Metallica's lateness redeemed by sheer metal greatness

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      At Rogers Arena on Friday, August 24

      Metallica put on a stunning show at Rogers Arena last night, but, man, did it ever take them a while to get going.

      The L.A. metal legends—who play the same venue tonight (August 25) and again on Monday (at a special $5-per-ticket film shoot)—were scheduled to take the stage at 7 p.m., but didn't actually start busting eardrums until nearly 8:40. In the meantime, the crowd was "entertained" by American comic Jim Breuer, who you may recall for his portrayal of Goat Boy during a four-year stint on Saturday Night Live. Or maybe you remember him from such films as the stoner comedy Half Baked.

      At any rate, he killed about half an hour trying to get the crowd riled up, proclaiming that since Vancouver had been chosen out of all the cities in the world as the place where Metallica wanted to film its upcoming 3D movie, we'd better damn well make a racket for the cameras. "We're gonna do an exercise, and if you don't do it right they're not coming out!," threatened Breuer, somehow not realizing that fans who had paid over $140 for prime seats—before dropping another $40 on black "Metal Up Your Ass" T-shirts—were already planning on going a bit nuts.

      Once Breuer's nauseating pep talk was over, we had to wait another half hour or so for Metallica's road crew to put the finishing touches on the immense, in-the-round stage, and for those brave spotlight-operators to climb ladders to their little lairs. But when the band (singer-guitarist James Hetfield, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, bassist Robert Trujillo, and drummer Lars Ulrich) finally strolled out to the strains of Ennio Morricone's "The Ecstasy of Gold" and launched into the brutal "Creeping Death", all was well with the world. The extremely loud part of it, at least.

      I don't know how Metallica does it, but every time I see them live they manage to sound amazingly clear at incredibly high volume. And their staging never fails to impress. On "For Whom the Bell Tolls" they had huge coffins twirling over the stage, "Ride the Lightning" boasted a massive electric-chair, and "One" incorporated more blinding green lasers than Blue Oyster Cult would ever have imagined back in '76.

      Twelve glowing white crosses rose up from below the stage for "Master of Puppets", and for "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" a crew of workers used a crane to construct an immense statue of Lady Justice, which "collapsed" during "...And Justice for All", barely missing Ulrich and his drum kit (sorry, Napster fans).

      While the crowd was distracted by the killer riffs of the band's biggest hit, "Enter Sandman", a simulated breakdown of the show was staged, with scaffolding falling, a lighting rig swinging down, and an "injured" stagehand being carried away on a stretcher. It was all kinda corny, but it did allow the group to pretend that its main gear was toast, and that it needed to bring in some smaller amps and emergency lighting for a "garage"-style session. Then Metallica revisited its thrashy roots for two tracks off the 1983 Kill 'Em All debut, "Hit the Lights" and "Seek & Destroy".

      Kill 'Em All was originally going to be titled Metal Up Your Ass, so in recognition of that fact a huge white toilet was lowered onto the stage at the end of the set. The lid opened and, in true Spinal Tap fashion, a huge dagger clutched in a fist rose menacingly up.

      So where was Jim Breuer's ass when we needed it?

      You can follow Steve Newton on Twitter at

      Join the discussion

      We're now using Facebook for comments.
      Read Old Comments


      suck it

      Aug 25, 2012 at 9:52am

      twas truly an amazing show filled with kick ass people. But I noticed how alot of slutty chicks came there in they're La senza lingerie pretending to be funs while only being there to pick up dudes.

      Miguel Diego

      Aug 25, 2012 at 10:35am

      That was a pretty good show. I haven't seen them in over 10 years but I thought that the band was tight. The stage failure stuff was definitely a bit corny but, overall, I did not go home disappointed. Good job boys.

      Pat Crowe

      Aug 25, 2012 at 11:30am

      Better than a Van Halen concert, I bet.


      Aug 25, 2012 at 11:52am

      'suck it' apparently wasn't one of the lucky ones.

      Jim Lahey

      Aug 25, 2012 at 3:10pm

      Steve Newton can't see the shit through the toilet paper.

      You really think Metallica was coming on at 7? Doors opened at 7...
      Must have been you first concert.

      Maybe you can entertain us with you shit writing if you think Brewer is that bad... but then again, you're just a typical critic.
      Telling people how they suck at things you could never possibly do.

      Mike Usinger

      Aug 25, 2012 at 6:55pm

      Jim Lahey write good. Must have learn English from book.

      Robo Fahrig

      Aug 26, 2012 at 1:21pm

      The Lady Justice statue was built during and for the song"...And Justice For All" not for Weclome Home (Sanitarium). Get it right man!


      Aug 26, 2012 at 1:47pm

      started great, ended a little lame

      Steve Newton

      Aug 26, 2012 at 5:28pm

      thanks for the info, Robo. I've made the correction to the review


      Aug 26, 2012 at 7:22pm

      I thought it was a bit short