Tuesday Nov 29th 2017
By Ted Van Boort
It’s that time of year when Benita Aalto can only hope that the Toronto Daily Food Bank has enough provisions to handle the anticipated Christmas demand. Yet even the food bank’s media relations coordinator could not have anticipated receiving support from such an unexpected source, one of the world’s top heavy metal bands, Metallica.
Yet there they were Tuesday night at Toronto’s Opera House, the same stage that once hosted Nirvana, playing to a packed-like-sardines crowd of some 950 devout fans and media types as they debuted their latest Hardwired…To Self Destruct release as a Food Bank charity event.
And this wasn’t your usual 30-minutes and out token appearance. Messers James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich and Robert Trajillo delivered a full two-hour performance containing key tracks from all of their major albums over their 35-year career span as well as three tracks off the new record; “Atlas Rise!, Moth Into Flame” and “Hardwired” which featured in a three-song encore sandwiched in between Thin Lizzy’s “Whiskey In A Jar” and “Seek And Destroy”
A hint of what was to come was announced on the band’s promo which announced “We Can’t Get Enough Of That Sweet Ol School Small Show Vibe” and the band didn’t hold back, delivering key hits like “Enter Sandman”, “Master Of Puppets” “Harvest Of Sorrow” “One” and “Creeping Death” in their fiery 12-song set plus three song encore.
The band made all the right Toronto references, decorating their drumkit with a stylized Canadian flag with Hetfield commenting, “When they said we were playing The Opera House, we thought they mean’t Oprah’s House!!”
The Warner Music people utilized the event to present Metallica with a Platinum album for selling over 800,000 units already and for everyone in attendance, lucky enough to scrounge a ticket, Metallica at The Opera House probably rates up there historically with the Stones playing their various Toronto surprise gigs.