Metallica, the larger that life mega-metal band, played at this year’s Grammy awards. Soon after the performance they made an announcement fans have been waiting to hear for years. “WorldWired” Tour is going down in the summer of 2017, and Metallica will be joined by Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat.
The band usually ends their performance with an encore of “Enter Sandman,” the iconic and highly disturbing song about being chased all our lives by fear and death. Lead guitarist Kirk Hammett penned the original version about a baby who dies of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and is taken away by the sandman.
The final version changed that to a slightly less scary version of a boy who becomes a man who becomes an old man, haunted his entire life by dreams of falling and being chased by death. The face of death that haunts the boy in the video is seen to be his own face in old age. The song and video feature the sweet voice of a young boy reciting the Lord’s prayer, followed up with the stellarly creepy lyrics: “Exit: light/Enter: night/Take my hand/We’re off to never, never land.”
Here, of course Never, Neverland is not the eternal childhood of Peter Pan, but the last fearless leap into darkness and death. What an epic song. This is definitely one fans will expect to hear on the “WorldWired” Tour.
“Wherever I May Roam”
This may be my favorite Metallica video, just for the fact that it acknowledges the fans and audiences so well. It gives us a behind the scenes look at the band on tour that is almost a documentary. Like all well-produced Metallica videos, there are editorial cuts that move us from scene to scene.
There is a particularly mad riff by the mad, mad Kirk Hammett, shirtless and singing his heart out in that perfectly raspy Metal voice he still has, that cuts to quiet moments in hotel rooms and music stores. I guess I cannot call Metallica “sweet” without being castigated and thrown out of the fan club. However, something more comes out in this video, something outside of music that becomes art meets life.
“Anywhere I roam/Where I lay my head is home/and the earth becomes my throne/I adapt to the unknown.” This song is so poetic, Dylan Thomas rolled over in his grave to get a better listen. Just a quick mention here of the versatility of drummer Lars Ulrich, a legend in his own right, who knows when to hold back, as he does on this song, without losing any of the relentless passion for which the band is so famous.
This a song and video with many layers. The music is a reverse ballad that substitutes chill, melodic verses and heavy chorus with heavy verses and softer verses. This somehow works because you are never left in doubt that this is a metal song. The words and the video tell at least two stories. In the video, a small boy is imprisoned in a windowless room. He spends his life carving out a window of light, and when he finally breaks through, he sits down on the floor in the bare shaft of sunlight, waiting to die.
This recurring theme of mortality and rebellion tells so much of Metallica’s story. In the lyrics we get a bonus warning to mind our own business before labeling others.
“They dedicate their lives/To running all of his./He tries to please them all /This bitter man he is.” The song ends with a confession of guilt that is a bare bones look at the human soul. “What I’ve felt, What I’ve known/Never shined through in what I’ve shown./Never free. /Never me.
So I dub thee unforgiven.”
If you loved seeing them thrash on stage once again at the Grammy’s, be sure to head to TicketNetwork for “WorldWired” Tour information.