Released: November 26, 2010
I am admittedly a little late at reviewing this CD, and generally speaking I avoid reviewing many live albums anyway, simply because if you’re a fan of the band you’re going to buy it anyway.
What makes Live At Grimey’s unique is the fact that Metallica released the album only to independent music stores. None of those damn chain stores, or iTunes. The band has always been supportive of keeping those independent record stores open. They, like many of us, have spent countless hours of their lives in those stores, digging through the bins for rare gems and new bands.
In fact, Metallica was part of a similar event at Rasputin Records in the Bay Area, back in 2008. Growing up in the San Francisco area, Rasputin’s was like a candy store for me, and in fact it was there that I first discovered Metallica. It’s heartbreaking to think only about 700 of these great stores still survive. So Metallica gets my respect just for involving themselves in these events. It is not lost on them that the owner of such a record store gave them their first real break.
Metallica recorded this set on June 12, 2008 at the tiny 150-capacity venue The Basement, located below the Grimey’s New & Preloved Music record store in Nashville. The intimate gig was a warm-up for the band’s debut at the Bonnaroo Festival that same weekend.
Pretty much all of my musical inspirations and roots can be traced back to independent record stores, where I sort of put my whole collection together, so when they asked us if we would release the Grimey’s performance, it was what we call a no-brainer. So people that are interested in getting this and supporting the independent record stores, the mom-and-pop record stores, I mean it definitely has that kind of good vibe to it.
So this week I finally traipsed down to our local indy store and shelled out my $10 to support the cause. As to the album itself? Well, it’s very raw in terms of band performance, which in some ways makes it more exciting. We hear the goofs and flaws, and Hetfield frequently slides off key. But isn’t that how a true live album should be? Give it to us honestly, warts and all.
Live At Grimey’s track listing:
1. No Remorse
3. Harvester of Sorrow
4. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
5. For Whom The Bell Tolls
(includes The Frayed Ends of Sanity “Jam”)
6. Master of Puppets
7. Sad But True
9. Seek And Destroy
Of course despite the fact that the album was only to be released to the independent record stores, the band is now hawking it on their website. I guess that shouldn’t be much of a surprise.
It’s difficult to rate this album because live performances are really a matter of personal taste. Some would say the album is a waste given the glut of other, better, live performances the band has already released. Meanwhile other’s can argue about how unique the show was, and how real and raw the performance was. As for myself, if it were not for the fact that it helped to support my local indy store, I’d have saved the $10 for something more worthwhile. I’d rather shell out the money for the Metallica concert I was actually at. Oh wait, I did. Boise thanks you, Metallica.