James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. Photo by Brian Chilson.
In an age when technological gimmicks and special effects often override the act employing it, Metallica delivered a pile driving show, working in tandem with, rather than relying on, atmospheric enhancements.
In reference to illustration on the cover of “Death Magnetic,” huge silver and black open-faced coffins loomed ominously above the four stage corners, occasionally lowering and producing eerie additional lighting effects. A few green lasers, along with heavy blues and oranges, made for subtle ambiance.
What wasn’t subtle, however, was song selection and execution, save for the roaring pyrotechnic flames breathing fire warm enough to be felt in the rafters. Seriously. These were same sort of flames that barbequed lead singer and guitarist James Hetfield in Montreal in 1992.