No one else in thrash metal's so-called Original Top 4 (Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, Metallica) will ever be as a pleasing to the average pop fan’s palate as James Hetfield and pals. Slayer, is well, Slayer. Need we say more? Songs about blood and the Holocaust don’t really move units. The other two are just jovial VH-1 Classic footnotes with multi-colored goatees or regretful ex-heroin addicts who can’t admit failure, or the fact that they were both on the Last Action Hero soundtrack.
In these past few years, ‘Tallica have achieved that critical milestone in a band’s life: Now safe for public consumption, yet maintaining a modicum of subversion - kids, today you’re more likely to gain the ire of your parents with a High School Musical record than Metallica's 1983 debut Kill ‘Em All.
This is not unlike how currently you can’t walk into your local Wal-Mart and not buy six different AC/DC shirts. Even after Bon Scott choked on his own vomit, Richard Ramirez’s night-stalkin’, and the fact that each one of their songs is presumably about penis. The danger is all but gone. Younger parents these days grew up on the Black Album, so to them “Enter Sandman” might as well be "I Want to Hold Your Hand."
This is all wholly unfortunate, so we dug up some classic Metallica videos to get you (and your mom) in the mood for tonight’s show at Toyota Center. What? She probably likes them too.
“No Remorse,” 1983
"The Unforgiven," 1991
"Until It Sleeps," 1996
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"The Day That Never Comes," 2008
Beatallica, "Garage Dayz Nite"
- Craig Hlavaty
7 p.m. tonight at Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. Tickets $79.50 and $59.50, through 1-866-4HOUTIX or www.houstontoyotacenter.com.