked up. They thanked Trujillo, who said he saw them in the stands and was trying to throw a pick to them. At which point he started patting his pockets, searching for a pick and started to turn away so he could go find one for them. But before he got away, they said they caught one, and Trujillo was relieved. “I hear you’re playing guitar now,” said Trujillo. “Good, keep it up. You have a good teacher in your Pop there.”
Below is some video from the show. Some of it is a little shaky – because I was having a hard time staying still. Don’t forget to click the bottom right of the player after you start the video to view it in high quality.
Sad But True
For Whom the Bell Tolls