Review and Photography by Chuck Stanley
Metallica kicked off another leg of their World Wired Tour on Monday, November 26th in Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena. For a band that has 37 years under their belt, they played with youthful enthusiasm and gratefulness.
Comedian and friend of the band, Jim Breuer, warmed up the crowd with heavy metal karaoke, Las Vegas dancers and his own take on cheerleading straight from his unabridged Rock N. Roll soul.
I’ve been attending Metallica concerts since 1992 and I’ve never seen them have so much fun on stage. Whether it was drummer Lars Ulrich towel snapping Robert Trujillo as he led a crowd chant or the individual members taking moments between songs throughout the night to jump off stage to press the flesh with attendees in the front row. James Hetfield acknowledged the diversity of the crowd several times, including an interaction with a 12-year old fan named Dartanian, who was attending his first Metallica show with his parents. Hetfield said it was great to see the youth, the middle-aged and all the “old people,” which he immediately pointed at his fellow bandmates, “those old people right there!”
Metallica’s 18-song setlist featured 5 song’s from 2016s “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct,” as well as, undeniable concert staples “One,” “Master of Puppets” and “Enter Sandman.” Guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo have been including localized musical interludes throughout the tour and the Vegas crowd was treated with a quick rendition of “Viva Las Vegas”. Then, Trujillo broke off and paid his respects to departed bassist Cliff Burton by performing his famous bass solo “Anesthesia (pulling teeth),” while the video cubes played video footage of Burton.
The square stage sat in the middle of the T-Mobile Arena floor and video was delivered via 52 LED cubes that moved vertically and independently. They rarely displayed live stage action, but instead enhanced the raucous sound with graphics, pictures throughout the band’s history and video clips to introduce songs like “One”. A mesmerizing moment of the setlist featured a swarm of lit drones that circled above the band to emphasize the theme of the song “Moth Into Flame.” And what’s a rock n’ roll concert without pyro? As soon as the band hit the mark in the beginning moments of “Fuel,” flames shot through 4 points of the stage, as if dragons had been lurking under the stage all night.
Metallica and their rabid Las Vegas fans were “All In” in the T-Mobile Arena and everyone who came to see the Mighty Metallica left a winner.