Photo: ATS Photography On Friday night, the legendary Metallica took to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, marking the group’s first show in Massachusetts in eight years. Massachusetts was the fifth stop in Metallica’s WorldWired Tour in support of the Californian band’s tenth studio album, Hardwired To Self-Destruct—a double-album that was released last November and features twelve new songs that pick up right where 2008’s Death Magnetic left off. (The deluxe edition also features a third disc with over a dozen live recordings from various shows).12-Year-Old Son Of Metallica’s Robert Trujillo Debuts With Korn For South American Tour [Videos]Compared to the original all-thrash metal band they used to be, the band’s recent music displays an overall more balanced sound that lends itself to broader audiences, seemingly resulting in more album and concert ticket sales. Undoubtedly, Hardwired To Self-Destruct was a huge commercial success, debuting at #1 on Billboard 200 and taking the title of best-selling metal album of the year. Surprisingly, it was also the third largest album debut of all of 2016, proving that metal is certainly not dead. On the contrary, it is alive and well, reiterated by the boisterous Boston crowd that gathered at the New England Patriots’ home turf on Friday evening.Metallica Released Eleven New Music Videos Yesterday [Watch Them All]The show started with two songs off their new album, title track “Hardwired” and “Atlas, Arise!” before dropping into the classic “For Whom the Bell Tolls” off of the 1984 album Ride The Lightning. Metallica played three tunes from the band’s sophomore album, which went six times platinum and had a profound effect on the metal scene in America and across the globe. The remainder of the setlist weaved between hits of old and new and gave fans from all generations a solid representation of their discography. The band also played five songs from the self-titled album Metallica, often referred to as the “Black Album,” which features the infamous songs “Enter Sandman” and “Nothing Else Matters,” both of which have become staples in Metallica sets over the years.Watch Metallica, Jimmy Fallon, and The Roots Perform “Enter Sandman” With Classroom InstrumentsIn a time where our nation seems to be more divided than ever, we are fortunate to have the often-thrashing and always-emotive music of Metallica to provide a soundtrack that allows us to let our aggressions in a socially acceptable way. That seemed to be the uniting theme as lead singer James Hetfield addressed the crowd: “It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you come from, what religion you follow, who you voted for. If you are here, you are Metallica Family.”If you ever had any doubt at how uniting this message can be, just look at the list of stadiums across North America that Metallica have been jam-packed with fans in black T-shirts and ripped jeans. Despite the “angry asshole” stigma metal fans sometimes get, the community showed its true colors Friday night, coming together and head banging to music new and old in complete harmony. It inspires hope in humanity to see sweaty tatted-up dudes in the mosh pits, helping each other of the ground and holding up lost wallets, phones, watches, and missing shoes—lots and lots of missing shoes. An occasional flying cup of ice cooled the crowd whether they liked it or not. On the way out of the gates, it was nothing but high-fives and hugs. The ‘Metallica Family’ is alive and well.Check out the complete set list below, along with the full photo album from photojournalist Adam Straughn (ATS Photography).Setlist: Metallica | Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, MA | 5/19/17Hardwired, Atlas, Arise!, For Whom The Bell Tolls, Fuel, The Unforgiven, Now That We’re Dead > Full Band Drum Solo, Moth Into Flame, Wherever I May Roam, Halo On Fire > Kirk Hammet Solo > Rob Trujillo Solo (Chris Cornell Tribute), Motorbreath, Sad But True, One, Master of Puppets, Fade to Black (‘Eye of the Beholder’ intro), Seek & DestroyE: Fight Fire with Fire, Nothing Else Matters, Enter Sandman (‘Frayed Ends of Sanity’ outro)[cover photo image by Josh Skolnik / Adam Straughn] Photo: ATS Photography Load remaining images
Comprehensive study explains that it is universal and that some songs sound ‘right’ in different social contexts, all over the world Harvard lecturer helps provide research-backed answer on authorship of Beatles classic GAZETTE: What prompted this shift in their portrayal of women? Clearly, some of it had to be the social circles they traveled in, the changing cultural attitudes all around them, perhaps their own maturation, but not all of their songs were autobiographical.WOMACK: Many weren’t. They would sit down, and John and Paul would say, “Let’s bring her back for this song.” They didn’t call her a proto-feminist character, obviously, but they’d say, “Let’s bring her back. We’re doing ‘Drive My Car.’ Let’s make one a character here who — she’ll let you drive the car, but so what? You know, ‘Maybe, I’ll love you.’” There’s “Day Tripper,” so wonderful too in that same way. Got a “Ticket to Ride” too: She’ll go out with you but quit trying to tell her that you have to get married. Even the woman in “She’s Leaving Home,” although I don’t like the fact that to escape her parents and the constructedness of their lifestyle she has to meet with “a man from the motor trade.” But look, that’s John and Paul in 1967. That’s probably the best thing they could imagine 53 years ago! [Laughs.]GAZETTE: Which Beatle led the way? Wasn’t John a notorious cad and admitted many years later that he had been abusive toward women in the ’60s?WOMACK: “They” at this point is mostly McCartney. John Lennon lapses out pretty quickly in a bad marriage. It’s really being led by McCartney, who is suddenly reading and taking in culture in ways that he never had before, and so he would bring a lot of those kinds of ideas back. It also helped, painfully for him I guess at the time, but, living with the Ashers and [then-girlfriend] Jane [Asher] telling him that no, she doesn’t want to get married and put a ring on her finger. She’s an actress right now. She’s not going to stop touring … And he can stuff it. Paul reacts very badly to that. There are number of songs that are autobiographical where he comes off like a Class A jerk. In “We Can Work It Out” he’s not offering anything to work out! He’s saying, “Try to see it my way or we’re going to keep fighting.” “Things We Said Today”: My God, that’s an ugly, threatening song. “I’m Looking Through You.” Those were Jane songs. Even “For No One”: He doesn’t see love in her eyes anymore. She still loves him; it’s just not the love he thinks he deserves and should get. He may have been transitioning intellectually into a better space, but in his personal life, he wasn’t necessarily living it. Or John Lennon, the awful line about keeping women down and “getting better” that Lennon contributes [to “Getting Better,” which was written by McCartney].GAZETTE: Neither sound especially feminist in their real lives. Why then did they pursue this proto-feminism in their songs? There was no intense public demand; I mean, it wasn’t going to help sell more records.WOMACK: I think they were very aware that they were these kinds of contradictions, that they were talking out of both sides of their mouths. Their own actions hadn’t caught up with their intellectual abilities. But that’s true right now with the way people behave. But I do think they were conscious of the fact that they were hypocrites. I think it actually makes them more interesting that they’re both victimizers, to a certain extent, and wanting to be better. They are very fractured vessels, but they knew enough to believe it was important and to use their massive bully pulpit or bullhorn, which is still about the biggest one in history, to talk about these things.The thing that they had that’s so important is they had the ability to not have to care. They were so influential, and they had such an enormous position and privilege, obviously, that they didn’t have to care about these kinds of things. They did them anyway because they felt they were important. And they probably had enough confidence to realize that they could take risks. They did something that still few artists do, at least in popular music, and that is, every time they’d make a new record, they’d sit down with [producer] George Martin, and they would say, “Let’s not make this record sound like the last one. Let’s sound different.” So you go from “Help!” to “Rubber Soul” to “Revolver” to “Sgt. Pepper” to the “White Album” to “Let It Be” to “Abbey Road.” Each one has a different base sound that they’re working on. That in itself is pretty risky. So they took risks because they were very much like the modernists in that way. That’s what you do: You keep pushing forward.This interview has been edited for clarity and condensed for length. You say John, I say Paul. But what does stylometry say? Looking back at your favorite classic rock songs through the lens of today’s attitudes about women’s empowerment, male privilege, and even sexual violence can be cringeworthy at best. But just as they were trailblazers in music, film, fashion, and popular culture, the Beatles were ahead of their time in embracing feminism, argues Kenneth Womack, a well-known authority on the band and dean at Monmouth University, evolving from early patronizing “hey, girl” entreaties to songs filled with independent women who don’t need a man, not even a Beatle. Ideological Diversity, a Harvard Kennedy School student organization, hosts a free talk with Womack on Thursday about how the group explored issues of feminism, gender, and inclusion in ways few rock bands dared in the 1960s. The event begins at 7 p.m. at Starr Auditorium and is open to the public. Here’s a primer on the talk ahead.Q&AKenneth WomackGAZETTE: The Beatles aren’t known for their ill treatment of women and certainly don’t have the reputation that the Rolling Stones did, who were notoriously sexist even by that era’s low standards. But I don’t know whether people think of them as “proto-feminists,” as you have referred to them. What do you mean by “proto-feminist” and in what way?WOMACK: Rock ’n’ roll, or even popular music, [was] often highly gendered and sexist. It certainly was paternalistic in the ’60s and prior, in terms of songs being directed at women as objects, women as needing to be “counseled” about love, [or] it was about coming on to them, even if it was just something innocent and romantic, “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” And the Beatles very consciously in 1965 began to change their tone. They created a very specific type of female character who would think for herself and did not need a man. And that is revelatory, really. We have many songs that begin to appear at that point that are highly progressive about women living their own interests and aims and pleasure, as opposed to serving some undefinable other. It’s pretty exciting stuff. And it’s a great moment when I teach the Beatles because you can see the students picking up on what they were trying to do, and how unusual it was then, and perhaps even now.,GAZETTE: Women portrayed as something other than objects of desire or as saintly figures like “Lady Madonna” — in other words, as independent actors with agency?WOMACK: Sure. “Ticket to Ride,” that’s a great example. Lady Madonna is not a saint; Lady Madonna is probably a prostitute. She has children, and they’re looking at Lady Madonna because society does not give a damn about her. The best thing she has is “listen to the music playing in her head.” The rest of it is: She has these children, which society wants her to do, but because of who she is and whatever her station is, she is a nonperson, a nonentity. And the saintliness, it’s an ironic comment on her position in life. She’s far from it. I mean, if anything, her closest cousin in the Beatles story is Eleanor Rigby, who’s good for picking up the rice in the church where the wedding has been.GAZETTE: She’s an object of pity.WOMACK: Oh, yeah. If you think about her at all, which you probably don’t.GAZETTE: In which album does this woman character first emerge? Nineteen-sixty-five’s “Rubber Soul”?WOMACK: We really start to see her appear on “Help!” Although you could make a case that she’s showing up even earlier on “Beatles for Sale,” where there’s a song called “No Reply,” which is fascinating because it is about a stalker who’s watching from across the street, sitting in some tree. He’s watching this woman, who has tried to make a decision to jettison him from her life. They’re really bringing up interesting questions about the place of women in these little romantic stories. You know, there’s a dark side to “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” [Laughs.] So there are a lot of songs, even these early songs, that are asking some pretty hard questions about the speaker. Sometimes they’re speaking ironically. Take “I’ll Follow the Sun,” which Paul wrote when he was 15 or something. That’s about a jerk who is going to be so emotionally immature that you’re not even going to know why he left or what happened to him. He’s gonna leave in the dead of night; one day you’re gonna wake up, and he’s gone. There’re several songs where they create these poses for these characters who are really terrible, even threatening.GAZETTE: Indeed. “Norwegian Wood” is a lovely song, but it’s pretty horrific at the end. He’s basically angry that after a date with this independent woman, the night ended without sex so he burns her house down the next morning while she’s at work.WOMACK: That’s right, but she’s still the winner. What he hated was the disempowerment. “[The Beatles] were so influential … that they didn’t have to care about these kinds of things. They did them anyway because they felt they were important.” Music everywhere Related The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.