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Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011
Better than: Lulu in its entirety. Obviously.
Turns out there is one persona non grata whom even surly, drunken Metallica fans won't be nasty to in person.
His name is Lou Reed.
But then last night, during Metallica's second 30th Anniversary show at the Fillmore, the fans were warned. Before the band brought out Reed to play a couple songs off Lulu, its much-derided collaboration album with the former Velvet Underground singer, the members issued a gushing tribute to the art-punk godfather. Drummer Lars Ulrich notified the fan club-only audience that, “If you fuck with him, he will beat your ass.” But it was probably Ulrich's second warning that really made the fans behave: “If you're not nice, we're gonna play the whole album, okay?”
So when Reed finally came out, looking rather tame in a fuddy-duddy leather jacket and eyeglasses, and standing several feet back from the edge of the stage, the fans were almost completely polite (and quiet). A few scattered boos rang out. But when the group leaned into “Iced Honey,” the most palatable song off Lulu, the goateed heads inside the Fillmore were nodding, if not banging. Onstage, Metallica's monstrous chug nearly drowned out Reed's flat-toned mumbling, reversing the dynamic that the two collaborators have on their record. Instead of a madman rambling loudly over discordant riffage, Reed sounded like a small piece of flotsam spinning helplessly in a whirlpool of deep black power chords.