It’s been 9 long years but Metallica finally were able to return to Buffalo. The band released Hardwired ….to Self Destruct in late 2016 and the album was the 6th consecutive record to top the Billboard charts.  The band has been on and off touring since the release so some markets it’s taking a little longer to get to (in Buffalo’s case). Nonetheless, the show sold out immediately when tickets went on sale earlier this year making this one of the most anticipated shows of the year. The band took the stage around 8:50 pm and played over 2 hours of songs that went all the way back to their first LP “Kill’ em All.”

The set up has been similar to past tours where the stage was featured in the center floor of the arena, making every seat a great seat. The band played “Hardwired” and kept that pace going for the entire show.  Sporting a fu Manchu look, Rhythm guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield has not lost anything vocals wise. He still has that powerful voice and was able to belt out each track but was able to tone it down efficiently for one of their biggest hits in “Nothing Else Matters.”  Both Hetfield and lead guitarist Kirk Hammet played very aggressively while still remaining very melodic; which is extremely hard to do. They play so well off of each other and it was no more evident than on the song “Creeping Death.” They’ve been together for 35 years and it shows. Lars Ulrich, who is one of the forefathers in using the doublebass drum, led the charge with his partner in crime, bass player Robert Trujillo.  The guitars are maybe what gets the love for Metallica but its rhythm section is what drives the band.  Ulrich was a madman the entire night and got up off of his kit to walk around after a few songs and point to fans holding up flags and various people in the crowd. Trujillo swung his bass around during “Seek & Destroy” and paid homage to former member Cliff Burton later in the set. He also had a solo spotlight with Hammet on “Zero the Hero” and also gave love to Buffalo thrash band Cannibal Corpse. During “Moth to the Flame” they had these bugs that lit up that were remote control. They circled over the band as they played the song. It was such a cool effect.

The band focused primarily on songs from their latest release which was ok. These songs flowed seamlessly throughout their set. The band also played a majority of their hits (Minus Fade to Black). I think Metallica continues to show why they are considered the titans of metal and hard rock as they gave the people of Buffalo another tremendous performance. I just hope the area doesn’t have to wait another 9 years before another return.

 

Setlist:

 

Hardwired

Atlas, Rise!

Seek & Destroy

Leper Messiah

The Unforgiven

Now That We’re Dead 

Wherever I May Roam

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Halo on Fire (snippets of ‘Zero the Hero’ & ‘(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth’)

The Four Horseman

Creeping Death

Moth Into Flame

Sad but True

One

Master of Puppets

 

Encore:

 

Battery

Nothing Else Matters

Enter Sandman

 

Photo Gallery

We would like to thank Jacob Mears from Nasty Little Man publicity 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.