Metallica’s WorldWired Tour Part ll
Metallica’s WorldWired Part ll
Soldier Field Chicago
Sunday June 18, 2017
As promised: Here’s Metallica’s WorldWired Tour Part ll.
Lots and lots of good stuff here: Metallica with their Japanese extra large Taiko Drums for the song “Now That We’re Dead” – which was an innovative way of elevating the song, with Kirk, James, Rob and Lars pummeling their individual Taiko drums into oblivion.
The specs: each individual drum weighs 250 pounds, stands 36 inches tall (more when lifted atop their movable platform wheels), has a 30 inch playing head with separate zones and separate electronic triggers to amplify the wallop.
Like everything else involving touring behind there release back in 2017 – “Hardwired…to Self- Destruct”- it’s all a bit grandiose and blatantly over the top.
As well as it should be, considering the massive outdoor stadiums that the bulk of the tour will be enfolding over North America back in 2017.
Metallica’s WorldWired Tour is as big as big gets.
And just like their soundchecks, which sometimes takes like seems forever, into there warmups, which when you think of it, over half of their setlist consists of multiple thrash patterns, so you better make sure your limbs are warm.
Like James will tell you- you gotta keep the blood flowing.
His take is like an athletic approach to the shows, and to the tour in general. James will also tell you direct that it’s hard to keep the attention focused throughout, especially when they sometimes can get a little adventurous in whatever solo patterns that flourish in a song, and do your best to keep your pace and remember the basic structure of whatever song.
This has all come about by simply growing up together, going through tons and tons of drama and tragedies together, and also simply maturing together to see themselves through to the other end.
And as for the oversized outdoor Metallica spectacles- well it shows in the overall production that this is a band that cares.
Lars, Kirk, James and Rob love what they do, they deeply appreciate their catalog of songs more, and love to put on a show- for everyone in the house- all the way to the back of the bowls.
Have to say the album HardWired got a good reception, and the songs sound great when performed live.
And with this tour, they go out and perform in two week increments, with two weeks off in between, allowing each other time to get in and out of Metallica headspace, let off some steam and simply de- compress.
Basically now, and on some previous tours, other than the occasional meet and greets, the first time that they check in with each other on a show day is when they all get together in the tuning room, which is a makeshift oasis and place where they feel like they’re in their own studio, freely exchanging, and coming together as one to the almighty riffs.
Metallica means business. When they put out a new release- like HardWired…they mean business, especially when HardWired becomes Metallica’s WorldWired- along with a WorldWired Tour.
The scene in their gigantic “Snake Pit”- when it’s “Game Day”, even on a Sunday in Chicago – the atmosphere is amped.
The Snake Pit is a small area in front of the stage enclosed by a gigantic catwalk and runway, which during Metallica’s performance is nothing short of frenzied excitement, especially when individual band members make there way marching around the Snake Pit, and even more so when it’s full band mayhem, for songs such as “Battery”, and “For Whom the Bell Tolls”.
But the preparation- again, these aren’t young and dumb 21 to 24 year olds. There’s wear and tear to keep up to the level of a “Battery”, if you get the picture. There’s physical therapists at the ready before showtime. There’s some yoga. There’s lots and lots of stretching. There’s a couple treadmills at the ready as well.
There’s also Lars creating the night’s setlist, and asking for some input, and what deeper cuts should they attempt- if any.
Then off to the tuning room to rehearse for the gig.
The boys in Metallica know full well that they’re not a lot of bands that have progressed from the middle to the top, and that’s it’s a rare feat to actually be playing these outdoor massive stadiums, citing U2, Guns’ N’ Roses and AC/ DC as examples.
So as things progress with the band- so do the songs- with more freedom to get wild and experiment, and also with crazier arrangements.
And why not take risks?
The constants within the general Thrash community doesn’t take so kindly to this- to not stick to their roots and play what they should expect of them.
Metallica clearly knows this as well- they’re not a Slayer’s Slayer for this day and age.
And yet, here they still are, heavy- for sure, some thrash – for sure. But they also have a keen ear for melodies, and they don’t take that for granted.
Look at “Atlas Rise!” as a fine example, which is fast becoming another one of their anthems- a time shifting shape shifting epic song that can turn a Snake Pit into a mosh pit in a moment’s notice.
So for this Metallica HardWired Tour, they play a whopping five cuts off of the album, along with of course, all the fan favorites, such as “Wherever I May Roam”, “Master of Puppets”, “Enter Sandman”, and plenty others.
They blast 40 foot tall vertical pyro for “Fuel”, ignite concise and movable flames along the center stage floor for “Moth Into Flame”, and also project Pink Floyd style like lasers for “Nothing Else Matters”.
It’s all Metallica acting ginormous, appealing to everyone in attendance to leave shaken and stirred.
So, to sum it up- Metallica and this “HardWired / WorldWired Tour- still shows that the band perseveres- which when you think of it, and come out the other after documenting the event, is a good thing.
Cheers- Bobby Talamine – Music Photographer