My socks are still at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario. Thank you, Metallica.
The metal band's show Friday night was something I was looking forward to for months. I grew up listening to Metallica. My first concert was Metallica 14 years ago. And thanks to "Death Magnetic," I was finally excited about an album they put out for the first time in 17 years.
I had high expectations coming into this show.
They were exceeded. from the very beginning. The opener of "Death Magnetic" track "That Was Just Your Life" had lasers dancing across the stage and into the audience. There was fire, lots of fire, colored fire, even. But most of all, the band played together ridiculously well, even though they were rarely in the same place at the same time.
With a massive center stage, there were microphones placed all around for James Hetfield to run around to. Everyone got to see every member of the band at one point. Even Lars Ulrich's drum set was on a moving platform that circled around.
The drums thundered so much that I think dust from the ceiling landed on me. Kirk Hammett can just shred a guitar. They don't really make solos like his anymore, unless he's the one creating them. Hetfield had boundless energy throughout the 2 hour and 15 minute long set and he seemed like he really loved the Ontario crowd, which was full of dedicated fans. And Robert Trujillo made me forget about Jason Newsted, as bassist whom I adore.
My only complaint was that the vocals sounded muddy at times.
Hetfield talked to the audience a lot and it made me forget about that whole Napster thing nearly a decade ago. Metallica really is family and nothing brings strangers together like discussing their favorite old school Metallica albums, as I learned when I was interviewing people in the parking lot before the show.
The set list was nearly perfect, hitting the best of the best, with the notable absence of "Creeping Death," but hey, you can't have it all.
"Master of Puppets" was there. "For Whom the Bell Tolls" was there. And Of course "One" and "Enter Sandman" were in the set, too, both with blistering pyrotechnics and lighting.
But personally, my favorite part was the final songs. To close out the show, the band played two songs off debut album, "Kill 'Em All." Hair started flying as the band played "Whiplash" and ended with "Seek and Destroy."
At the very end, Hetfield told the crowd they would definitely be coming back to Ontario. I hope Metallica keeps that promise.
Be sure to check out the photo gallery from staff photographer Paul Alvarez. He did an excellent job and I love the shots he got.
Also, feel free to post your loves and hates from the show. Send me your photos and as long as they're family friendly, I'll post them here. Send them to vfranko@PE.com.