at Boston Calling, MA, USA, May 29, 2022

METALLICA (Live at Boston Calling, MA, USA, May 29, 2022)
Photo: Matt Zaniboni

Back in early 2020, Boston Calling announced that the Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Rage Against the Machine would headline the three-day festival. Of course, unfortunate events would follow, and the festival was put on hold until Memorial Day weekend of 2022. It was only a couple months into reintroducing the festival that Rage Against the Machine announced they would no longer be headlining the final night. What better way to make it up to the fans then to bring in the Bay Area Metal Titans Metallica?

This made Metallica’s first New England concert in 5 years and their first Boston Calling appearance. The third and final day of Boston Calling featured an extremely eclectic lineup with Weezer, Glass Animals, and Peach Tree Rascals just to name a few. However, having it be an all-day festival didn’t stop Metallica’s faithful from lining up against the barricade as soon as the gates opened to make sure they were front row for their set. You can also guarantee at any Metallica show, you see three generations of fans with a hand full experiencing their first show ever.

It was around 8:45 PM when Metallica’s iconic intro, “The Ecstasy of Gold,” rang through the Harvard Athletic Complex with all the fans singing along. Now typically you would think at a large festival with some casual Metallica fans, Metallica would want to warm up the set with some radio friendly material… that was not the case for Boston Calling! Metallica opened with the classic Thrash sing-along, “Whiplash,” off their first album Kill ‘Em All and went right into the ripping title track off their sophomore album Ride the Lightning. The set surely had something for every Metallica fan in attendance. A highlight for myself (and for many others I would imagine) was watching their legendary front man James Hetfield. Hetfield looked happy, healthy and really seem to be having fun the whole set. One thing that surely stood out and had the whole audience in awe was right after the solo to the classic “Fade to Black,” Hetfield addressed the crowd and said “Hey Boston, do you feel the struggle? I feel the struggle every day, and if you identify with that you’re not alone, talk to your friends your family whoever… talk to me right now!” With everything the world has been through within the past couple of years, Hetfield couldn’t have made everyone in attendance feel more united and connected with that statement.

As Metallica went deeper into their set, they ripped through the classics such as “Wherever I May Roam,” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” It was towards the end of the band’s set and Kirk Hammett started the intro from their 1991 hit “Nothing Else Matters” and accidentally botched the intro. Hammett reacted by having a good laugh at himself and addressed the crowd saying “Sorry, guys, you’re so kickass… I got distracted by how kickass you are!” Well played Kirk!

The legendary Metallica closed out Boston Calling in spectacular fashion, not only did fans enjoy a day of music that had something for everyone, but Metallica themselves enjoyed themselves and had a blast during their whole set (all while flying from California just 48 hours after headlining another festival). It is safe to say that Metallica have many great years ahead of them.


  • Matt Zaniboni

    Matthew is an interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He started his passion for music journalism back in his college radio days serving as the Heavy Metal Director at WKKL out of Hyannis Massachusetts. During Matt’s tenure in radio, he has had time working for commercial stations in Boston Massachusetts such as WAAF, WZLX AND 98.5 The Sports Hub before landing with Metal Express Radio. Anytime you want to talk heavy Metal, hockey, Guiness, and dad life, Matt is your guy m/

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