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!
For Whom the Bells Tolls
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)
Sad but True
Master of Puppets
Fade to Black
Seek & Destroy
Fight Fire with Fire
Nothing Else Matters
We would like to thank Peter Quinn from BB Gun Press for the credentials to review the show.