This is an archived review of the Metallica show at the Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, on December 7, 2018.
This content originally appeared on sacramentopress.com. The site no longer exists, but an archive can be found here.
Review by Tony Cervo, image courtesy of Golden 1 Center
Metallica brought their now almost three-year-long ‘WorldWired’ Tour to Golden 1 Center Friday night, and they did not disappoint the sold-out crowd. In support of the band’s 2016 album “Hardwired… to Self-Destruct,” Sacramento was the 22nd stop (of 37 scheduled dates) on the second North American leg of the tour. The first major North American leg, in 2017, was held almost exclusively in stadiums, while this time around it’s slightly more intimate arenas like the 19,000 capacity Golden 1 Center. The arena shows feature a 360-degree stage set up in the center of the arena, allowing more fans to get “front row” spots along the rail.
Instead of an opening band, comedians Jim Breuer and Joe Sib opened the show, with Breuer acting as hype man, and Sib acting as DJ. Breuer cracked a few jokes and told a few stories (including the time he flew on Ozzy Osbourne’s private jet), but mostly tried to get the crowd pumped up for the main act. He took his microphone into the stands to find a five-year-old fan and a young woman of 68-years–the oldest and youngest Metallica fans in attendance. Breuer also welcomed anyone attending their first Metallica show into the “Metallica family,” as fans are known.
After a 30-minute break there was a sing-along, with the lyrics to famous songs from Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and others projected on screens above the stage. This got the crowd going crazy, with the majority of the sold-out crowd singing along loudly. Unfortunately, it would be another 20 minutes before the band would finally take the stage at 9:17pm.
Following a long-standing tradition of playing Ennio Morricone’s “The Ecstasy of Gold,” with footage from ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’ playing on the video screens suspended from the ceiling, the band made their way to the stage before launching into “Hardwired,” followed by “Atlas, Rise!,” both off their tenth (and latest) album. Both songs are fast-paced thrash, far more reminiscent of Metallica’s earlier work than the mid-career – let’s call it “experimentation” – that came out of a string of albums from 1996 through the early 2000’s. Most bands who’ve been around 35 years tend to go light on the new songs when playing live, sandwiching them in the middle of the set, and most fans use the new material as a good time to use the restroom or get another beer. That Metallica opened with two new songs, and played five total from their latest album, is a testament to the quality of the new material.