It’s been 15 years since Metallica has done a stadium tour and 50,000 plus packed in Metlife Stadium for the third stop on Metallica’s Worldwired Tour.  The band released its tenth studio effort back in November titled “Hardwired…to Self-Destruct” and it was the band’s sixth consecutive studio album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200.  Fans have had six months to digest the new tunes and let Metallica gear up for  what  probably will be the biggest tour of the spring/summer season.  Opening for this show were both Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat.

Volbeat took the stage at 6pm sharp and played for approximately 50 minutes. It’s almost been a year since the band released their latest effort titled “Seal the Deal & Let’s Boogie.”  The stage was decorated with boxing ropes that stretched the entire length of the snake pit (which is basically a catwalk).  The band has been on the rise

over the last handful of years, led by their underrated front man Michael Poulsen. Their blend of psychobilly rock, metal and hard rock give them a different twist and element.  It’s not your usual bare bones hard rock band.  I think the crowd really appreciated them.  Each of the members (outside of drummer Jon Larsen) worked every inch of the stage and the snakepit.  The band cranked through 9 tunes including a few off of “Seal the Deal & Let’s Boogie” as well as “A Warrior’s Call” (possibly the band’s biggest cut) and ended with the crowd pleaser “Still Counting.”   This is the first time I have seen them since their recent change of bassists from Anders Kjolhom (left in 2015) to Kasper Boye Larsen. It seemed the band picked up right where they left off since the last time I saw them.  They continue to grow and playing in front of a big crowd at MetLife can only push the band into higher stratospheres moving forward.

Avenged Sevenfold (AX7) was next and they continued to build upon what Volbeat left.  Even though they are considered an opener, this band headlines their own arena shows and were able to bring their full stage show with them to Metlife.  Ten songs plus a drum solo made up AX7’s set.  The band missed the prior show due to guitarist Synyster Gates welcoming his first child into the world.  Gates and other guitarist Zacky Vengeance really are fluid in playing off of each other.  It seemed new drummer Brooks Wasserman played within himself and didn’t do too much, letting the others do what they do.  Along with Gates and Vegeance, bassist Johnny Christ and vocalist M. Shadows all worked the crowd and were up and down the snake pit  constantly.  They also had a huge amount of fans holding up signs and I think that made the band feel even more at home. Shadows has a powerful voice and his stage persona is leading the charge for the next generation of metal bands.  Hard driven songs like “The Stage,” “Hail to the King” and “Nightmare” have anthemic choruses with melody and punch.  Playing still in sunlight didn’t take away from the overall stage show which included a lot of pyro.  I think this set wetted the appetite for one of the biggest bands in music in Metallica.

Metallica played a three minute video intro “Ecstasy of Gold” before taking the stage and jumping into the drum pounding “Hardwired.”  The band was off and running “literally” as the enormous stage gave the band the freedom to see all the fans in each crevice of MetLife Stadium.  The next track “Atlas, Rise! was also off their latest effort and continued the buildup to the next song “For Whom the Bell Tolls” where I think the stadium went absolutely nuts.

Metallica has a long storied career reaching back almost 35 years. Metallica continues to put out great music but yet won’t shy away from playing early tracks from their career or sometimes deeper cuts too.  Rhythm guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield asked the fans if they didn’t mind going way back to early Metallica.  He was met with a resounding yes as the band proceeded to go into “Whiplash.”

Drummer Lars Ulrich was his crazy self as he was in and out all night from behind the kit revving up the fans to go along with his powerful drumming and timely beats.

The band gave something a little different as four huge percussion instruments came out during the song “Now That We’re Dead” and each guy took turns pounding away

at each one.  One of the touching moments was when both Bassist Robert Trujillo and lead guitarist Kirk Hammett did a solo at the top of the snakepit. When they did “I Disappear” Hammett left for Trujillo to pay homage to the much beloved former bassist Cliff Burton.  He played “Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth),” which was Burton’s calling card while a video of Burton simultaneously played.  It was a touching moment and great way to show the love back to Metallica’s past.

I should also mention the screens were the biggest screens I have ever seen at any stadium show.  They pretty much extended almost the length from side to side of the stage.  My personal favorite was the way they did “One.”  They all exited the stage where a sound of a helicopter came through the speakers with the sounds of it firing its guns at the same time lasers were being shot around the stadium.  Then the video screen showed a montage of soldiers walking throughout the rest of the song.  It was one of the coolest effects I have seen for any song that any band has performed live.  It comes off so massive in a stadium setting.

Even though it was Mother’s Day, the attendance was very strong and Metallica didn’t forget as Hetfield wished all the mothers a Happy Mother’s Day!  This show proved not only the band’s capabilities, but that rock is truly not dead!

 

Metallica setlist:

 

Hardwired

Atlas, Rise!

For Whom the Bells Tolls

Fuel

The Unforgiven

Now That We’re Dead

Moth into the Flame

Wherever I May Roam

Halo on Fire/(Rob and Kirk’s solos – I Disappear and Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth)

Whiplash

Sad but True

One

Master of Puppets

Fade to Black

Seek & Destroy

Encore:

Fight Fire with Fire

Nothing Else Matters

Enter Sandman

 

Photo Gallery

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We would like to thank Peter Quinn from BB Gun Press for the credentials to review the show.

About The Author Gus

My first opportunity to write about music was with Kissunderground, featuring just one band (KISS). In 2006, I started working for another outlet that showcased more musicians. It was a great experience for me at the time. I personally nailed down some great interviews during my time at glam-metal.com (Paul Stanley, Jonathan Davis, Slash and Sully Erna to name a few). In early 2009, I decided to venture out on my own with the idea of creating a website that has all the offerings that a reader would want in a music review website. That's when Backstageaxxess.com began. I’m so proud of what was created here and of our staff that brings it to you. Each one offers a diverse opinion and a creative ability to share it in a unique way. We are so lucky to have them here. When discussing making a list of favorite shows with the staff, I also found it hard to narrow that list down to a select handful of shows. Everyone experiences a concert in their own terms, whether it’s the show itself, maybe it’s the people you met there and the new friendships created, or maybe it was meeting the artist at the show. For my criteria, I tried to stick to just the show itself, but again, it was sometimes hard to do. My first concert was Sammy Hagar’s first tour with Van Halen at the Niagara Falls Convention Center, Niagara Falls, NY, on August 30, 1986. My favorites are as follows: 1. Kiss – Tiger Stadium - Detroit, Michigan 6/28/96 2. SARS (Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Rush, and handful of other bands) - Downsview Park – Toronto, Ontario 7/30/03 3. Paul McCartney (every McCartney show I saw was awesome, but Iwent with my first show) Air Canada Centre -Toronto, Ontario 10/10/05 4. Motley Crue – Memorial Auditorium – Buffalo, NY 12/19/89 5. Kid Rock – Tweeter Center - Camden, New Jersey 3/25/06 The honorable mentions would be any McCartney show (The Joint at the Hard Rock, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 2009 or Air Canada Centre Toronto, Ontario 8/10/10), Prince (Club 2112) at the Rio Hotel, Las Vegas 12/30/07, Heart (Pulse Lounge * only 200 people) Hilton Hotel, Anaheim, California, January 21,2008, Monsters of Rock (Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica, Dokken, and Kingdom Come) Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY 6/19/88 and the Rocklahoma Festival (Queensryche, Lita Ford, Triumph, etc.). Also, Cher (with my mom) at the Blue Cross Arena Rochester, NY, November 22, 2004.