Enlarge Robb with James Hetfield in 2013

Machine Head’s Robb Flynn on Metallica’s Hardwired: “I am LOVING it. It’s fucking STRONG!”

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Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn has posted the latest entry in his General Journal diaries, and — don’t worry — the subject has nothing to do with politics or social commentary this time around. Instead it’s something everyone in the metalsphere can relate to: Metallica!

Flynn’s a self-avowed Metallica fanboy. After Machine Head finished their set at a European festival a few years ago, he headed into the crowd to enjoy Metallica’s set with the masses, much to the delight of all those around him.

So it’s no surprise that he had the time of his life at the show in Oakland, too. He had a whole lot to say about the setlist, Metallica’s new album Hardwired… to Self-Destruct — which he loves — and the experience as a whole. Here’s the entry in full:

Such a good night.

No openers, just under 2 solid hours of Metallica, what more could a Metalli-fan ask for?!

Oakland went through a dry spell for a lot of years, it didn’t have a premier, world-class venue until about 5 years ago with the re-opening of The Fox, after it’s original stint from 1928 to 1970.  And man, it is easily the best non-arena venue in the Bay Area now.  Beautiful Egyptian themed building, pristine sound, air conditioning coming up thru the floors, and of course, last night we had… (that other band from the Bay Area), performing a charity concert for a very good cause the Alameda County Food bank, which supplies food to the 1000’s of homeless people currently living in tents all over the streets of the East Bay.

Tom, Genevra and I got there early and ended up across the street at a shwanky whiskey bar called Fauna, cool vibe, and reasonably priced fancy beer, with The Best Of Motorhead, and Blizzard Of Ozz blasting over the speakers.

The Pre-Party was just us for a while, but eventually Jared, Joseph, Cass, Phil and Nick joined shortly, and the beers and laughs flowed for a loooong while.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a while, too much fun.

Eventually we moseyed over and took our seats in the VIP section of the balcony.  9 o’clock start time on the tickets, and about 9:30 the band strolled on to the simple floor-to-ceiling-all-white stage that held a couple cabs and a drum set, no “The Ecstasy Of Gold” intro, no fussing’, just some noodling on the guitar and BOOM, “Breadfan”!

Opening with “Breadfan”, come on!  You knew it was going to be a good night!!

Before the internet, you couldn’t ever see the setlist, and even now, I refuse to look if I’m going to a show.  I just want to see/hear what comes.

Next was “Blackened” always one of my faves of off AJFA.

And pretty soon we got to “Atlas Rise”, the first new jam of of “Hardwired… To Self Destruct”.

Not sure how you all feel about the new record, but I am LOVING it.  It’s fucking STRONG!  Granted, I’m a hopeless Metallica fan. I will always and forever listen to anything they put out, and while I won’t always love it (LULU is mind bogglingly awful), they are The Beatles/Led Zeppelin of my life.  That once in a generation band that just comes along and flips shit on it’s head.

They are still the one band I listen to every lyric, every riff, every drum fill, every bass line.  I set aside time to give it a full, proper listen.

“Atlas” is a jam, Spit Out The Bone, Moth To Flame are great, but for me “Dream No More” is seriously heavy.  James may have broken the heavy-o-meter on that guitar tone!  Pushed it past “Sad But True” levels!

The one song that grabbed me early on was “Here Comes The Revenge”, very intense lyrics.  Then I found out the meaning of the song, he talks about a Metallica-fan who lost their child to a drunk driver (“little grave I’m grieving”) when I realized I knew who he was talking about, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

And yet this person/family was able to pull through…

I’ve talked about it before with Genevra… how does anybody pull through that?  Losing a child…

In this case, music helped them a lot.

Sadly, not everyone has that same connection with music.

Yet the world would be a better place if they did.

More classics songs poured in during the set, with a very heavy-leaning setlist I might add, no ballads ala: “Nothing Else Matters”, or “Unforgivens”, surprisingly nothing off of “Load/Re-Load/St. Anger/Death Magnetic”.  Hell, the lone ballad of the night was “Fade To Black” which is so fucking dark, it doesn’t really count as a “ballad”.

They played “Harvester Of Sorrow” which I fucking LOVE, (and Phil inexplicably can’t stand!). It crushed!

Closing with “Hardwired” (which absolutley fucking KILLS live!!!) and we banged all night and sang along like crazy, “Seek” ended the night as usual, with a good sing-a-long from the crowd who seemed to be made up of old school fans, and a lot of wealthy looks-loo’s who didn’t seem to know much material from any era.  My wife and I had to laugh at one group of older folks in the balcony just sitting down the whole show, scrolling through their FB feed!!  Seriously WTF!!??

We went to the after-party and chowed on fresh sushi, rosemary lamb chops, tacos, and Phil ended up with a sugar hangover, from the chocolate fountain/rice crispy/cream puff BAR, and J-Mac ended up with a bourbon/Coors Light hangover, LOL.

All in all, an amazing evening, thanks to the Boyz for hooking up their old tour buddies.

P.S.  This Day In Machine Head History:  Saturday night was the anniversary of the first night of 2 shows at the LA Forum where MH supported Metallica… 8 fucking years ago!!

Can NOT wrap my head around that… 8 years already…?!!?

Time flies when you’re having fun.

P.P.S. Shout out to Ted for busting my balls about how hard I’ve been lagging on these Journals!!

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