Near the end of their ten-song greatest hits set at the sweaty, raucous and rocking Hollywood Palladium Sunday (Feb. 12), Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich grabbed the mic and quipped, “Hey, is this still on?” in reference to the band’s Grammy appearance earlier that night. Metallica rocked the Grammys at Staples Center with Lady Gaga just hours before, and they still rocked even though frontman James Hetfield’s mic wasn’t on for most of the performance.
For a lesser band, a mic malfunction might have put a damper on their night or lingered into their later performances. But after nearly 40 years together — and on the eve of announcing one of their biggest tours to date, including the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, Solider Field in Chicago, Metlife Stadium in New Jersey and more — Metallica rolled into the Palladium show (for the Citibank Sound Vault) on fire.
Coming out as they usually do to Ennio Morricone’s “The Ecstasy Of Gold,” the band, just as they did a few months earlier for an intimate fan-club show at L.A.’s Fonda, played a lean, mean greatest hits set.
Opening with “Hardwired,” the band mixed new material with such classics as “Enter Sandman,” “One,” “Master Of Puppets” and the closing “Seek And Destroy.”
While big wigs in the music industry crammed into parties around the city, Metallica chose to spend it with their fans — and those fans definitely appreciated it, busting into mosh pits during “Creeping Death” and singing along/chanting “die, die, die” with the band.
For a group like Metallica, who can do stadiums as they are this summer, the chance to play venues of this size (about 3,700 capacity) are rare. How rare? The last time they played the Palladium, as they mentioned on stage, was 1985. So this was the textbook definition of an underplay.
Even though it was a shorter set, no one left the venue disappointed. Rather, they left hoarse from screaming along and covered in sweat if they were on the packed floor. And in Metallica’s world, the Grammys were long forgotten by the time the band left the Palladium stage.