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Metallica - Cunning stunts

Track Listing

So What
Creeping Death
Sad But True
Ain't My Bitch
Hero Of The Day
King Nothing
Bass/Guitar Doodle
Nothing Else Matters
Until It Sleeps
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Wherever I May Roam
Fade To Black
Kill/Ride Medley
Last Caress
Master Of Puppets
Enter Sandman
Am I Evil?

Runtime: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Released by: Universal 1998

Recording Location & Date:
Recorded live in Fort Worth, Texas on May 9th and 10th, 1997

Bonus Footage: Documentary and behind the scenes footage, Viewer controlled choice of camera angle for three songs and a photo gallery with almost 1000 photos from every stop of the tour.

The Band: 
James Hetfield - Guitar, Vocals
Lars Ulrich - Drums
Kirk Hammett - Lead Guitar
Jason Newsted - Bass




This spectacular concert was the first ever filmed specifically for the technologically-advanced DVD format. Recorded live in Fort Worth, Texas on May 9th and 10th, 1997, CUNNING STUNTS was directed by seasoned music video guru Wayne Isham with the features of the DVD in mind. Twenty songs are played here, three of which are available in multiple angles chosen by the viewer. Also included are interviews and behind the scenes footage.




Metallica live is more than just half the fun, for me it represents where the band seem most comfortable and most at home. Cunning Stunts demonstrates this to great effect. A DVD shot in Ft. Worth Texas over two nights on their Load tour, gives us an insight into their grandest and most OTT stage show to date. 

Entering the arena with the lights on from under the seating areas is like watching your favourite wrestlers descend on the ring all in one go. Kicking off with a jam (which was discovered later as being the main riff from Bad Seed off of Reload, which had not at that point been released) kicking straight into the crowd sing along of So What, during which the house lights go down and we are inserted directly into the full Metallica live show. Creeping Death follows and sounds like a monster. 

The set included a number of new songs from the Load album giving fans a chance to digest what these songs sounded like live. This definitely helped due to the fact that Load was met with mixed reactions. So, by putting Bitch, Hero and King Nothing (the moment in the set when the second half of the stage emerged) served if nothing else as a way of ramming the new material down people’s throats, to make ‘em like it, if you will. 

Of course the set was also filled with the anthems we come to expect from a Metallica show: One, Bellz, Roam, NEM, the monolithic and slightly slower Sad But True, all complete the ingredients for a great show. The huge stage means that there’s always something to watch, be it Lars frantically running from one kit to the other during the Kill/Ride medley or the other three boys getting in the faces of some of the hardcore element of the fan base up on the barrier. The aforementioned medley is one of my favourites from the show, a huge collection of great riffs moulded together to make a massive behemoth of a song. 

Fuel is a nice treat as it was a preview of a new song, meaning that you never know how its going to sound next to the rest of a well polished set, but it came through nicely, clearly kicking the crowds arse into the following week. 

Cunning Stunts represents the band well into the tour, well oiled and sounding great, Newsted as ever a bundle of energy, Kirk’s guitar chops well on form, as is Lars’ drumming and for the most part Hetfields voice is too, although to be 100% honest there are a few (and only a few) parts where it perhaps doesn’t sound as powerful as others and sounds a little tired, but still delivers just how we like it. 

The pyros that are seen in One and the Kill/Ride medley during Fight Fire with Fire all come to a head in Sandman where there are explosions, a man from the lighting rig is set alight and runs across the stage, flames from the stage etc, etc. An OTT but great stage show, leaving the crowd wondering if what they’ve just seen was a major accident or another part of a great show. 

This creates a segue into the garage part at the end where we witness the band dominate Am I Evil? and Motorbreath using just practice amps and a few light bulbs to light the stage, an amazing and unusual end to a stonking gig. 

If that wasn’t enough, the DVD has got extra sections to dig your teeth into from warming up backstage to interviews with Mick Hughes the sound engineer through the other members of crew and so on. A great DVD or video to buy, documenting exactly where the band stood at the time, another must buy from the boys.

Olly Smith 2004


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