I first saw the the almighty Metallica at my first Bonnaroo experience in 2008. Fast forward nine years and the time had finally come for me to experience Metallica again! I could not have been more stoked for the Orlando show at Camping World Stadium on July 5th, 2017. This show will cap off a birthday week for the books. \m/
In the weeks leading up to the show, I’m slammed with work at my day job as well as various SIGT responsibilities. My 33rd birthday itinerary has me flying out of Orlando to Denver on the Thursday morning of June 29th. My birthday is June 28th and consists of a full day of work and driving around town for meetings. My head was in a thousand places throughout the day and somehow I run out of gas on the Florida Turnpike… happy fucking birthday. I spend the evening of my birthday at home cleaning my house, doing laundry, and packing.
I spend the next five days in Denver, CO, seeing the sights and raging to three nights in a row at Red Rocks with my favorite band, Umphrey’s McGee. Read all about it here.
I fly back to Orlando on the morning-afternoon of July 4th and spend the rest of the day unwinding at home and watching the Downtown Orlando fireworks show on TV. I fall asleep to the warzone sounds in my neighborhood. Happy birthday, ‘Merica!
After a short half-day at work the following day, I head home and start preparing for the encore of my birthday weekend. I had bought two floor tickets to the Metallica show when they first went on sale months ago. I take my older brother with me to the show using my tickets and end up giving the lower bowl press ticket to another Shows I Go To staff friend.
Here’s a pic of my brother (right) and I (left) early on in the evening.
My brother and I unexpectedly run into our stepbrother on our walk to the stadium. We had not coordinated with him at all, so we are all extremely stoked by this random meet up. Stepbro also has floor tickets… it is officially a bro’s night family affair.
Volbeat and Avenged Sevenfold open up the show and both sound intensely epic, providing the perfect soundtrack as the stadium slowly but steadily fills up. I let their music take my mind to outer space and enjoy all the sights and sounds around me. Plenty of good people watching is being had. From the middle of the floor I stare into the vastness of the crowd and appreciate the view and spot I have.
Volbeat comes out on stage to the Rocky theme. Here’s a video of the first song of Volbeat’s set, “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown” thanks to YouTuber noelleon708 who was way up in front!
This is my first time seeing both Volbeat and Avenged Sevenfold, and I’m beyond impressed and become more of a fan after seeing them live, per usual.
Here’s a video of “Nightmare” thanks to YouTuber HiDef ROCK who was also up front.
By the time Metallica starts, the sun is now a fading memory and the darkness has consumed us. That is, until we are lit up by one of the biggest stage productions I have ever seen! This stage setup compares to, but is slightly smaller than, the setup I saw at the U2 – Joshua Tree Tour show a few weeks prior.
Almost as wide as the field, the stage has a 50-foot tall LCD screen in jagged segments. The ends of the stage are capped with the letters M and A in the Metallica font. The looping catwalk at the front of the stage creates the intimate “Snake Pit.”
Snake Pit = where die-hard fans are kept for safe keeping.”
And of course, there is an adequately oversized speaker system blasting supersonic sounds.
Here’s the official video of “Fuel” from the Orlando show.
Here’s a video of “One” by YouTuber Gregory Marcus.
For over two hours, the best metal band to ever exist delivered a solid performance without missing a beat and thrashing my face to shreds. From the old school fan favorites to the new material off of the 2016 album, Hard Wired… To Self-Destruct, fists were pumped in the air and voices singing along were on their way to being all but gone the next day.
The first half of the set featured mostly new songs with the exception of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “Unforgiven” which showcase James Hetfield going back and forth from a distorted vocal acoustic guitar setup and a grungy electric guitar.
Check me out on Instagram… “For Whom The Bell Tolls” courtesy of The Sober Goat.
The rest of the show was exactly what you expected and wanted, all the good shit! “Wherever I May Roam,” “Sad but True,” “One,” “Master of Puppets,” “Seek and Destroy” to end the set, and an encore that ends with “Nothing Else Matters” and “Enter Sandman.” Each of these songs could describe a current situation in my life. I embrace the feelings as the pyrotechnics and fireworks absolutely blow me away. Thank you, Metallica, for rocking my face with such an explosive show! Come back soon!
Check out Metallica’s official thank you video.
Orlando: Thank You, Metallica!
James Hetfield – lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1981–present)
Kirk Hammett – lead guitar, backing vocals (1983–present)
Robert Trujillo – bass, backing vocals (2003–present)
Lars Ulrich – drums, percussion (1981–present)
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