Metallica WorldWired Tour with A7X & Volbeat
July 16th, 2017
Glancing at this blog entry you may have thought I accidentally double posted an article based on the title. This is not the case. I did in fact attend another concert that consisted of Volbeat and Avenged Sevenfold (A7X) as opening acts for headliners Metallica at last year’s show in Minnesota. When attending that concert I never thought this lineup would ever be repeated so I made the trip halfway across America, not knowing they would show up, figuratively, right in my backyard.
When this show was announced back in February I was hesitant at first if I wanted to go because part of me felt like it was going to be the same experience over again. I purchased tickets for my boyfriend and I anyway with an A7X presale code and chose the cheapest seats I could buy. We had amazing seats when we saw them last year so I wasn’t concerned about getting up close this time as I basically just wanted a ticket to get me through the door. I regret my choice in doing that, which I will explain later.
We opted to take the GO Train to Union Station to avoid traffic, to eliminate the cost of parking downtown Toronto and remove the struggle of leaving the city once the concert ended, which was a very good idea. Two adult round-trip tickets cost us around $43 from our starting destination to downtown, which is normally an hour car ride.
Arriving at Union Station around 2:30pm we opted to grab food first at Big Smoke Burger, which we have ate at before and was about a 25 minute walk away. This place is literally the width of an apartment hallway but the food is always hot and cooked fresh. We ordered a couple drinks, fries and the Beast and the Spicy burger which added up to around $30 CAD.
It’s not the cheapest place, but it kept us full for a majority of the afternoon/night which was better than paying the even higher food costs at the Rogers Centre.
I’m part of Metallica’s Met Club and received an email last week about the merchandise pop-up store that was set up near the venue at Artscape Sandbox all weekend. On Sunday they were open until 4pm and we got in the semi-long line to get in the store around 3:30pm. We were able to get in and look around the store, which mostly consisted of a variety of their music and a diverse display of t-shirts (some were $75 CAD!), so we didn’t end up purchasing anything.
It was close to the time the doors of the Rogers Centre were opening so we just walked back to the venue and waited to get in. Upon entering we went directly to our level and to the merchandise booth, which was conveniently set up outside our section. The merchandise was just as expensive here: $90 CAD for an A7X hoodie, $20 CAD for a Metallica key chain and $10 CAD for a drink koozie for example. I ended up purchasing a Metallica bandana for $20 CAD.
Section 538R Row 21 Seat 1,2 Total= $145.40 CAD
I swear our seats were in the highest section they could possibly be. We were legitimately where the birds make nests in the spring in the rafters. Despite that fact we actually did have an amazing view of the stage. We were directly above the right side of the stage and could see everything perfectly.
Anyone that hasn’t been to this venue should know that the roof is retractable and that night it was closed due to rain in the forecast. I really wished it had been open to see if it would have alleviated some of the vibrations/echoes that we heard all night. I’ve only ever attended baseball games at the Rogers Centre and 99% of the time the dome has been open.
As soon as Volbeat started I was disappointed in the sound quality but first chalked it up to the sound guy getting out the kinks. A few songs in and it was still horrible. I listened without earplugs, then I tried putting in earplugs, then I tried having one earplug in and one out but nothing helped.
The stage represented a boxing ring, which was cool and at the end of their set they threw boxing gloves into the audience. I wonder how many people got punched in the head with them as the crowd on the floor grew bigger into the night.
The anticipation of seeing A7X come on stage had me regretting my earlier choices of ordering a burger with jalapeños and indulging in an overpriced ice cream at the venue let me tell you.
I was hoping A7X’s sound was going to improve but it was just as bad. The worst part for me was the vocals. If I didn’t know what the lyrics of the songs were I would have no idea what they were saying.
Much to my boyfriend’s delight I wasn’t as attracted to M. Shadows as I normally am when he did come on stage. I hated his facial hair as it covered his drool-worthy dimples, but as my friend from college always says, “Well, I mean, I wouldn’t throw him outta bed.”
I haven’t seen A7X in concert since they released their latest album The Stage and they opened their set with the title track. The only other song they played from the album was God Damn. I understand that this was not a headlining show for them, but I’m so over always hearing the same set list from them over and over every time I see them.
Since The Stage is more of a concept album based off of artificial intelligence I think it would be a cool idea for them to do a tour where they strictly just play tracks from that album. I remember when the band My Chemical Romance came out with The Black Parade back in 2006 that’s how they did one of their tour runs and it was really different.
I must say their stage presence was amazing despite having to cover a huge area. They always rotated around where they were performing on the stage so all sections of the crowd had attention focused on them at some point.
Here are some clips I took of them performing Afterlife, Buried Alive and Nightmare. It shows the sound quality of the concert. I don't have the best of cameras for rock concerts, but this wasn't the camera in this case.
The sad thing is when hearing these back they actually sound better than what we experienced in person that night. It honestly sounded like I was in a barrel going over Niagara Falls for four hours.
Zacky also wore a Toronto Blue Jays jersey during their encore that were given to the band earlier in the night which was cool. Maybe because his wife is from Canada he felt like he had to wear it?...
From where we were sitting, you know, in the boonies, I could see backstage and that came into my favour when I saw the members of Metallica pull up on a golf cart and start walking to the stage.
It’s crazy to think that I’ve liked Metallica since I was 12 and had never had the chance to see them, and now within less than a year’s time I’ve seen them play three times. The other amazing thing about that is that no performance has been the same. All three concerts had completely different backgrounds to them. This one had to have the most going on I think: fireworks, pyrotechnics, fire also running through the stage, and balloons that inflated during the opening track.
My boyfriend said he heard on Sirius XM’s Octane that M. Shadows of A7X watches Metallica’s show from the Snake Pit every night. I zoomed in on that section like I worked for TMZ but unfortunately came up empty handed.
My favourite live track right now off their new album is Now That We’re Dead and when I saw them in May at Rock On The Range the drum solo the quartet did in the middle of it was amazing. I didn’t get the chance to film it there so I made sure I filmed it during the Toronto show, but like the other bands of the night the video did not turn out due to poor sound.
As well as a different appearance for each concert their set list gets mixed up as well which I enjoy. There are obviously a few staple songs they’ve played at each one such as Master of Puppets and Enter Sandman, but I like that the songs in between the well known ones have been changed since I saw them at Rock On The Range and in Minneapolis last year. The full set list can be found at this website.
It sucks that two out of the three times I’ve seen the band it has been ruined by bad sound. I’m not willing to give up though, and the next time they come somewhere in my area or within driving distance I would still want to attend. I may need to make some ground rules though: No outdoor shows where I could get soaked/threats of lightning and no tin can sounding domes. I’m open to venue suggestions!
We were those people and left the concert before the encore started. We wanted to catch the GO Train back at a decent time because if we waited for the one after the concert ended, it would have been 45 minutes later and we would have been fighting our way into the train cars with potentially 50,000+ other people.
The train came screeching in around 11:15pm and I arrived home around 1:30am where I don’t even remember my head hitting the pillow I was so exhausted.
1. What is the worst concert venue you’ve been to/why?
2. What is your opinion on these pop-up stores bands seem to be doing lately?
3. Have you been to the Rogers Centre before for a concert? If you’d had good sound let me know what section you were in.