The juggernaut touring act that is Metallica, descended on Montreal July 19th. They played an outdoor mini-festival of sorts with their pals Volbeat and Avenged Sevenfold.
The stage was massive, with a forty foot Metallica logo stylized M anchoring the left side of the stage and their A on the right. Maybe the letters were markers so the bands knew where the stage ended, and wouldn’t fall off, because it was big. In fact the stage was so big, it was entirely reminiscent of that Dethklok episode where they dropped their gargantuan stage from a fleet of helicopters carrying in from the sky.
Volbeat and Avenged Sevenfold are two of the biggest names in hard rock right now, perhaps the latter is one of a very small handful of newer bands that could fill an arena. If you are fans of those bands, you would have loved the live performances, they were tight, high energy, and peppered with plenty of pyro, the crowd was going bat shit crazy for those sets, even when the clouds opened up and rain splattered from the heavens during the “A7X” show.
The Metallica performance was terrific. I am one of those “old Metallica” people, Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets were gateway drugs to heavier stuff for me when I was a kid, and I’ve been sorely disappointed in their last 20 years of music. They brought their A-game on this night, and all the wild stage production that one would expect from one of the biggest touring draws in all of music.
Metallica essentially disregarded their previous 20 years of music, and instead laced five tracks from their new album, with a smoldering selection of their back catalog. The tour could seriously have been dubbed “STFU Haters” as the band exited the night with nine well executed classics including "Motorbreath" (incredible Cliff Burton opening tribute by Robert Trujillo), "Master of Puppets," "Fade to Black" (best performance of the night contender), "Fight Fire with Fire," "Seek and Destroy" and the incredible pyro-laser performance that was "One." A couple of well placed “ballads” did a real great job changing the pace of the set. "Nothing Else Matters" and "Unforgiven" were both incredible. Highlight live performance from Hardwired… had to be "Now That We’re Dead," which felt entirely at home with the classics.
Killer show, lots of happy people in Montreal that are still sore and have ringing ears.