Review & Photos: Metallica fades 2016 to black at the Fox

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Metallica, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo

Photos: Roman Gokhman

OAKLAND —Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield. Metal gods who, along with a revolving door of bassists including Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton, Jason Newsted and now Robert Trujillo have turned Metallica into more than just the speed/thrash metal band they started out to be 35 years ago. They are now legends of rock.

Saturday night, at the Fox Theater in Oakland, Metallica wowed an eager audience of some of the most diehard fans on the planet. Supporting their first album, Hardwired… to Self-Destruct, in eight years Metallica intertwined new songs with classics like “Enter Sandman”, “Fade to Black” and “One”.

The hair may be shorter with a twinge of gray, but age has done nothing to stop the band from kicking major metal ass. The guitars raged with furious anger and fans of all ages pumped their fists in unison in an effort by many to remember their glory days. Days of yore when metal was king and their hair reached to the middle of their backs. When they could play air guitar in their bedrooms while Kill ‘em All blasted from the speakers of their stereo system.

While the edge is still in the music, some of it has worn off the band as age and family often does. Speaking candidly about, “the screen, the phone, and my children” Hetfield started into “Moth Into Flame” from the new album. Who would have thought that these bastions of sex, drugs and rock and roll would rail against the electronic devices of our day? But here they were decrying our preponderance to see things through a screen rather than embracing the world around us.

Hammett and Trujillo soloed at various times alone on the stage, showing off the skill that has endured this band for nearly four decades. Because for Metallica, it isn’t enough to simply be loud. To be proficient at your instrument and put on a good show is paramount.

This band, in this small arena, in this bowed, but not broken city, on this night, put on more than just a show. What Metallica did was unify a people to a common interest—metal.

Setlist:

  1. Breadfan (Budgie Cover)
  2. Creeping Death
  3. Blackened
  4. Sad But True
  5. Fade to Black
  6. Atlas, Rise!
  7. Harvester of Sorrow
  8. Moth into Flame
  9. One
  10. Master of Puppets
  11. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  12. Enter Sandman

Encore

  1. Whiskey in the Jar (Traditional)
  2. Hardwired
  3. Seek and Destroy

Editor Daniel J. Willis contributed to this report. Follow editor Matt De Mello at Twitter.com/HaightStRecords and Instagram.com/Mattyd_Images.

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