Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Monday, December 22, 2008

Saturday Night: Metallica at the Oracle Arena

Posted By on Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 7:41 AM


Oracle Arena
December 20, 2008
Notes and Photos by Karla Rivera

Better than: EVER!

Rapid, loud, head-banging metal - so amazingly clean and clear - the band was on fire from the get-go and so were we!

The stage, set in the center of the arena (which later became a moat of multiple mosh pits), was blasted with flashing lasers as the "fog rolled in" for Metallica's entrance - very appropriate for being back home in the Bay. And when James Hetfield's first remarks were, "Metallica is in a great mood tonight because we're home again," I knew it was going to be more than a phenomenal show.


The mics were strategically placed so James, Kirk, Lars and Robert could rule the stage from all angles. Hetfield's voice was quite on key as he magnetically engaged the crowd. Hammet still rips on his guitar with flawless solos, barely breaking strings as Lars and Robert boomed with the bass and drums.


They are still the same t-shirts and jeans band I grew up thrashing around to and the mostly male crowd mirrored that image wearing various vintage Metallica shirts. With over 25 years of hard and fast metal, it was apparent these heavy metal rock legends have withstood
the test of time as the offspring of my generation sung along to every lyric of their latest album, Death Magnetic.


But the historic sound of Metallica emerged when they played their third song, "Creeping Death," as the glaring lights mounted on eight silver metal coffins (each the size of a car) started a synchronized swing above the band. The nostalgia set in with the aroma in the air
and the fans swaying their lighters.

Throughout the show, the pyrotechnics flared up. During the third encore, my favorite song
of the night, "Seek & Destroy," black beach balls with Metallica written all over them dropped from the rafters above and bounced around the crowd.


After over two hours of solid metal mania, several crew members charged the stage chasing Lars with cream pies and guns loaded with string confetti. It happened to be his birthday week so the celebration resulted in his messy attack of cream pie and confetti as we joined the band and sang happy birthday.

Welcome home, Metallica! Thanks for over two decades of rippin' Rock 'n' Roll!


Note: The set list we were initially given was flawed, our apologies. Here's the updated version:

1. That Was Just Your Life

2. The End of the Line
3. Creeping Death
4. For Whom the Bell Tolls
5. One
6. Broken, Beat & Scarred
7. Cyanide
8. Sad But True
9. The Unforgiven
10. All Nightmare Long
11. The Day That Never Comes
12. Master of Puppets
13. Blackened
14. Nothing Else Matters
15. Enter Sandman

16. Metal Militia (teaser) / Last Caress (by the Misfits)
17. Whiplash
18. Seek and Destroy

  • Pin It

About The Author

Janine Kahn


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"