By Dawn Hamilton
It was a sea of leather, long hair, and liquor at The Rogers Centre for the one and only Metallica. I don’t think I have ever seen so many people in one place all head banging in unison to every single song Metallica played. They started the night with “HardWired” and even before the first note the fans were already singing in the crowd. High fives and fist bumps were plentiful to anyone passing you as you walked to your seats and even wanting me to join in the fun in the photo pit before I started my night. Everyone seemed to be in great spirits, and who wouldn’t be, it is Metallica after all.
What can I say about at band that has been around since probably the beginning of time that hasn’t been said before. I grew up listening to them in high school, yes I am aging myself, and there was a multitude of parents bringing the new generation to bask in the presence of this iconic band. Even a very young fan was at the front of the pit area, whom near the end of the night was pointed out by James, “How old are you? 13? And you are in the front row? You and your dad came to Metallica? That’s fucking cool, your dad is cool and you are a cool kid.” I can see why they chose the Rogers Centre for such a monumental event. After playing such a tiny venue, The Opera House in Toronto, to the other end of the scale, the most grandiose venue in Toronto it seems there is nothing Metallica can’t do or hasn’t done already.
The stage set up was fairly simple, just the usual backline but behind them was the biggest LED wall I have ever seen showing live footage of them below. That being said, flames, lazers and even fireworks made for tons of ambience throughout the concert.
“We got all kinds of people here tonight, I wanna know out of curiously… I wanna know with a show of hands how many new people are here tonight?” In my opinion, probably one quarter of the venue raised their hands as James posed this question.
“This goes out to all the brand new family members here…. all the old schoolers like it heavy and Metallica gives you heavy”. Heavy is exactly what they gave us as the guitars started screaming and they started “Sad But True”. This was the start of the next few songs for us old schoolers as they continued with their songs “One” and “Master Of Puppets”. If the PA system had any dust or cobwebs in it I can guarantee they have all been shaken loose and are currently on the floor of the Rogers Centre. This was one of the loudest concerts I have ever been to, with one exception, Cinderella at Copps Coliseum back in the day.
Just before the end of the night Metallica made the show a little bit more intimate by moving the band to the end of the catwalk and in the front of the “snakepit”, explaining to the fans “we are recreating the garage, exactly how it was when we first started in 1983 way before you were born kid” speaking to the 13 year old in the front row. They also brought another young fan on stage for a moment to sit behind Lars’ drum kit, the next generation Metallica. “This is exactly how it was in the garage, Lars was that young and except you weren’t here” James quipped then instructed the fans “When I say seek…” the crowd erupted Destroy.
Unfortunately the night for myself didn’t start until Metallica hit the stage as I was stuck in traffic for 4 hours (normally a 1.5 hours drive) trying to make my way down to the Rogers Centre. I am crushed I wasn’t able to witness Volbeat and to photograph Avenge Sevenfold, but I am positive they both kicked ass during their set. Hopefully next time I will have the opportunity to photograph both bands soon.
This was a weekend of nostalgia, the biggest heavy metal bands were in town and I couldn’t be more thankful to be rocking out with the best of them. James said as much before the encore “Are you still out there? Metallica is grateful to be here after 36 years. You make us feel good”. I am pretty sure a ton of people are not feeling so good this Monday and I can guarantee there was more than one person who called in “sick” to work today due to self inflicted liquor intake which is sad but true…..
Once again thanks to the crew because without them there is no show!
All photos and review done by Mini’s Memories. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org