Music Reviews — 23 September 2013
Metallica at the Apollo Theater: A Concert Review


Apollo Theater, New York, NY
September 21, 2013

SiriusXM Presents Metallica Live At The Apollo Theater  SiriusXM Presents Metallica Live At The Apollo Theater

Photo Credit:  Theo Wargo

Over the course of the past year, we’ve seen a clear revitalization of Harlem’s word famous Apollo Theater. This is bound to happen when you have the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney grace the stage of the 1,500 seat theater. And to add fuel to the fire (no pun intended), Metallica graced the stage of the ‘Soul Mecca’ on Saturday night for a private show exclusive to SiriusXM contest winners. The live show was also a promotion for a new “Mandatory Metallica” channel which ran a simulcast of the show (with an estimated 20 million-plus listeners tuning in) and an opportunity for the band to promote their new 3-D concert movie, “Through the Never,” opening this Friday. It doesn’t take a music enthusiast to know that a show of this nature is going to be special. This sentiment could not have loomed any larger as we found ourselves staring at the Apollo’s historic exterior, where you could literally and figuratively feel Harlem buzzing with swarms of Metallica fans ecstatically anxious to see the renowned metal band perform at the musical landmark.

To further highlight the exclusivity of the show, the band fittingly titled the show “Never Before and Never Again” because “lightning doesn’t strike twice.” The doors opened promptly at 7pm with the band slated to take the stage at 8:30pm. Upon entering the venue, concertgoers were given commemorative t-shirts free of charge, which let’s be honest is a really nice touch these days. But it didn’t stop there as the night also included complimentary appetizers and an open bar to boot. Shortly after 8:30pm the familiar sound of “Ecstasy of Gold” took over the theater as the lights went down and the crowd simply erupted in anticipation of what was about to happen. Immediately following the introduction, Metallica exploded into “Hit The Lights” and the historic theater was literally shaking. The band was as amped up to be there as any time we’ve seen the band in recent memory, perhaps rejuvenated by the history making show. Sounding tighter than ever, the band quickly transitioned into “Master of Puppets” and “Ride The Lightning” making for an extremely powerful opening trio. As the show moved forward, the band touched on track after classic track, peppering in songs from virtually their entire catalog, with the exception of 1996’s “Load” and 2003’s “St. Anger.”

Among the countless highlights, “Harvester of Sorrow” from 1988’s “And Justice for All” and “The Memory Remains” from 1997’s “Re-Load,” were each welcome additions to the band’s set, which any fan will tell you doesn’t really change enough for our liking. But the 18 song selection was a glimpse at heavy metal’s finest act, showing no signs of slowing down despite being in the midst of the twilight of their career which spans three decades. The pulverizing set brought out songs old and new, breathing new life into “Ride the Lightning” and the instrumental “Orion” with the same vigor as newer cuts like “The Day That Never Comes” and an especially thrash-filled rendition of “Broken, Beat & Scarred.”

From start to finish, the night was special for so many reasons. The band, noting the significance of the venue multiple times, made light of their not being worthy enough to grace the theater. That being said, the sheer experience of seeing a band of this magnitude play such an intimate venue in a stripped down, gritty fashion is a once in a lifetime opportunity and the band knew this just as well as the fans did. The night came to a halt fittingly with each band member addressing the audience and giving thanks for the contributions they have all made over Metallica’s illustrious 30 year career.

SiriusXM Presents Metallica Live At The Apollo Theater

- Eugene Jerome

Set List:

Hit The Lights
Master of Puppets
Ride the Lightning
Harvester of Sorrow
The Day That Never Comes
The Memory Remains
Broken, Beat & Scarred
(Welcome Home) Sanitarium
Sad But True
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman


Creeping Death
Seek And Destroy

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