Concert Review: Metallica (SDCC Special)

Metallica's private show in San Diego during SDCC in promotion of their new film

Metallica’s private show in San Diego during SDCC in promotion of their new film

By Juan Barragan

Spreckles Theater
July 19, 2013

In San Diego it was Comic-Con week and anyone could have encountered the most unexpected people during this ordeal which took place in Downtown San Diego. This year, for the first time ever, thrash metal gods Metallica made a guest appearance at Comic-Con to promote their film, Metallica: Through the Never. To spice things up, the band decided to play a secret show in a secret location in San Diego. Tickets were distributed solely at Comic-Con and through the band’s fan club. Press passes and tickets were already allocated and only a miracle would enable the dozens of fans standing next to the band crew entrance to be allowed entry to the private show. Eventually, a young man came out through this back door with dozens of tickets that were distributed to the desperate fans. Men and women of all ages jumped and cheered at this opportunity. This set the tone for the exclusive experience that was about to occur within the walls of Spreckles Theatre.

The house lights dimmed at precisely 11 P.M. and Metallica’s signature introduction song began playing through the speakers. The song was “The Ecstasy of Gold” by Italian composer Ennio Morricone, and the crowd, eager and excited to see Metallica take the stage, began singing along to the pre-recorded track. This classical piece, originally from the soundtrack of the infamous spaghetti western, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, fit well with the architecture of the theatre which is over 100 years old. To the chagrin of the owners of the venue, this was the only classical piece to be heard that night.

Metallica’s set proved to the critics that even though the band’s members are all almost 50 years old, they can still rock the crowd and make the venue tremble. The rarity of the show was hearing Blackened. The drummer, Lars Ulrich, pounded away at his drums at lightning speeds and did not fail to include the double bass sections, showcasing an intense stamina during the show. James Hetfield’s vocal expertise was also put to the test during the more melodic songs of the set like “Nothing Else Matters” and “Welcome Home (Sanitarium).” Kirk Hammet was able to keep up to speed all of his insanely swift guitar solos. His fingers were shredding the guitar during “Ride the Lightning” while the crowd showed their appreciation by throwing up the devil horns. Robert Trujillo injected his other band members with an aura of youth, being the youngest and newest member of the band. The audience, although very diverse in age, sang along to every song, a sign that they approved of the caliber of the performance they were experiencing, and crowd roars replaced traditional clapping heard at classical theatres.

Metallica did a great job at hyping their upcoming film with this secret performance. The trailer shows that this project will not just be another concert film, but rather, a film with an interesting plot behind it. The film is scheduled to be released on IMAX 3D on September 27th, and will be in theatres everywhere on October 4th.