Metallica, kings of the road and stage, hit the Mullins Center at UMass, Amherst(MA) on February 15th with enough energy and heat to engulf the Mullins in flames of complete aggression and power. The show was scheduled to begin promptly at 8: 00 p.m. but was delayed about 45 minutes. However, making the wait a more pleasant one, the Metallic-hungry followers were treated to a 25-minute documentary on the band with some candid peeks, live footage from backstage on the three huge monitors set up so that everyone could see as well as those ever-so-lucky front row viewers! Finally, James, Jason, Lars, and Kirk appeared and the entire horde of fans went crazy as Metallica pounded into “Enter Sandman,” the first release from their latest album, “Metallica,” which has been on the charts for over 75 weeks now. Following “Sandman” were three Metallica classics, “Creeping Death,” “Harvester of Sorrow,” and “Sanitarium.” With each song, the band seemed to pump even more of their relentless energy into their fans.
It was loud, nasty, and incredible!
Bassist, Jason Newsted, was superb. Showing off his newly-shaven (and practically bald) head, he performed a phenomenal solo. Looking at the monitor for a close-up of his bass mastery, I stood in complete awe as I watched his fingers play that instrument, his soul, like no other bassist I have ever seen before. He played with such passion and skill that clearly explained the reason for his new title of “Best Bassist of ’92” in RIP magazine’s annual reader’s poll. Newsted brought a unique power to the stage, one of style and class.
Bandmates James, Lars, and Kirk, too, were extremely “fired up” and impassioned, seeming to bring the entire sea of beholders to a higher plateau where a person could forget about the pains and sufferings of reality and for three truly magical hours, escape to that world of fantasy where one’s hopes and dreams could become real and alive. Even though I knew very few at the show, but there was a sense of unity among us. As fans, we were all united in the love of this music, this chaos, and this energy. Metallica brought us altogether to share in the glory of rock and most important, have a damn good time! As fists thrust into the air and every voice chanted the words to “Seek and Destroy,” the energy built up even more and with each song, the crowd grew even crazier. It was a steadily climbing roller coaster ride of adrenaline where the volume and strength seeped into us uncontrollably. It was delightfully frightening and unstoppable, making the blood in my veins pound in thrashing sync with the pulsating vibe I had been eagerly awaiting for months.
Unbelievable lighting and pyrotechnics added to the solid-rock, exploding metal making it easy to see why Metallica was pronounced “Best Live Act” in the 1992 RIP magazine reader’s poll. Metallica is a very close group. They work together and are sincerely devoted to their music and message. After performing their last song, “Battery,” I thought about that. Metallica would not be here today if they had not ridden those tremendous waves of life together on their difficult rise to the top. They are a truly inspiring group of guys who clearly fit the definitions of perseverance and dedication who simply enjoy bringing happiness to others through their talents. I am proud to say that I am a die-hard Metallica fan and thank them with all my heart for that spectacular evening of February 15th that will never be forgotten. n
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