Metallica’s WorldWired Tour took them to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday. It was a great performance with intense pyrotechnics and immeasurable volume – but we could barely hear it.
Something was obviously very wrong with the sound system as many people tweeted that even opener Avenged Sevenfold’s sound was horrible. There were moments of clarity where the music was audible, but only for a second. The bass and drums drowned out the vocals and guitars. It sounded more like we were outside of the stadium than inside it.
You only knew what lyrics James Hetfield was singing if you knew the song by heart – the words were pretty much indistinguishable. Songs like “The Unforgiven” and “Nothing Else Matters” sounded great at the beginning when it was just the guitars, but once the whole band broke out, it just sounded like a pounding mess.
It’s a shame, because you could tell the band were putting on a great show, because those split seconds of clarity did sounded fantastic. Metallica were exerting obvious effort, especially Hetfield, whose grunts were coming straight from the gut. Whoever the sound team was for this show – whether it was the band’s or MetLife’s, did an absolutely terrible job balancing the acoustics.
On the other hand, I’ve never attended a show with more loyal fans. Even the “oohs” and “ahs” scattered throughout the songs were memorized and recited by the entire stadium. It was echoing, and it was chilling.
Hetfield made a brief speech at the beginning of the show stating that the band doesn’t “give a shit about anything” – race or religion of fans, who they voted for, what they eat – because they were all there together, as Metallica fans. This is a tactic many other artists should adopt, rather than blasting fans whose political opinions differ from their own. It’s about the music. So props to you, Metallica. We can only hope that next time you come to MetLife, we can hear a whole song.
2. Atlas, Rise!
3. For Whom the Bell Tolls
5. The Unforgiven
6. Now That We’re Dead
7. Moth into Flame
8. Wherever I May Roam
9. Halo on Fire
11. Sad but True
13. Master of Puppets
14. Fade to Black
15. Seek & Destroy (tribute to NJ)
16. Fight Fire with Fire
17. Nothing Else Matters
18. Enter Sandman