The only time I have seen Metallica live was during their co-headlining tour with Guns & Roses back in the summer of '92. The New Orleans Superdome was spilling over with 90,000-plus people who came to see Metallica open for GNR that night, and the atmosphere was electric. A few weeks prior, James Hetfield had suffered significant burns to much of his body during a pyrotechnics mishap at an earlier show. For the remainder of the tour, Hetfield was unable to play guitar, but he bravely soldiered on as frontman and lead vocalist.
John Marshall, who had been Kirk Hammett's guitar tech, and was a member of the thrash metal band Metal Church, had previously filled in for Hetfield back in 1986 when he had broken his wrist, and he was called upon again to fill in for the remainder of the tour. Metallica were riding high on the wave of their chart-topping Metallica album, otherwise known as "the Black Album," and they turned in one of the best concerts I have ever attended. Poor Guns & Roses could not have enjoyed having to follow Metallica on stage during this tour.
Orgullo, Pasion, Y Gloria: Tres Noches En La Ciudad De Mexico, which translates to Pride, Passion, and Glory: Three Nights In Mexico City, is the first proper concert DVD from this band since 1998's Cunning Stunts, and it highlights their three sold out shows at the Foro Sol Stadium In Mexico City, on June 4th, 6th, and 7th, 2009 in front of about 155,000 rabid Metallica fans.
Metallica had not played Mexico in about ten years and their Mexican hermanos and hermanas were quite excited, to say the least. There are a lot of fan interviews before the concert starts, and mixed in between some of the songs (arrrg!), and it really shows just how intensely devoted these guys are to the band. Kirk Hammett was not too far off when he remarked, "it's like Beatlemania."
As the strains of the symphonic "The Ecstasy Of Gold" fill the air, James, Lars, Kirk, and Robert are shown in a group hug backstage. My, how far things have come since the Some Kind Of Monster days. Moments later, they greet the crowd with a thunderous "Creeping Death," which sends these long-time fans into a frenzy. Along with "Creeping Death," they hit their epic Ride The Lightning album hard this night, immediately following with "For Whom The Bell Tolls," and the title track, and the ecstatic crowd shows their appreciation for the old-school Metallica they are being battered with.
The setlist offers a pretty good career overview, going all the way back to "Hit The Lights," and "Seek & Destroy" from their 1983 debut Kill 'Em All album – has it really been that long? – on up to their latest offering, Death Magnetic, with three of its songs. Along the way are a couple of Master Of Puppets classics, and of course four of the rock radio friendly hits from Metallica.
I got into Metallica relatively late, not because of my age, but because I was never much of a fan of thrash metal. I loved the song "One" when it took over the airways in '89, and then it was 1991's Black Album that really sucked me in for life. Yes, I am one of those ridiculous fans that prefers their Black Album and Load/Reload style over their earlier stuff, cough…BLASPHEMY…cough. I became a fan of their earlier stuff after seeing them play live, and now it's all good – except for St. Anger of course. Hell, I'm even learning to play "Seek And Destroy" on guitar now.
This DVD, and last year's tour, shows that Metallica are not too far removed from their prime when it comes to putting on a kick-ass metal concert. The band fed off the enthusiasm of the Mexican crowd and played with equal fervor. I was surprised at how boring their stage show was though, considering how huge these guys are. The stage design was very generic looking, with a basic light show that rarely changed moods, and a giant video screen that only showed the band members performing. They definitely just let the music do the talking.
The production quality of the DVD was outstanding. Your two audio options are DTS 5.1 Surround and PCM 2.0 stereo and they each served up excellent live mixes. The widescreen picture was sharp and vivid, and the camera director did an excellent job at capturing the enormity of the event, while providing plenty of intimate close-up shots of each of the band members. As usual with most concert DVDs though, the camera angle changes came at an annoyingly rapid fire pace.
If you are like me, you were probably disappointed by certain omissions from the setlist, but Metallica changes up their setlist quite a bit for each show. There is also a 2DVD/2CD version of this package that includes 16 additional song performances including such notable omissions as "Blackened," "Fade To Black," and "Fuel." Metallica have also released the DVD Francais Pour Une Nuit (French For One Night) from their July 7, 2009 concert in Nimes, France, and this too has several songs that weren't on the Mexico DVDs.
01. The Ecstasy Of Gold
02. Creeping Death
03. For Whom The Bell Tolls
04. Ride The Lightning
05. Disposable Heroes
07. Broken, Beat & Scarred
08. The Memory Remains
09. Sad But True
10. The Unforgiven
11. All Nightmare Long
12. The Day That Never Comes
13. Master Of Puppets
14. Fight Fire With Fire
15. Nothing Else Matters
16. Enter Sandman
17. The Wait
18. Hit The Lights
19. Seek & Destroy
Performance – 8/10
Production – 9/10