Sept. 14, 2011 Yankee Stadium
Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica…the Big 4 and a metal head’s dream come true, especially for this metal head that had never gotten to see Slayer live before this show.
Anthrax started the show at 4pm and September 14th was even named “Anthrax” day in the Bronx, NY. Their energetic set started with “Fight ‘Em Til You Can’t,” a song from their new album Worship Music, which was really good (I had heard it played recently on WSOU, Seton Hall’s Pirate Radio, NJ), then the classics “Got the Time,” “Madhouse,” “Caught in a Mosh” and some crowd moshing began, even though the sun hadn’t set and it was very warm and humid. You’ve just got to love the way Scott Ian stomps his trademark stomp; he seemed truly happy to be playing at Yankee stadium and even wore a Yankee jersey later in the set. “Anti-Social” was another crowd favorite with everyone chanting along. Joey Belladonna’s voice sounded good and it was great seeing him back in action wearing the huge feather chief head-dress for “Indians” running back and forth across the huge stage. They played a great set, about 40 minutes, and then the stage was set for Megadeth.
Megadeth opened with “Trust,” then played “Hanger 18.” They didn’t seem to have as much energy as Anthrax, but still sounded incredible. Dave Mustaine announced that he was having some major back surgery right after the show and had to be careful how he moved, or he could end up paralyzed, which was why he wasn’t running around and probably shouldn’t have been there at all, but this is metal. He just couldn’t miss this historical event. His playing was great, going back and forth on guitar with Chris Broderick. They really got everyone going with “Sweating Bullets,” the crowd singing right along with them. “Peace Sells” was always one of my favorites and hearing it live, I remembered why I liked Megadeth so much. It seemed like they finished their set so quickly, I would’ve loved to hear more.
Ah, but then they started setting up for Slayer. SLAYER!!!
It was still light out when Slayer took the stage, but got dark quickly (pun intended) and the full moon rose over the stage. They started with “Disciple” and I was crazy excited just as everyone at Yankee Stadium was this magical night. I don’t remember ever being so happy to be at a concert. Tom Araya’s lightning fast vocals were perfect, although their sound system sounded much fuzzier than Megadeth’s. Maybe because it was louder? I was happy to hear “War Ensemble” and “Dead Skin Mask,” but wish they played “Seasons in the Abyss” also. The stadium rumbled with “Hate Worldwide” and “Mandatory Suicide.” I loved the hypnotizing riffs of “South of Heaven” and Kerry King killed on “Angel of Death” and “Raining Blood.” He plays with such skill and speed that I couldn’t get one good picture of him. It seemed so surreal finally getting to see Slayer play live. They definitely lived up to all my expectations and I was as happy as any metal head could be.
Shortly after 9pm, it was Metallica time! They opened with one of my all-time favorite Metallica songs, “Creeping Death” and their sound system was LOUD and crystal clear. Next was “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and the stadium was rocking! Their pyrotechnics were crazy as the flames flew high into the night for “Fuel” and booming fireworks started during “One.” And they had an amazing smoke and laser light show for “Blackened” that I’ll always remember. They rocked their classics: “Ride the Lightning,” “Fade to Black,” “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” and “Master of ‘Puppets.” No one was seated and you could just feel the energy of the night. Hearing “Enter Sandman” played live at Yankee Stadium is something I’ll never forget, especially since Mariano Rivera had just tied the all-time save record and always comes out to the mound to “Enter Sandman.” Baseball & metal, who would’ve thought of that combo? Metallica, that’s who!
James Hetfield’s deep growling voice sounded great throughout the night as did Lars Ulrich on drums, but the many solos by Kirk Hammett were impressive and they surprised the crowd by playing the instrumental “Orion,” which for as many times as I’ve seen Metallica, have never heard played live before tonight. They played only a few from Death Magnetic but those sounded wonderful. After the Big 4 bands all got together to play, and finished, Metallica came back to do “Battery” which blew everyone away (although I was secretly hoping to hear “Damage Inc.”) and closed with a favorite “Seek & Destroy.” No one wanted to leave this historical metal show. I know I was awestruck!
Before Metallica had finished their set, they called up the members of all Big 4 bands to come out and play a song together (Dave Mustaine and a few others were notably absent). James announced that they would honor Lemmy, the godfather of metal, by playing “Overkill” by Motörhead. All 4 drummers took turns playing and it was an absolutely amazing collaboration! Everyone on stage seemed genuinely happy to be playing together, like good friends reuniting just for fun, hugging each other, laughing. I was truly happy to the core to have been a part of this amazing evening. Nothing will ever compare to or come close to this show’s magnitude of talent. I will remember this evening and concert as long as I live.
Metallica.com posted a tour video with live footage of “Blackened” and “Overkill.” Check it out below.
Review by Marianne Teresi