The second of Metallica’s four-night 30th anniversary gigs in 2011 included the highest and lowest points in the group’s history.
The high came early, casually throwing away its biggest hit, “Enter Sandman,” as the second song in the set, a move that says bigger things are planned later in the night.
The low comes later, a three-song guest spot with Lou Reed. He plays on two cuts from 2011′s hideous “Lulu” spoken word/metal collaboration as well as a take on Reed’s Velvet Underground track, “White Light/White Heat.”
There are funny bits of banter between songs, including drummer Lars Ulrich chiding the band’s history in taking on file-sharing giant Napster. (“Metallica would never give anything away for free,” he yells.) When Reed takes the stage, Ulrich jokes that if the audience is hostile to Reed, all of “Lulu” will be played as punishment.
The highlight of the second night is 80 percent of the original lineup of Mercyful Fate guesting on the “Mercyful Fate” medley. King Diamond’s vocal range and howl are a jarring switch from Hetfield’s deep roar.
With two shows to go, it’s clear Metallica didn’t shy away from any part of its 30-year history.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.