Video: Metallica Perform St. Anger Track “Frantic” Live at Aftershock Festival (Pro-Shot)
“Frantic,” from Metallica’s much-maligned 2003 album St. Anger, is the band’s 40th most-played live cut in their career, according to Setlist.fm, with 195 performances. That places it only a little bit ahead of newer cuts like “Hardwired” and “Moth Into Flame” (tied at 165 plays each) as well as older songs you’d think would get more action, like “Ain’t My Bitch” (175).
Indeed, the band whips it out from time to time: they last did so for a handful of stadium and festival shows in Europe in 2019, a lone 2011 club show in San Francisco, and six shows in 2008. Before that, they played it a bunch while actively promoting St. Anger.
So why’d they decide to perform it at this past weekend’s Aftershock festival in Sacramento, CA? I’m dying to know! Does someone in the band who loves the track constantly lobby hard for it and finally got his wish? Or was it a practical matter, such as the band’s two-night Aftershock performance (including the full Black Album, some cuts from which are the band’s least-played ever) necessitating a deeper dive?
Whatever the reason, the controversial nature of the song is certainly not lost on James Hetfield, who introduced it thusly: “Here’s a song from your favorite album.” He also seemed to be enjoying it thoroughly, yelling “riff!” before the song’s trademark guitar line kicks in midway through.
You can watch the performance below via Metallica’s official channel, meaning it’s pro shot and properly mixed. There’s no question the track sounds better live than it did on record, but I can’t say I’d be too stoked on it if I were in the audience given the other Met tracks I like more. At least it’d be a piece of trivia, I suppose.
Also, definitely look at the Metallica Setlist.fm songs page… very interesting data.