Somewhere in the introduction to this blog, I mention that I’m a Metallica fan. Let me just clarify : I’m a dyed-in-the-wool hardcore Metallica fan and have been so since 1989 when I first heard their music. I’ve seen them live 5 times over that period of time (every time they come to Belgium or France). I own all of the CDs, some t-shirts, books, a cap, all of the videos of shows, documentaries, sheet music, I play guitar and bass and mostly play Metallica, you get the picture… 😉
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Metallica had one disappointing moment for me and that was when they set themselves up as spokespeople for the music industry in the Napster case. It really did dent their image somewhat. However, the Napster story results weren’t entirely fair to Metallica because they’ve always actually been early adopters of technology and this every time it brought some kind of added value to their fan base. They did the first Quicktime broadcast of a live show. They were one of the first to use the multi-angle possibilities of DVD on a live show DVD (Cunning Stunts). It’s fair to say that Metallica has always tried, in many different ways, to give their utmost to their fans (which explains partly why they have so many loyal ones). They have done so again, this time using the web in a couple of interesting ways :

First, for each person buying their latest CD, St. Anger, they include a key that gives access to the Metallicavaultwhere one can download ten complete live shows (for free) spanning the past 20 years (including one very early one : 1983 ! )

Second, and a feature I really like, there is LiveMetallica.com . On this website, you can purchase complete recordings in MP3 or FLAC of any concert of the current tour (and that’s one hell of a lot of shows). You even get custom CD jackets, tray inserts and cd stickers to print for when you burn the CDs. The price is fair : 9.95 USD for a two CD show in MP3 (12.95 in FLAC). The sound quality is excellent and for an ultimate live act like Metallica, there is simply no better way to listen to their music. I just downloaded a show they did on the fourth of July in Rekjavik and it really kicks ass !!!

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Thirdly, there is the Metallica on Tour site. This is where you find a tour diary, backstage info, setlists and of course information for all of the upcoming tour dates. Very well done and they have a cool newsletter.

Last but not least, there is the portal site Metallica.com . This site gives access to all of the above but adds more news and some goodies (screensavers etc..) plus giving all of the usual info expected on a band site.

Lots of stuff to keep even the most demanding Metallica fan more than satisfied 😉

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