On an ordinary day in Toronto, heading to the Rogers Centre would mean being greeted by droves of blue and white, but on July 16th, Metallica fans painted the town black!
The night was kicked off by Volbeat and Avenged Sevenfold, with the latter busting out some old favourites like “Bat Country” and “Unholy Confessions”. Opening for a band like Metallica is a feat of accomplishment for any band and that fact was not lost on A7X. “You guys had enough rock ‘n’ roll yet?” asked lead singer, M. Shadows, which was met with many cheers. “That’s why I love coming to this place, man!”
After some amped up sets by Volbeat and Avenged Sevenfold, the metal gods were ready to light up the Rogers Centre! Storming the stage with their latest single, “Hardwired”, Metallica was firing on all cylinders. In a set that would see “For Whom The Bell Tolls”, “Fade to Black”, “One”, “The Unforgiven” and of course, “Master of Puppets”, fans old and new had plenty of reasons to celebrate the return of, arguably, one of the biggest music acts of all time. And when I said “light up the Rogers Centre”, I meant it, as the amount of pyrotechnics, lights and visuals was enough to light up all of the 50,000+ fans in attendance.
While the lineup has seen its changes, the band’s current lineup has been head banging together for the better part of 15 years. James Hetfield’s signature growl was like a dog on the hunt; Kirk Hammett’s signature guitar sounds were as legendary as ever; Robert Trujillo was a machine on bass; and all highlighted by Lars Ulrich’s thunderous drums, which seemed to echo down Bremner Blvd. It was truly special seeing one of the “big four” in heavy metal take the stage, to lead us on another emotional roller coaster.
What more can I say about a band that has pretty much re-written the metal rule book several times over. While it has been almost 8 years since Metallica played a major tour date in Toronto, excluding last year’s performance at The Opera House, there were no signs of slowing down at the old Skydome. In 2017, where the world is in a bit of a spin, Metallica came with the message that they “don’t care.” As lead singer, Hetfield, said, they don’t care about “where you’re from, or which God you believe in, or your creed”, the night was meant to celebrate great music and the unification of people under the Metallica-umbrella. Mission accomplished, I’d say.