Metallica at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY

The kings of heavy metal are back, touring in support of 2016’s critically acclaimed “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct” album. After a massive stadium tour in the summer of 2017, Metallica are sweeping across North America again, covering arenas in the markets they missed during the previous stadium tour.

This week, I was able to make my way to Albany, New York and cover a show at the Times Union Center, where they had most recently played back in the fall of 2009, while supporting their previous release, “Death Magnetic.”

The Albany show served as the final date on this leg of the tour (which kicks off again in a few weeks), so fans came from all over the US and beyond to celebrate. For the first time, this tour features a limited “black ticket” which allows fans who purchase it to attend as many shows during this tour as they like for one price. As a result, fans have been following this tour more rabidly than ever before, with a few making every single stop along the way!

Support for this tour was handled solely by comedian Jim Breuer, who is no stranger to Metallica. Breuer previously emceed all four dates of their 30th-anniversary celebration in San Francisco back in 2011. His act included both bits of Breuer’s humor, as well as contests that included fans from the show.

Metallica took the center stage at roughly 8:45 and opened the evening up with a 1-2 punch of new songs featuring “Hardwired” and “Atlas, Rise!” before going back to 1983 with the “Kill ‘Em All” classic “Seek and Destroy.” The show featured a bold mix of both new and old tracks, with no less than 5 brand new songs, also including “Now That We’re Dead,” “Confusion” and “Moth Into Flame.”

Throughout the evening, the band worked every inch of the center stage as they interacted with the crowd on all sides. In addition to the new tracks performed, classics also made their way into the set including staples “Creeping Death,” For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “One,” “Master of Puppets,” “Nothing Else Matters” and “Enter Sandman.” Some additional gems this evening included “Wherever I May Roam,” “Fuel” and “Hit the Lights.”

This tour sees Metallica transcending the label of rock gods that they’ve held for decades as they continue to mature into a band who is very much ready, willing and able to perform at an incredibly high level for years and years to come. While their tours may be a little thinner now, the intensity they pack into each show hasn’t waned an ounce. Every night consists of a 2+ hour show with very little downtime throughout.

The tour picks up again in Las Vegas in November 26th and runs through March 13th where it wraps up in Grand Rapids, Michigan before the band heads overseas for a European leg of the tour. If you’ve already got tickets, you’re in for a real treat. If not, check fast as these dates are largely sold out or selling fast.