Metallica Gets Hardwired in State College, PA
WorldWired North American Tour 2018
San Francisco metal giants Metallica have returned for their second leg of the WorldWired North American tour. The Live Nation produced tour kicked off on September 2nd and has been driving full steam ahead through the U.S and Canada. The 36 city trek is covering a ton of ground, hitting areas they didn’t hit last year, as well as many cities who haven’t seen the metal legends in over a decade or so.
I made my way out to catch the 11th stop on the tour at The Bryce Jordan Center in State College, PA – home to Penn State University. As expected the campus was absolutely filled with pure excitement for the metal legends to take the stage. Fans lined up in what seemed like a line that wrapped around the entire arena. The crowd filled with Metallica shirts of all ages. This tour brought out music fans of all ages, and even brought families together to rock out for the night.
The evening was kicked off by metal’s resident funny man, comedian Jim Breuer who hosted the The Light It Up Pre-Show Party. Alongside Jim was a DJ to get the energy flowing before the night’s main event.
Metallica gave us their all Saturday night, including the community thanks to an effort between them and their fans. The group raised money in support of Central Pennsylvania Food Bank; an organization that distributes more than 48 million pounds of food and grocery products, equivalent to more than 40 million meals, every year to more than 900 soup kitchens, shelters, and food pantries in 27 central Pennsylvania counties.
Pictured above are the members of Metallica presenting Central Pennsylvania Food Bank with a check from the band’s All Within My Hands Foundation.
From the lights, the fire, the thunderous tones of the guitar and bass echoing through the 15,000 plus capacity arena, as always with Metallica this show like the many I’ve seen before were nothing short of a spiritual experience. Penn State transformed into a temple – a metal temple. The crowd screamed more than cheered, raising their horns high in the air, very much as a salute the four men on stage pouring their souls into the music just like they’ve been for decades.
Dressed head to toe in all black, the men performed on a 360 stage smack dab in the middle of the venue. All eyes were focused dead center, giving the fans a unique ability to never miss a moment and allowing the band to see every fist in the air, make eye contact with the fans, and have all voices heard. The set up made this massive building seem like an intimate backyard concert among friends.
The crowd pressed tightly together and singing along to every word of classic tracks like “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “Creeping Death” and “Sad But True.” Like a choir, the thousands came together to sing every word to “Master of Puppets” when frontman James Hetfield took a step back from the microphone, allowing the fans to carry the song.
The performance allowed for audience members both young and old to feel like part of the show, younger fans felt welcomed into the Metallica family all the while the older fans felt like kids again. You can feel the longtime music lovers with a gaze in their eyes remembering where they heard Ride The Lightning for the first time. Fans were having a blast, kids throwing their horns up right next to their parents and more experienced metalheads moshing on the arena floor. Singer James Hetfield made mention of the band’s legacy humbley, stating something to the effect of “After 37 years, we still get to do what we love and you still come out to watch us”.
Although the tour is titled after the band’s latest release, the performance showcased tons of classic Metallica material. The set list featured hits from Hardwired like “Moth Into Flame” and “Atlas, Rise!”, along with the ability to take fans down memory lane with favorites like “One”, “The Unforgiven” and an encore performance of “Nothing Else Matters” and “Enter Sandman” which capped off the evening on a powerful note. Metallica delivered a nearly two hour, 18 song action packed and thrilling set with highlights, including a ton of synchronized drones circling above the stage during “Moth Into Flame” and during “Now That We’re Dead” the band took drumming to new levels featuring four smaller drums all around the 360 stage setup, which found each member pounding away to make a complete drum circle.
Metallica’s performance on Saturday night in State College reminded me once again just how great this band still is and why they may just be the greatest metal band on the planet. Though older gentlemen, their spirit and love for the music remains young and in my opinion timeless. This band has aged like fine wine and still deliver thunderous bass, guitar and drumming. James Hetfield’s voice is filled with power playing intricate guitar parts all while screaming away the lyrics. Guitarist Kirk Hammett shows off his technique as still one of the best players around and bassist Robert Trujillo’s playing is immensely pounding and even more entertaining to watch him go low and move side to side without missing a note. Yes Lars is also still a master behind the kit, looking side-to-side all smiles while playing along to the thrashy tracks.
I’ll just say it, these guys are absolutely the masters of heavy music. Decades later they still put on one of the loudest, most intense and absolutely amazing performance you can see. Metallica is a band that if you haven’t seen, it’s a must. If you have seen them, you have to go again. Unlike other bands who have this longevity, Metallica always delivers something new which keeps the performance fresh and fun.
The band still has a ton of dates left going into 2019, the tour gives you a ton of bang for your buck. Plus there’s a lot of different ticket options and don’t forget with your ticket purchase, you get a copy of Metallica’s awesome new album Hardwired… To Self-Destruct. Checkout all the upcoming tour dates below and for more information on everything Metallica, visit the band’s official website at www.Metallica.com
Remaining Tour Dates:
October 22 – Charlotte, NC @ Spectrum Center
October 25 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo
October 27 – Buffalo, NY @ KeyBank Center
October 29 – Albany, NY @ Times Union Center
November 26 – Las Vegas, NV @ T-Mobile Arena
November 28 – Boise, ID @ Taco Bell Arena
November 30 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Vivint Smart Home Arena
December 2 – Spokane, WA @ Spokane Arena
December 5 – Portland, OR @ Moda Center
December 7 – Sacramento, CA @ Golden 1 Center
December 9 – Fresno, CA @ Save Mart Center
January 18, 2019 – Tulsa, OK @ BOK Center
January 20, 2019 – Little Rock, AR @ Verizon Arena
January 22, 2019 – Birmingham, AL @ Legacy Arena at The BJCC
January 24, 2019 – Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
January 28, 2019 – Raleigh, NC @ PNC Arena
January 30, 2019 – Cincinnati, OH @ U.S. Bank Arena
February 1, 2019 – Cleveland, OH @ Quicken Loans Arena
February 28, 2019 – El Paso, TX @ Don Haskins Center
March 2, 2019 – Lubbock, TX @ United Supermarkets Arena
March 4, 2019 – Wichita, KS @ Intrust Bank Arena
March 6, 2019 – Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
March 9, 2019 – Louisville, KY @ KFC Yum! Center
March 11, 2019 – Indianapolis, IN @ Bankers Life Fieldhouse
March 13, 2019 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Van Andel Arena