For many years, when people would ask me what my favorite band to see live was, my answer would be Metallica. It had been nearly 15 years since I had last seen them play, so a part of me forgot that, but then the arena lights went out at the Moda Center and "The Ecstasy of Gold" came over the speakers and a familiar feeling came over me. As the band was making their way to the stage, I was quickly reminded why Metallica is still one of the baddest bands in the land. There was an energy that filled the rowdy arena; it was electric, it was relentless and it never quit during the two-hour-plus performance.
These dudes are obviously getting older, but there was nothing old about their performance; no part of it lacked energy or felt exhausted. The stage design was mind bending, the band’s stage performance displayed efforts that made you believe that they were having as much fun playing music together now as they always have. The familiar flares that make a Metallica show a Metallica show still exist. Lars Ulrich still leaves his drum kit during nearly every song to get the crowd fired up, Robert Trujillo is still running around the stage like a madman, the group always finds a way to honor their fallen brother, Cliff Burton, and Kirk Hammett is still one of the most kickass guitar shredders on the planet. There are still leather jackets, headbanging and pyrotechnics.
You don’t go to a Metallica show and feel like you have experienced something insignificant. You stand up, you put your fist in the air, and you sing along in a communal fashion with the other 18,000 people around you and it makes you feel alive! —Dan Cable