Metallica's lateness redeemed by sheer metal greatness

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 twitter.com/earofnewt.

Comments (28) Add New Comment
suck it
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.
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Rating: -1
Miguel Diego
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.
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Rating: -5
Pat Crowe
Better than a Van Halen concert, I bet.
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Rating: -3
You
'suck it' apparently wasn't one of the lucky ones.
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Rating: -8
Jim Lahey
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.
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Rating: +1
Mike Usinger
Jim Lahey write good. Must have learn English from book.
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Rating: -7
Robo Fahrig
The Lady Justice statue was built during and for the song"...And Justice For All" not for Weclome Home (Sanitarium). Get it right man!
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Rating: +7
Arodsbareballs
started great, ended a little lame
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Rating: 0
Steve Newton
thanks for the info, Robo. I've made the correction to the review
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Rating: -4
Byron
I thought it was a bit short
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Rating: -4
Dbomber
I agree with Arodsbareballs...exactly!! I was not expecting much,got tix cheap,so that was cool.I was blown away at the set list for the first 3/4's of the show.....then that whole "we're still a garage band at heart"'shtick' started ruining the pace and the remainder of the show. When all of that b.s. started and the coffins dropped..all they did was manage to obstruct the view for literally 80% of the stadium..why they didn't retract the co
ffins afterward is beyond me?? Someone should talk to their stage co-coordinator... seriously!After that,you couldn't see ANYTHING unless you were on the floor !!Plus, it ruined what could have been an epic finale...instead they spent the last 10 minutes with the house lights on waving and mugging for the first 3 rows of people on the floor throwing out hundreds of pics like whores,while the rest of us stood around like suckers wondering -'that's it??'

The ole' "Cheech and Chong just ripped you off" bit comes to mind :/
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Rating: +7
A. MacInnis
Help me understand myself: why do I dislike Metallica? I'll be going to the show tomorrow to see if I can either overcome my prejudice or understand and embrace it. Which I say at far greater length here:

http://alienatedinvancouver.blogspot.ca/2012/08/why-do-i-dislike-metalli...
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Rating: +1
RebGirl78
I as far my parents never let me go then: Lisa invited me for that concert, she won them at a certain radio station.... The show never starts with Metallica, got unannouced "special" guest and the show wasn't THAt good then; besides that; I' m going to the Monday show with my brother making up for that
Rating: -361
Bummer
Sucks that they had to bump the originally scheduled openers (Vancouver's own) Three Inches Of Blood, since apparently "the film crew needed more time to set-up" ... then they get a hack comedian to kill time that 3"oB could have easily squeezed a set in ... & the band doesn't wind up coming out until much later anyways?!?
What's with that?!?
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Rating: -1
A. MacInnis
On another note, is that "Cheech and Chong just ripped you off" thing an apocryphal story, or does the album actually exist? There's very little mention of it online, and I've never seen it or heard it, just the odd passing reference as above...
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Rating: -8
Pat Crowe
The Cheech and Chong, "you have been ripped off" thing I remember from thirty five years ago. Urban myth.
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Rating: +3
Arodsbareballs
Lady Justice was started during Sanatarium and completed then crumbled during Justice. That was lame and distracting.
BTW I liked LOAD.
I thought it would encompess their career more so I was expecting a lame middle aged psychiatrist in a bad sweater to come out and be shitkicked by fans
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Rating: 0
Steve Newton
Gee, maybe I didn't get it wrong after all.
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Rating: -1
Old School
I have been a fan since '84.....For Whom The Bell Tolls was my initiation to Metallica through the walls of my brother's bedroom. I finally got to see them during the Re-Load Tour in the 90s and I will say this, it was great to see them again even though they have evolved into a "music corporation". This show brought back a lot of memories for me and I feel so very lucky that I got to see Metallica back in the day when the crowds went far more mental (before the days of legal issues), the band was still hungry and (I am going to get razzed and thumbed down for this) before smartphones came into play. The days of the "long-hairs" whipping their heads are a distant and fond memory that will always leave a little smirk on my face - we had it so good back then - but it was truly awesome to see the boys tear out the good stuff- starting out with Creeping Death was masterful and set the pace. I couldn't hear after the show and the ringing only subsided this morning...........I blew my right knee jumping up and down from beginning to end so I would say it was well worth giving it my middle aged try!
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Rating: -3
Dbomber
Actually-you did...evident only by you incorrectly writing that they hail from L.A at the beginning of your article.They are in fact from San Fransisco sir....
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Rating: +5

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