Chris Loomis

Metallica @ Petco Park – 08/06/2017

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Metallica @ Petco Park – 08/06/2017San Diego was Hardwired to Self-Destruct on Sunday August 6 as heavy metal giants Metallica brought their massive World Wired stadium Tour to Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. Touring in support of their 2016 release Hardwired… to Self-Destruct, Metallica launched this epic tour in May 2017 with Avenged Sevenfold in the direct support slot and opening the show was France’s metal monster Gojira.

With doors to the stadium opening at 4:00pm, fans started lining up at the entry gates early in the afternoon as it seemed all of downtown San Diego was taken over by the almost 40,000 Metallica fans ready to rock out with the thrash veterans.

With a massive stage taking up the entire outfield, backed by 100 ft video screens the entire length of the stage and multiple ramps extending out into the crowd, the fan anticipation was on high as Gojira hit the stage at 6:00pm and delivered a HEAVY set to kick off this momentous occasion. Guitarist/vocalist Joe DuPlantier, brother and drummer Mario DuPlantier, guitarist Christian Andreu and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie delivered 45 minutes of pounding heaviness. The band opened with “Only Pain” off their 2016 masterpiece Magma as numerous smoke cannons discharged throughout the song. DuPlantier thanked all for coming out early and thanked Metallica for having them on the tour.

The immensity of Gojira is even that much greater live than on their records as the band played three more songs from Magma as well as some older material. The set ended with the intensity of “Vacuity” and the band left the stage. An amazing way to kick off the night! New Gojira fans were certainly made on this night!

Gojira Setlist:

Only Pain | The Heaviest Matter of the Universe | Silvera | Stranded | Flying Whales | The Cell | Backbone | The Shooting Star | Vacuity

Gojira Photo Gallery

Having played The Rose Bowl in Pasadena the week before, San Diego was a second “almost home-town” show for Orange County’s Avenged Sevenfold. Supporting 2016’s The Stage, the band took the massive stage and opened the show with the title track to that album. Vocalist M. Shadows made use of the extended stage out into the audience right from the start as he ran around from side to side as he belted out the lyrics. It didn’t take long for the remainder of the band, guitarists Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates as well as bass player Johnny Christ to also make use of the extended stage playing right down to the fans up against the barriers.

The band was definitely charged up for this show as each displayed extreme energy and enthusiasm while executing their songs. One of the highlights of an Avenged Sevenfold set is the side by side dual guitar solo which makes for a killer visual as Zacky Vengeance plays left handed and Sysyster Gates right handed. Once the band went into “Hail to the King” tons of pyro started to erupt around the stage adding to the epic-ness of the massive layout.

Drummer Brooks Wackerman played a killer drum solo as the stadium continued to fill up in anticipation for Metallica. The band ended their 60 min onslaught with “Unholy Confessions”.  Two down and one to go, the anticipation for Metallica was flowing passionately throughout the stadium . . .

Avenged Sevenfold Setlist

The Stage | Afterlife | Hail to the King | Almost Easy | Buried Alive | Drum Solo | Bat Country | Nightmare | God Damn | Unholy Confessions

Avenged Sevenfold Photo Gallery

NOTE: Metallica is an extremely detail oriented band as they had all the red shirted security lined up around the stage put on black t-shirts that said SECURITY on the back in a Metallica font and had the Metallica “M” on the front side – interesting and cool aspect of the show.

At about 8:45pm with Petco Park now fully jammed packed with fans, the lights dropped and “The Ecstasy of Gold” blasted out while a video played on the giant screens going straight into the intro to “Hardwired” then Lars Ulrich took his spot on his kit and kicked off the most epic two hours of live music Petco Park has ever seen. James Hetfield took his mic stand at center stage while Robert Trujillo was on his right and guitarist Kirk Hammett to his left. It was obvious right from the beginning the passion, and chemistry this band still has for playing live after some 35 years in existence. Their stage presence and talent is undeniable as you watch them play.

The choice of songs for this night in San Diego made for some serious headbanging with the likes of “Creeping Death”, “Whiplash” and “Master of Puppets” among others and the band played five songs of the new album which sounded even better in a live setting. The highlight though for old school Metallica fans was undoubtedly the rarely played “Fight Fire with Fire”.

James Hetfield reminded the crowd early on during the show – “Metallica does not give a shit about any differences, we don’t care about what color you are, what you wear or what you do or don’t eat. We don’t care about who you voted for or what God you bow to. You are the Metallica family and all are welcome – we are here to celebrate live music” as the band then went into “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. Guitarist Kirk Hammett is quite a spectacle to watch play his guitar live as he is a master of his craft and without question one of the premier heavy metal guitarists. Nobody seems to have more fun playing the drums than Lars Ulrich as he is constantly making faces, sticking his tongue out and standing on his kit encouraging fans to get crazy. Ulrich’s rhythm partner Robert Trujillo is a master in his own right as he plays with such passion and energy. He would stroll out onto the stage ramps and get right down into people’s faces as he played.

In addition to the performances by each member of the band, the stage setup enhanced the live experience with the massive video screens the pyro-technics and the lasers. As the band played on Hetfield would take various mic stands scattered throughout different locations onstage. The lucky fans in the “snakepit” (area enclosed inside the extended stage) enjoyed the most up close and intimate experience with the band but they made everyone in the stadium feel like they were part of the show.

The night ended with Metallica’s biggest hit (off their “black” album) “Enter Sandman” and the crowd knew this was the last song and headbanged with fury as lots of pyro went off and the night ended with a colossal fireworks display launched from the stage. The band left the stage as a video played specifically thanking San Diego.

There is no doubt that Metallica still RULES the world of heavy music!

Metallica Setlist:

The Ecstasy of Gold (Ennio Morricone song) | Hardwired | Atlas, Rise! | For Whom the Bell Tolls | Creeping Death | The Unforgiven | Now That We’re Dead | Moth Into Flame | Wherever I May Roam | Halo on Fire | Whiplash | Sad but True | One | Master of Puppets | Fade to Black | Seek & Destroy

Encore: Fight Fire With Fire | Nothing Else Matters | Enter Sandman

Metallica Photo Gallery:

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