The group's strong core is immutable as Metallica proved at Webster Hall.
Not long after completing their set at Global Citizen Festival, Metallica surprise announced another show in New York City. But instead of a venue which could hold thousands, one they would easily sell out, the band decided to a more intimate club show was fitting. They opened up a lottery to members of their fan club and proceeds from the ticket sales benefitted the NYC charity City Harvest, an organization that provides food to New Yorkers in need. Of course demand was high, I can't recall the last time the band played a club show in NYC but I do know I haven't really seen them live (I arrived at Global Citizen in time for their last song) so this was a real treat.
Metallica are promoting their forthcoming tenth studio album Hardwired… To Self-Destruct (on the band's on label Blackened Recordings) and of course they played the powerful current single "Moth Into Flame" at Webster Hall and "Hardwired" during the encore. It was a small teaser from the new release really -- the band focused on songs from their earlier years. Perhaps it was a tribute to former bassist Cliff Burton who had passed away thirty years before on the date of the show. James Hetfield paid tribute to Burton after "Orion" as Lars Ulrich raised a drum stick towards the heavens.
Ultimately, it simply was incredible to watch the four piece band rock out. Metallica are in fine shape both musically and physically it seemed. Hetfield seemed ageless as he led the band through hits and classics like "Holier than Thou", "Sad But True" and "For Whom the Bell Tolls". His stamina was unflagging while Ulrich boldly pounded his drums and Robert Trujillo and Kirk Hammett both were devastating on their guitars. "For Whom...", along with the follow up, "Enter Sandman", were two of my favorites (as they are for many others) and they encouraged a healthy amount of head banging (and moshing for those in the center floor area of the venue).
The end came too soon though. When Hetfield started throwing guitar picks out to the crowd, the chant for "one more song" grew stronger. He laughed it off noting, "We gave all the picks away. We can't play anymore." Fortunately Metallica also hinted at a larger tour to come in 2017 and with anticipation for the new album growing day by day, their fans have a lot to look forward to.