Metallica rocks small Toronto crowd with concert to thank city, raise funds for food bank
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, November 30, 2016 8:36AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 30, 2016 4:42PM EST
It’s been years since Metallica played a show in Toronto, but not for lack of love for the city.
Coming off a sold-out show at The Opera House Tuesday night, Metallica Drummer Lars Ulrich sat down with CP24’s Jamie Gutfreund Wednesday and said the band wanted to do something to thank the city and Canadians for their support over the years.
“Canada and Toronto have been such a significant part of Metallica’s history for the past 30 years,” Ulrich said. “You guys have given so much love to Metallica over the years, so we wanted to come here and do something special for you guys.”
The heavy metal legends usually play to crowds of thousands, but the relatively intimate show was taken in by just 950 fans – full capacity for the venue.
The band thrilled the crowd with a set that lasted around 90 minutes from 8:30 p.m., a treat for local Metallica fans who haven’t been able to see the group play here since 2009.
The concert was announced only a week ago and members of the group’s fan club got first dibs on tickets for $25. The remainder were sold to the public for $100 a ticket. All proceeds from the sale went to the Daily Bread Food Bank, which is aiming to raise 1.5 million pounds of food, as well as $1.5 million as part of its Holiday Drive.
Ulrich said supporting the food bank was another way to make the event special.
“Food banks, especially in the holiday season, give so much joy and help to everyone that are disenfranchised and need it so we try and support as much as we can,” Ulrich said.
The performance also comes as the band releases its 10th studio album, “Hardwired… to Self-Destruct.”
[IN PHOTOS: Metallica rock The Opera House]
While it’s been years since the band played a show in the city, Ulrich attributes the long lull between shows to a new kind of normal for the group.
“Making records for Metallica nowadays is obviously one of the primary things, but it‘s not the only thing. Twenty years ago it was record, tour, record, tour,” he said. “Nowadays, we did a movie for a couple of years and we spend a lot longer touring. I think there are just so many things that Metallica like to do so we have a little bit of a slower pace.
“We primarily like to be at home and spend time with our families and take care of our kids and so on. We made this record – the first record we’ve made at home in San Francisco for years and things just move a little slower when you’re making it in your back yard rather than going to L.A. or somewhere else.”
Another challenge in making the latest album was to produce 12 music videos to accompany the tracks at release without having the songs leak.
“Obviously YouTube is the place more people get music now than anywhere else in the world. So we figured that either we put the videos out or somebody else will put the videos out for us,” Ulrich explained. “So we figured if we did it ourselves, the minute the music becomes available people will make it a soundtrack to them eating breakfast or brushing their teeth or whatever. So we figured if we tried the daunting task of filming videos for all 12 songs we would hopefully be ahead of the game.”
While keeping up with the YouTube age is part of the band’s plan at the moment, Ulrich –set to turn 53 next month – says Metallica never planned on worldwide fame and success.
“When we started close to 35 years ago, we had no idea. We just wanted to be in a band, play music and feel like we were part of something that was bigger than ourselves,” Ulrich said. “We never intended to travel the world, or have number one records or any of that stuff. All that’s bonus, but I think the core values of Metallica are still the same 35 years later. We just love playing music and we love ultimately playing for fans and coming to great cities.”
And one of the cities on that roster for the near future?
“We’ll be back—if you promise not to tell anybody – next summer.”