Metallica Celebrate the Zazulas With Unforgettable Old-School Concert
Over the course of a weekend near the end of 2021, Metallica celebrated their 40-year career with two concerts that spanned their entire catalog from Kill 'Em All to Hardwired...to Self-Destruct. There were no special guests or major surprises at the shows. Instead, the anniversary celebrations were all about Metallica, their music and their fans.
Nearly one year later, Metallica put on a similar show dedicated to nothing else but lifting up the power of their music. But this time, rather than taking a look back at four decades of songs, the band focused solely on 1983 and 1984, the two years that saw the releases of Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning.
More than just a celebration of their early days, though, the concert—held at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Fla., on Sunday, Nov. 6—was a tribute to the late Jonny and Marsha Zazula, the two rock legends who heard Metallica's demo tape, No Life 'Til Leather, and put their lives on the line to release those first two albums.
The Zazulas forever changed heavy metal and rock and roll—and as James Hetfield reminded fans several times throughout the show, Metallica wouldn't be around today if it wasn't for them.
"Thank you for coming to help us celebrate heavy music and the life of the Zazula family who made this all possible," Hetfield said before openers Raven took the stage. "They dedicated their lives to something exactly like this...live music, bringing music to the people, so we're super grateful to be hosting this thing and getting you all together to join in with us."
Standing next to Hetfield, Lars Ulrich shared similar sentiments.
"We're here celebrating all things Jon and Marsha Zazula," he said. "Jon and Marsha Zazula are the reason Metallica exists today and the reason Metallica is still going 40 years strong and this music is still connecting with all of you people out there."
You can watch their full welcome below.
After Raven finished their opening set, Eddie Trunk, who once served as vice president of Megaforce Records (the label the Zazulas founded to release Kill 'Em All), took the stage to share some memories as well as introduce Jonny and Marsha's daughters, Blaire, Danielle and Rikki. Following that, in pre-recorded video messages, each member of Metallica shared their own heartfelt words about the Zazulas. And Jonny and Marsha actually returned the favor as videos of them talking about the early days of Metallica played throughout the night.
The biggest tribute of the night, though, came courtesy of Metallica's pummeling 16-song set. Every single track was packed with decades of intensity and heaviness, and even in the midst of a few minor and endearing missteps—like Hetfield missing an opening eight-count to a song or forgetting the closing riff on "Phantom Lord"—the band's passion and respect for the two people who believed in them from day one shone through.
From the moment Hetfield and Ulrich welcomed fans to the show to the closing notes of "Hit the Lights," every second of the night was beautifully committed to honoring the legacy of the Zazulas.
Check out the full setlist and some incredible photos from the show below.
Metallica Setlist — Nov. 6, 2022 at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood Florida
1. "Creeping Death"
2. "Ride the Lightning"
4. "No Remorse"
5. "Trapped Under Ice"
6. "The Call of Ktulu"
7. "Phantom Lord"
8. "Am I Evil?"
9. "Metal Militia"
10. "For Whom the Bell Tolls"
12. "Fade to Black"
13. "Seek & Destroy"
14. "Fight Fire With Fire"
16. "Hit the Lights"