Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold and Gojira rock San Diego’s Petco Park

Metallica, touring in support of last year’s dominant tenth studio album, Hardwired…To Self-Destruct, brought their explosive headlining WorldWired 2017 North American stadium tour to Petco Park this past Sunday night, Aug. 6.

The nine-time Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum band, Metallica, proved once again why they are still considered one of the most dominant and driving forces in all of hard rock and heavy metal. Nearly four decades into their metal music dreams — the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, consisting of singer-guitarist James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo, continues to be a global music phenomenon, mesmerizing millions of hard core fans on literally all seven continents.

Metallica’s ‘WorldWired’ is a real dynamic production, capturing the spirit of rock without limits. Their aggressive music coupled perfectly with the five gigantic LED video screens soaring upwards into the infinite skyline (resembling the steel frame of a skyscraper), situated on the massive three-part stage of the open-air arena. The video screens (approximately 60 x 100-feet) enhanced the crowd’s live experience by ensuring a clear view of the stage, regardless of seating.

Bursting at capacity (about 40,000 multi-generational metalheads), Petco Park was overflowing with energy and excitement as Metallica took the stage. The gifted musicians opened with two songs from their new record, “Hardwired” and “Atlas Rise!” The band played a total of five new songs during their pulverizing 2-1/2 hour, 18-song set, demonstrating complete faith and dedication to their new material.

One of the most poignant moments of Metallica’s set — based on the audience’s response — was the second encore song, “Nothing Else Matters.” The ballad is from Metallica’s self-titled fifth studio album, Metallica, released in 1992 and a staple in live performances — a song dedicated to their devoted and loyal fans.

Sunday’s concert also showcased such classics as “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” “One,” “Master Of Puppets” (with the classic graveyard imagery), “Seek & Destroy,” and “Enter Sandman.” (The full set list appears below.)

Hardwired…To Self-Destruct, released on Nov. 18, 2016, via the band’s vanity label, Blackened Recordings, was produced by Greg Fidelman. Debuting No. 1 around the world (Metallica’s sixth consecutive studio album to debut at number one on the US Billboard 200) the critically acclaimed album has sold over three million copies worldwide to date and is considered one of Metallica’s most accomplished works in years.

Crisscrossing North America with Metallica is the Huntington Beach, California heavy metal band, Avenged Sevenfold, and Gojira, the French heavy metal band from Bayonne.

Gojira took the stage promptly at 6:00 pm. The band featuring guitarist and vocalist Joe Duplantier, his brother, drummer Mario Duplantier, lead guitarist Christian Andreu, and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie, performed a palpable and intense nine-song setlist, featuring five tracks from their latest Grammy nominated album, Magma (2016).

Setting themselves apart from other metal bands with lyrics passionate with concern for the Earth, Gojira’s fans could feel the positive vibe and energy from one of metal’s up and coming bands on the music scene today. One only has to see Gojira perform live to see how this band has become as huge as they have. If you have the opportunity to see these guys, do it.

Up next was Avenged Sevenfold (A7X for short) — one of the most successful heavy metal bands with over eight million copiessold of their six studio albums. First formed in 1999, the current lineup consists of M. Shadows (lead vocals), Zacky Vengeance (rhythm guitar/backing vocals), Synyster Gates (lead guitar/backing vocals), Johnny Christ (bass/backing vocals), and Brooks Wackerman (drums).

Avenged Sevenfold has a rare level of musicianship. There is a limited number of hard rock and metal acts today with the ability to deliver the transfixing musical performances required to win over arena sized audiences. A7X has earned real influence with their fans by connecting in authentic, personal ways, regardless of crowd size — proving, show after show, year after year, they are still one of the best players in the game.

A7X performed an explosive ten-song set that spanned the entire group’s musical catalog. The evening’s performance hit a crescendo with two of A7X’s most treasured songs, “Bat Country” and “Unholy Confessions” from classic Avenged records, 2003s Waking the Fallen, and 2005s City of Evil (A7X’s breakthrough album).

The highly successful WorldWired’s North American leg, produced by Live Nation, kicked off on May 10 in Baltimore, Maryland, and will close out in Canada on Aug. 16 in Edmonton, Alberta. Starting in early September, Metallica will head out for the European leg, which will keep the group on the road well into 2018. For complete tour information, visit Metallica’s official site.

Oh yeah; the concert was beyond phenomenal.

Metallica WorldWired 2017 Tour Petco Park Setlist


"Atlas, Rise!"

"For Whom the Bell Tolls"

"Creeping Death"

"The Unforgiven"

"Now That We're Dead"

"Moth Into Flame"

"Wherever I May Roam"

"Halo On Fire"




"Master Of Puppets"

"Fade To Black"

"Seek and Destroy"


"Fight Fire With Fire"

"Nothing Else Matters"

"Enter Sandman"

Text and photos by Joshua Weesner