TVD Live Shots: Metallica at the Golden
1 Center, 12/7

The hot ticket in town this past Friday was Metallica at the Golden 1 Center which should not come has a surprise since this is the first time in nine years that the band has played this city. Riding high on the 2016 release of Hardwired… to Self-Destruct, the band delivered a scorching set to the capacity crowd.

The evening kicked off with comedian Jim Breuer and his trusty sidekick Joe Sib warming up the crowd with games, tunes, and (of course) comedy, making the wait bearable as the clock ticked past 9 PM. When the lights finally dropped and the “The Ecstasy of Gold” started blaring through the PA, the entire arena stood at attention waiting for the band to emerge.

Having performed in the round for well-over two decades, Metallica has truly mastered this format for live shows and the Hardwired set was truly epic. Dozens of cube-shaped LED screens dropped from the ceiling keeping the attention of the crowd even as the band roamed every inch of the stage. Add the occasional pyro and flames from which you could feel the heat from almost anywhere in the venue, and you’ve got yourself a true spectacle. And if that’s not enough, during “Moth Into Flame,” drones emerged from trap doors in the stage and buzzed around the band members’ heads.

Not surprisingly, the band leaned heavily on Hardwired… but with over two hours to play with as well as a penchant for mixing things up in the setlist, there was plenty for everyone … not only the hits but also the deep cuts. The Sacramento crowd was treated to “The Shortest Straw” which hasn’t been played in the U.S. in over 6 years! The end results of hitting the old stuff was that the band entirely skipped over material released between 1991’s Black Album and 2017’s Hardwired… While it’s not surprising that St. Anger didn’t make the cut, one can always expect something from Death Magnetic, Load, and *gasp* even Reload to make an appearance.

Metallica

With a 2+ hour set, the band still managed to keep things interesting. In addition to the aforementioned visuals, they broke things up by pounding on drums during “Now That We’re Dead” as well as giving Kirk and Rob some doodle time where they busted out a jam of Deftones’ “Elite” and “Cyanide” before Rob performed an epic version of “(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth.”

The evening wrapped with an encore that kicked off with a ferocious version of “Battery” and ended with what else but “Enter Sandman.” And if that weren’t enough, the band stuck around to thank the crowd and pepper anyone within reach with handfuls of guitar picks. Eight years was clearly too long to wait for Sacramento.

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SETLIST
Hardwired
Atlas, Rise!
Seek & Destroy
The Shortest Straw
The Unforgiven
Now That We’re Dead
Confusion
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
Whiplash
Creeping Death
Moth Into Flame
Sad but True
One
Master of Puppets

ENCORE
Battery
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman

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