Black leather jackets, sleeveless vests with patches and safety pins and lots and lots of long-haired rockers packed the Save Mart Center on Sunday night to witness the last concert of the year from Metallica’s WorldWired Tour.
The tour began in late 2016 and will finish in 2019. It was set to coincide with the release of Metallica’s 10th studio album “Hardwired…to Self Destruct.” Its stop in Fresno was much anticipated by many in the heavy and thrash rock community.
While in Fresno, the band also presented a check from the All Within My Hands Foundation for $10,000 to the Central California Food Bank. The foundation is Metallica’s charitable entity, and is dedicated to creating sustainable communities by supporting workforce education, the fight against hunger and other critical local services.
Before the concert began, comedian Jim Breuer opened for the rock band with his “Light it Up” comedy show.
Breuer engaged the crowd with jokes about the band and how much the members have aged throughout the years. He also had some giveaways and poked some more fun at the crowd, the band and himself.
The setup for the stage was really innovative, with the actual stage being in a diamond shape. The drums were in the middle of the stage, and mics were set up on all corners. There were also several cubes that would drop down from the lighting fixture, displaying different types of images.
After much anticipation, the band finally came out at around 8:40 p.m., and began its set quickly and with lots of energy with the first song “Seek and Destroy.” As soon as the first string on the guitar was struck, there was beer flying all over the place, and people started to push and shove each other.
The band took a short break after about three or four songs and engaged the crowd, talking about how everyone in attendance was part of the Metallica family. The members also talked about how the band has been playing rock music for over 37 years and that there are about three generations of people at their concerts.
For the most part, the crowd seemed very engaged in the concert, chanting and screaming to every song that the band played.
Pyrotechnics were on display in a few songs, especially the songs that were the band’s more successful and most popular. The band also had a display of small drones that had bright lights, which gave the appearance of floating lights around the band as they played.
The crowd continued to be engaged with the band, and when lead singer James Hetfield mentioned Fresno, the crowd would sound off with a loud roar. Several mosh pits formed throughout the concert’s general admission floor, especially when the bands faster and hardest-sounding songs came on.
Toward the end of the night, the band thanked the crowd and seemed to exit the stage. Lots of cheers and encore chants began to be heard throughout the arena. After a few minutes, the band returned to the stage and finished the concert with three more songs.