Metallica, Machine Head, the Sword | Allstate Arena | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Metallica, Machine Head, the Sword Recommended All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Mon., Jan. 26, 7 p.m. and Tue., Jan. 27, 7 p.m. 2009

Few bands are treated as well by their fans and in return treat their fans as terribly as Metallica does. Go back to the tour-documentary part of the early-90s video A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica and look at the outright contempt that drummer Lars Ulrich displays at postshow meet and greets. And the condescending motherfucker he was then is nothing next to the litigious, shit-slinging prick he’d reveal himself to be later that decade, in his role as band spokesman and enemy of file sharers. But even after Ulrich basically told Metallica’s more Internet-savvy fans to shove it, those same fans went ahead and saved the band from its own fuckups after Death Magnetic (Warner Brothers) came out last year—first they offered up a version ripped from Guitar Hero that sounds way better than the famously overcompressed original, and then they created the “Better, Shorter, Cutted” edit of the album, which chops down the overstuffed originals into the sort of brutal blasts that made the early records so incredibly good. For all the bad vibes, it’s still Metallica, and last time I checked these newly minted Rock and Roll Hall of Famers were still pretty much the same band responsible for Master of Puppets. So like a bazillion other long-suffering fans, I’m willing to let it all slide. Machine Head and the Sword open; see also Tuesday. —Miles Raymer

Price: $59.50-$79.50

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