Metallica has made a Cleveland show from 1983 available for free on their website.
made their name as the thrash-metal greats, and later turned into one of the world's biggest rock and roll bands. But they’re more recently known for ratting out Napster users who downloaded their tracks without paying, meaning they’ll surely be sent to the part of Heaven where they keep the poachers and mimes.
Yet they’re now paying off their karmic debt with an ongoing series of free downloads of concert recordings. A new addition to the Vault section of Metallica.com is a Cleveland show from the Agora, December 18, 1983. The 90-minute, two-disc set downloads as 14 mp3 files, 56 MB total. Though Ride the Lightning, their major-label debut, wasn't out yet, the set list is pretty much their first two albums. Frontman James Hetfield’s between-song banter alone makes the download totally worth it: Click here
for a metal storm...
Bill Peters, who’s been hosting WJCU’s Metal on Metal show since ’83, was at the show. Here’s what he had to say about it:
“It was a cold, snowy night in Cleveland. About 400 people were in attendance. I stood in the front row for their entire performance. I had never heard a band play live that fast before. I loved their performance and was able to talk to the band before and after their set. Cliff Burton talked to me the most. The crowd reaction was incredible. In fact, the band ended up playing an extra song – ‘Motorbreath’ -- because of the loud response. Ken Kitt, a person who helped WCSB DJ Joe Mack with his weekly Friday night show, was the first person in this area to discover Metallica. I remember a year or so before this show, Ken taking me out to his car while attending a show in the Flats at Biggie's to play me an early demo from Metallica before anyone else had heard of them. He said they were going to be 'the next big thing.’ Man, did he hit that right on! Not too long after this, Lars Ulrich sent me an official Metallica demo to solicit to my independent label I was starting at the time.”
Peters wasn’t the only guy we asked about the show. Necrodamus guitarist Scott Stearns wasn’t at that show, but he caught the next tour. Here’s what he had to say:
“I saw them was at the Phantasy in 1985, for the Ride The Lightning Tour. I was 15. Armored Saint and WASP opened up. Armored Saint was good. WASP was never my thing, but my friend caught a bloody skull that Blackie Lawless threw into the audience. When Metallica finally came out with that intro music and then opened with ‘Fight Fire With Fire,’ it was the most heaviest awesomest thing I had ever witnessed in my life. It was so awesome that during the third song, I decided to stage dive. So I climbed up and was crowd surfing, and then I got thrown on stage and didn't realize where I was. And when I looked up I saw that I was on stage with Metallica, before I could dive back into the crowd a security guard grabbed me, smashed my head into a wall, and threw me out of the club. It was awesome.” – D.X. Ferris