Metallica has never been afraid to embrace the churning immensity of its sound through live spectacle, whether through hosting a damn big metal festival—The Summer Sanitarium Tour for three years—or erecting crumbling statues of Lady Justice at its arena gigs, captured beautifully in the group’s Through The Never concert film/fever dream from 2013. Historically, the California veteran trailblazers have matched big, scathing audio with big, scathing visuals.
But when James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo can strip down for a mid-size venue, the intensity doesn’t get more severe. Take their performance last Tuesday at the 1,500-capacity Webster Hall in New York City. The group volleyed through a 15-track barrage of old thrash classics and newer fare, opening with a cover of Budgie’s “Breadfan” from their Garage Inc. cover album and wrapping with “Seek and Destroy” from debut LP Kill ‘Em All (and well before). The band stormed the stage without an opener or intro, stating that “they were there to have fun tonight.”
Proceeds from the $25 lottery tickets went to charity City Harvest. The band also debuted new single “Moth Into Flame” from Hardwired…to Self-Destruct, out November 18 on Blackened. On a more sentimental note, Metallica paid tribute to Cliff Burton, who had died 30 years ago to the day.
Photographer Amy Harris captured the set in all of its seething glory.