Photos by: Lisa Mark –
Metallica brought the head-banging masses together for a sold-out extravaganza at Rogers Centre in Toronto last night.
Following their intimate charity show in front of 950 sweaty fans at the Opera House last November, the metal legends took full advantage of Toronto’s biggest venue with five massive video screens that showed clips from the band’s 2013 concert film Through the Never, live footage that looked like it they put it through Windows Media Player visualizations, along with fire bursts, Canada Day-worthy fireworks, a large circular catwalk, and lasers that would make Pink Floyd proud.
Frontman James Hetfield, ever the master of ceremonies, welcomed the fifty thousand metal heads into the Metallica family, “Metallica does not give a shit about what you do, what you eat, or what you believe in because we’re all celebrating life with live music. You’re all [in the] Metallica family.”
The band, who are currently touring in support of their first studio album in eight years following 2008’s Death Magnetic, called Hardwired … To Self-Destruct, which has since sold over three million copies worldwide following its 2016 release, received plenty of love in the set-list with hard-hitting tracks like “Hardwired”, “Atlas, Rise”, and “Now That We’re Dead”, which featured an almost-tribal sounding drum solo from all four members of the band. But it was the classics that the fans craved, and Hetfield and co. obliged with iconic tracks like “Fade To Black”, “Nothing Else Matters”, “One”, “Seek & Destroy”, and show closer “Enter Sandman”.
Mid-way through the show, Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich departed the stage leaving guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo to enjoy the spotlight as Hammett teased fans with the riff from Mission Impossible 2 soundtrack cut “I Disappear” and Trujillo enthralled fans with the solo from “Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth),” which featured a tribute video to late bassist Cliff Burton, who died in 1986.
“It’s been great to be here for 36 years kicking ass with you Toronto,” Hetfield said to close the show, and as a deafening roar erupted from the capacity crowd, they wouldn’t have it any other way.
2. Atlas, Rise!
3. For Whom the Bell Tolls
5. The Unforgiven
6. Now That We’re Dead (with extended middle drum solo with all members of the band)
7. Moth Into Flame
8. Wherever I May Roam
9. Halo on Fire (followed by Kirk and Rob’s solos incl. ‘I Disappear’ and ‘Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth)’)
10. Hit the Lights
11. Sad but True
13. Master of Puppets
14. Fade to Black (preceded by ‘Through the Never’ movie clip incl. ‘Eye of the Beholder’ intro played from tape)
15. Seek & Destroy
17. Nothing Else Matters
18. Enter Sandman (with ‘The Frayed Ends of Sanity’ outro)