By Tommy Mann Jr.

The Record

Many claim Metallica to be the Rollings Stones of our generation. That point is arguable as I prefer to say they are simply the Metallica of our generation. They have done, and are doing, what few other bands in the world are capable of doing and that is selling out stadium shows.

Metallica delivered a sensational two hour and fifteen minute performance this past Sunday night (June 11, 2017) inside the confines of NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans, as tens of thousands of metalheads attended Metallica’s first Houston concert since the “Death Magnetic” tour.

Fans were treated to a healthy dose of new material from the band’s November 2016 release, “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct,” including the title track, “Atlas, Rise!” “Moth into Flame,” “Now That We’re Dead,” and “Halo on Fire,” as well as vintage tracks such as “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “Creeping Death,” “Hit the Lights,” “Fade to Black,” and “One.”

Frontman James Hetfield is still one of the best in the business as he took charge of the audience from the start and had the fans singing along word for word to many songs and finishing lyrics for him, as he stated, on the song “Seek and Destroy” in particular.

Bassist Robert Trujillo patrolled the stage and headbanged with the fans in the “Snakepit,” the special standing-room-only section encircled by the catwalk section of the stage, while guitarist Kirk Hammet’s fiery fretwork was as impressive as it has been since the start of the group’s career over 30 years ago. Drummer Lars Ulrich abilities behind the kit cannot be overstated as he pounds the drums better than most peers half of his age, and he easily runs a marathon each show based on his energetic performance.

Metallica’s self-titled “black” album was well represented during the band’s 18-song set as well on Sunday night in Houston, as the band performed crowd favorites “Unforgiven,” “Wherever I May Roam,” “Sad Bu True,” as well as encores “Nothing Else Matters” and “Enter Sandman” to close out the show.

The production was equally as monstrous as Metallica’s performance. Surrounded by video screens at least 40-feet tall and spanning the width of the stage, there is no bad seat available for this tour. Kudos!

Avenged Sevenfold proved to be the perfect main support act as the band is in the height of its popularity and its fans are comprised of many Metallica fans too. The band is touring in support of its new album, “The Stage,” which was released in October 2016.

The band’s loyal following rocked out to Avenged Sevenfold’s 60-minute set of music which featured the title track (“The Stage”), as well as fan favorites “Welcome to The Family,” “Hail to the King,” “Nightmare,” “Almost Easy,” “Buried Alive,” “Bat Country,” and set closer “Unholy Confessions.”

Danish rockers Volbeat opened the show at 6 p.m., and wasted little time as the band churned out song after song in an attempt to capitalize on its limited 40-minute set time. Despite precious little time, the group held it own with those arriving early with well known rock songs such as “A Warrior’s Call,” “Still Counting,” “Dead But Rising,” “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown” and “Black Rose,” which is the band’s most recent single from its current album, “Seal the Deal & Let’s Boogie,” which was released in June 2016.

Metallica set-list

Hardwired

Atlas, Rise!

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Creeping Death

Unforgiven

Now That We’re Dead

Moth into Flame

Wherever I May Roam

Halo on Fire

Hit the Lights

Sad But True

One

Master of Puppets

Fade to Black

Seek and Destroy

Battery

Nothing Else Matters

Enter Sandman