Improbably, Metallica are currently at their peak. Though their recorded output in the 21st century has been relatively lackluster, the live experience operates at a level that is far beyond just about any other band on the planet, metal or otherwise. Thirty years after the release of their gloriously nasty debut Kill ‘Em All, they are still making discoveries about how fast and brutal two guitars, a bass, and drums can be.
They’re also still hitting milestones. On Saturday night (September 21), Metallica played the legendary Apollo Theater, in the heart of Harlem in New York City. At only 1,500 seats, it’s a cartoonishly small space for the band in 2013 (their previous trip to New York found them headlining Yankee Stadium), but the intimacy (and lack of pyrotechnics) did not stop the group from turning a few hundred lucky SiriusXM subscribers into a fine ash over the course of their two-plus hour set (which was also simulcast on SiriusXM’s Mandatory Metallica station).
The event was part of the band’s promotion of their about-to-open 3D concert/action flick Metallica Through The Never, which features both Dane DeHaan fighting a horse-riding embodiment of death and a vivid run through some of the most intense jams in the Metallica catalog.
The set list at the Apollo skewed towards those early blasters: Following the band’s now-traditional entrance to Ennio Morricone’s “The Ecstasy of Gold” (from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly), Metallica plowed through a triple-shot of old school shredders in “Hit the Lights,” “Master of Puppets,” and “Ride the Lightning.” READ FULL STORY