On Wednesday night the Metallica World Wired tour landed in Orlando for the first of two Florida shows. The Camping World Stadium was jammed packed with metal fans of all ages braving the July heat to witness one of the biggest concerts of the summer.
Volbeat, a band from Denmark, kicked off the evening with a full wrestling ring as part of their stage set. They opened the show with “Devil’s Bleeding Crown” and “Seal the Deal” off their latest album “Seal the Deal and Let’s Boogie”. The band, influenced by Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, sounds like heavy metal meets Rockabilly. Lead singer Michael Poulsen paid tribute to the late Johnny Cash by playing a little “Ring of Fire” as the intro to their hit “Sad Man’s Tongue”. Despite the heat, there were plenty of fans present for the first opener. “You guys just want a good spot for Metallica.” singer Michael Poulsen joked. Volbeat closed their hour long set with crowd favorites “Dead But Rising” and “Still Counting”.
Up next was Avenged Sevenfold who is heavily influenced by Metallica. They opened their set with “The Stage” off their album of the same name. Avenged Sevenfold played a variety of songs from previous albums such as “Afterlife”, “Hail to the King” and “Almost Easy”. Singer Matt Shadows expressed his gratitude to the audience for sticking it out through the brutal heat. “Our next tour will be in January.” he laughed. Fans sang along to the song “Nightmare” before the band closed things out with their latest single “God Damn” and an encore performance of one of their very first hits “Unholy Confessions”. After their set Avenged Sevenfold stuck around to hand out a bunch of guitar picks and drumsticks to the lucky people close enough to reach them.
With the crowd fully warmed up, headliners Metallica hit the stage with so much energy it was mind blowing. Opening with songs “Hardwired” and “Atlas Rise!” off their new album “Hardwired to Self Destruct”. “We don’t care who you are, what religion you follow or what race you are– you are part of the Metallica family,” lead singer James Hetfield told the crowd. The band showed that they still got it by putting on an amazing show. Playing hits “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, “Fuel”, and “The Unforgiven”. The laser light show, fireworks, and video production alone were worth the price of admission. The intensity continued with songs “Now that We’re Dead” and “Moth Into Flame”. Then bassist, Rob Trujillo, was left on stage to pay homage to Metallica’s original bassist, Cliff Burton, who died in a bus accident in 1986. The tribute was subtle and beautiful with Trujillo playing “Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth)” as a video of Burton played behind him.
After the solo Hetfield asked “Do you like it heavy? Well, Metallica gives you heavy!” and played “Sad But True”. The band then launched into “Hit the Lights” from their first album “Kill Em All”. A video of silhouetted soldiers played behind the band during the powerful song “One” and the entire crowd sang along to “Master of Puppets”. Hetfield’s sinister laugh at the end is something everyone should experience at least once. Throughout the show band members moved around the stage as well as down a long catwalk providing the audience with better views of each member. At one point the entire band including drummer, Lars Ulrich, (playing on a second drum kit) came to the farthest point of the catwalk to play “Seek and Destroy”. “Just like our garage,” Hetfield joked, “Plus about a thousand people. We are definitely living our dream”.
Metallica closed out their two-hour long set with a three-song encore playing “Fight Fire With Fire”, “Nothing Else Matters” and “Enter Sandman”. This band put on a show like no other. One of the last shots on the large video screen was a close-up of James Hetfield’s hand holding a guitar pick that simply said Orlando and the crowd roared with applause. It’s these little things that make it clear why Metallica has lasted for thirty-six years. From the “Snakepit” to all the way up in the cheap seats, they kept the crowd pumped from the beginning of the show until the very end. This tour is a must see for all heavy metal fans. Definitely, should not be missed.
Written review by Jessica Morano
Remaining tour dates: