East coast fans finally had their chance to see "The Big 4" of thrash metal on Wednesday night, as Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax played at New York's new Yankee Stadium. It was only the second U.S. performance that the four bands have done together, following an April show in Indio, CA. The seven-hour show opened with native New Yorkers Anthrax, who delivered their usual high-energy set filled with classic tunes and new tracks from their latest album, Worship Music. Singer Joey Belladonna hijacked the stadium video camera for a little while, as he and guitarist Scott Ian had fun hanging an Anthrax banner that was a play on the Yankees logo.
Megadeth was up next, and while they delivered a set filled with fan favorites and shredding technical guitar solos, frontman Dave Mustaine explained that he was experiencing a bit of pain after having neck surgery the day before. "I shouldn’t be playing right now," he told the crowd, "but I'm doing this for you."
The sun had set by the time Slayer belted out "South of Heaven," which set a perfect scene for their usual dark and ominous performance. The New York Times noted that the band remains a tight machine, despite the fact that Exodus guitarist Gary Holt is still filling in for the ailing Jeff Hanneman. For a memorable forty minutes or so, Yankee Stadium became a dark and contemplative place for a performance that ran nearly uninterrupted with only a few brief silent moments, the Times reported.
Metallica closed the show with a two-hour-plus set that included classics like "Creeping Death," "Fade To Black" and "One" as well as more recent tracks "Cyanide" and "All Nightmare Long." The band was surrounded by a stunning display of lasers and fireworks as it led the crowd through almost 20 songs. Finally, during the encore, all four bands collaborated on a cover of Motorhead's "Overkill" before Metallica ended the night with "Seek and Destroy."