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METALLICA / Machine Head / The Sword
Written By: Gary Crouthamel
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METALLICA / Machine Head / The Sword
James Hetfield
METALLICA / Machine Head / The Sword
METALLICA / Machine Head / The Sword
James Hetfield
METALLICA / Machine Head / The Sword
METALLICA / Machine Head / The Sword
METALLICA / Machine Head / The Sword
Kirk Hammett
METALLICA / Machine Head / The Sword
METALLICA / Machine Head / The Sword
METALLICA / Machine Head / The Sword
Lars Ulrich
METALLICA / Machine Head / The Sword
METALLICA / Machine Head / The Sword
Lars Ulrich
METALLICA / Machine Head / The Sword
METALLICA / Machine Head / The Sword
Robert Trujillo
METALLICA / Machine Head / The Sword
METALLICA / Machine Head / The Sword
Robert Trujillo
METALLICA / Machine Head / The Sword
Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
January 17th, 2009
 
        Well, for this review and photospread I had to go way back into the Rock Archives folder and pull this one out. At the time of this show, Brenda Golden, and The Coconut Times were on a much deserved hiatus. As I arrived in Philly for this show, I recall freezing my butt off as I approached the press entrance. Thankfully, the press entrance is always open.  With no lines, there was no standing out in that freezing cold with the rest of the fired-up crowd chanting  "one, two, three, four, open up the bleeping doors." Trust me, I remember . . . been there, done that!
        Opening up the show was The Sword.  I wasn't very familiar with the band, but they kinda sounded like Metallica meets Black Sabbath. They were loud, rocking, and did a good job of getting the crowd warmed up for Machine Head.
        Up next was Machine Head. Again, I wasn't all that familiar with this band either. Maybe I should have invited Brenda's son-in-law, Horsehead Elsner, along because they were right up his alley. Machine Head was louder than The Sword and with lead singer, Robb Flynn, sporting a Flyers jersey, the crowd seemed to feed off of the band, pumping their fists in the air. The band threw in a cover of Iron Maiden's "Hallowed Be Thy Name" before their much deserved curtain call.
        Finally, METALLICA was up. As an indoor, in-the-round show, there was a huge rectangular shaped stage that took up 3/4 of the arena's floor, leaving plenty of room for the general admission fans to mosh. On stage was drummer Lars Ulrich's drum kit; monitors spread down the middle of the stage facing both sides of the venue; mic stands spread all around the edge of the stage; and the lighting rigs hung in the air resembling humongous coffins. When the lights went out, all that could be seen was the glow of cellphones throughout the arena awaiting the arrival of the Four Horsemen to take the stage. They opened the show with "That Was Just Your Life" with bassist Robert Trujillo starting the bass lines, guitarists James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett on their guitar parts, while drummer Lars Ulrich calmly walked to his kit. Then Hetfield welcomed the 22,000 screaming METALLICA fans to the Wachovia Center as they ripped into "End of the Line" and "Creeping Death". They sounded great, giving the fans six songs off their disc "Death Magnetic."  They then played old classics for over two hours, an 18 song setlist that included "Ride the Lightning," "One," "Broken, Beat, & Scarred," "Cyanide," "Sad But True," "The Unforgiven," and  "All Nightmare Long" before taking a breather. That's when Lars got up from his kit, took a drink of water and spit it out in the crowd, before walking back to his kit which rotates every fifth song in the four directions of the stage. Then Kirk performed his first solo that led into "The Day That Never Comes," "Master Of Puppets," and "Blackened." James' voice sounded amazing and his playing and energy were "through the roof" of the arena that night. With Robert's monkey walk going back and forth and side to side of the stage, they finished their main set with "Nothing Else Matters" and "Enter Sandman."
        For their encore, the band returned and opened with a cover of the "Misfits," "Last Caress," then rocked right into "Whiplash" before stopping to sing "Happy Birthday" to James' seven year old daughter as it was her birthday that day. After the Happy Birthday, which the 22,000 fans joined in to sing, Metallica ended the night with "Seek and Destroy."
        I guess it's a little late to tell you this, but that was the whole winter tour!  It was an AWESOME indoor production. For a band that can entertain a stadium crowd of 75,000, you've got to see the same show in an indoor venue of 22,000. Amazing!!!
– Gary Crouthamel, concert photo journalist
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