Bring the metal and they will come.
Tens of thousands flocked to the Empire Polo Club, the site of the already successful Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and the Stagecoach Country Music Festival, to witness heavy metal history as The Big 4--Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax--played their first show on U.S. soil Saturday night.
Another epic notch in the Inland region's heavy metal scepter, the show proved that a genre many have claimed dead repeatedly was very much alive and thrashing.
Metallica capped off a day of great performances and lit up the Indio night with a set that started with a nod to the early thrash that launched them as the biggest of the Big 4. Three of the band's first four songs were off the epic second album "Ride the Lightning." Opening with a double whammy of "Creeping Death" and "For Whom the Bell Tolls," Metallica had thousands of fists pumping in the air, screaming for more metal.
"Do you feel it? Do you feel what I feel?" singer James Hetfield asked the crowd after fifth song "Fade to Black."
The passion of the fans burst through the night with sing-a-longs that even topped Metallica's incredible volume on songs like "Sad But True," "Master of Puppets" and "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)."
In addition to the big songs, the band brought big effects, too, adding pyrotechnics to songs like "Fuel," "One" and "Blackened."
And yes, they played the big ballad. Everyone had a hug and mosh moment with "Nothing Else Matters" late in the set.
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Ride the Lightning
Fade to Black
All Nightmare Long
Sad But True
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
Master of Puppets
Nothing Else Matters
Am I Evil (all-star jam with the Big 4 bands)
Hit the Lights
Seek and Destroy