Official Metallica.com footage of METALLICA‘s pre-show meet-and-greet, tuning-room jam and performance at this past Saturday’s (April 23) “Big Four” concert at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, California can be viewed below.
The all-day festival featured the so-called “Big Four” bands of 1980s thrash metal — METALLICA, SLAYER, ANTHRAX and MEGADETH — sharing the stage in the U.S. for the first time ever, drawing an estimated 50,000 people.
The highly anticipated onstage performance of all four bands at the same time happened near the end of METALLICA‘s set, between “Enter Sandman” and “Hit The Lights”. Members of ANTHRAX, SLAYER and MEGADETH joined METALLICA on stage for a cover of DIAMOND HEAD‘s “Am I Evil?” before METALLICA ended the night with its perennial set-closer, “Seek And Destroy” from the band’s 1983 debut, “Kill ‘Em All”.
In introducing the members of the other three bands immediately prior to the “Am I Evil?” performance, METALLICA frontman James Hetfield said, “Can you believe it? Thirty years, man [referring to how long each of the ‘Big Four’ bands has been together. – Ed.]. I don’t know how many of you have been around that long, you know?! It doesn’t matter; you’re here right now to see the ‘Big Four,’ and we’re getting this prepared for a big jam, alright? It’s pretty important.
“We just wanna take the time to say ‘thank you’ to all of you metal fans out there who have supported all the bands — not only the ‘Big Four,’ but the big however many out there. There’s many, many other bands that have been around as long as us, and, unfortunately, broke up because of business or some other crap. There’s a lot of great bands out there and we’d like to celebrate all of them, and especially the ‘Big Four’, getting out here and jamming, and just saying ‘thank you’ to the world of metal fans for just giving us your support, giving us your heart and giving us your passion, man, ’cause that’s what it is for us.”
METALLICA‘s setlist was as follows:
01. Creeping Death
02. For Whom the Bell Tolls
04. Ride the Lightning
05. Fade to Black
07. All Nightmare Long
08. Sad But True
09. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
12. Master of Puppets
14. Nothing Else Matters
15. Enter Sandman
16. Am I Evil? (DIAMOND HEAD cover) (with MEGADETH, ANTHRAX and SLAYER)
17. Hit The Lights
18. Seek And Destroy
The “Big Four” tour first played selected dates in Eastern Europe last summer to an fantastic response, which led to the scheduling of shows this year in the U.S. and other parts of Europe.
METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich told The Pulse Of Radio the “Big Four” tour idea first came up in 2009. “We were sitting around and we were feeling pretty nostalgic at the time because it was right around the old Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Cleveland, induction thing there,” he said. “So as you sit around and talk about your past and whatever, the idea of playing shows with the other, you know, members of the so-called ‘Big Four’ just came up, and it finally came together just over a year later.”
“Orion” and “Am I Evil?” performance: