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.
Seek & Destroy
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
Moth Into Flame
Sad but True
Master of Puppets
Nothing Else Matters
We would like to thank Jacob Mears from Nasty Little Man publicity for the credentials to review the show.