Concert review: Metallica jolts Apollo Theater in Harlem

Rodriguez, who came to Carcasses’ defense amid the controversy, included the 41-year-old pianist and leader of the jazz-fusion band Interactivo in his line-up of artists Friday at an open-air concert in the Havana neighborhood of Santiago de las Vegas. Without making any mention of the controversy swirling around Carcasses, Rodriguez presented his fellow musician as a “talent” and recalled that they worked together recently on an album. During Friday’s show, Carcasses provided piano accompaniment for Rodriguez on his song “Segunda Cita” and also performed two other instrumental numbers with other musicians. Carcasses did not make any remarks to the crowd of 300 people, but he told foreign correspondents afterward that he hoped he had put the controversy behind him. During a Sept. 12 official concert in Havana that was broadcast live on national television, Carcasses sang a song calling for free access to information and the election of the president by direct popular vote. The jazz fusion artist said Monday he had been barred indefinitely from performing at future state-run events because of his comments during the concert, which had been organized to demand the release of Cuban intelligence agents imprisoned in the United States. But authorities on the Communist-ruled island later reconsidered and lifted the sanction. The 66-year-old Rodriguez, Cuba’s best-known folk singer, came to Carcasses’ defense on Tuesday. He said his fellow musician had committed a “regrettable error” in pressing his demands at an event organized to call for the release of agents “who have sacrificed their lives for the security of the people.” However, as a Cuban citizen, Carcasses “has the right to express what he thinks in his country,” Rodriguez added. Considered heroes in Cuba, the four agents were arrested in 1998 and convicted of espionage in 2001, receiving sentences ranging from 15 years to life in prison. While a fifth agent who was also arrested and convicted of the same crime has since been paroled and allowed to return to Cuba, the other four spies remain in prison.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Clear Channel Muse played their second-to-last American concert date of the year at iHeartRadio in Las Vegas last night, and after next month’s Austin City Limits , it might be a while before fans see them again Stateside. “Next year, we may do one festival or two, but were probably going to concentrate on getting into a new album,” Muses Matt Bellamy told Rolling Stone backstage at iHeartRadio. But fans will get a chance to experience a Muse concert in almost lifelike form, since the band will be releasing a concert film. “Over the summer, we played this massive gig in Rome Olympic Stadium, that was probably the best gig of the year,” Bellamy said. “Its gonna come out in 4K, which is the highest resolution concert ever shot. Its four times more powerful than HD, so its like ridiculous detail. When you see the concert being filmed, you can see all the crowd, you can see their faces being filmed.” See Where Muse Ranks on Our List of the 50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now The exact release plans are still up in the air, but Bellamy said he expects it to get a limited theatrical release in the U.S., including some Imax screens. It’s a rare occurence for a festival-headlining band big enough to have its own concert film to serve as an opening act, but Muse did so last night in Vegas when they performed before Queen.”Events like this didnt exist a few years ago and we are playing withtechnically opening forQueen tonight,” Bellamy said before the show. “At any point in our career, I wouldnt have thought wed actually get a chance to play with them.” The eclecticism of the iHeart lineup, which also included Elton John this year, proved an educational experience for Muse’s drummer, Dominic Howard.”Having some of those older greats on stage and seeing them play is wicked, because you can still learn so much from a lot of those kind of people that have been around for a while and got more experience than you,” he said. Bellamy also finds it inspiring. “Its odd because when you start out, you perceive those acts as being something really quite long before we even were born, but also well before we started,” he said. “And to somehow end up on a bill with them is quite strange because it makes you think, ‘How old are these people?’ I suppose it gives you hope for making music as an old person.”

So, it seemed disconcerting at first to learn that thrash metal icons Metallica would choose the century-old theater to perform before an invitation-only crowd of 1,506 fans and the media. Saturday night’s concert, sponsored and broadcast by satellite radio’s SiriusXM, was timed to promote the band’s upcoming 3D concert film Metallica: Through the Never, which will arrive in IMAX theaters on Friday. The release date is especially poignant since it marks the 27th anniversary of the death of Metallica bassist Cliff Burton in a tour bus accident. SETLIST – 9.21.2013 The Day that Never Comes The Memory Remains For Whom the Bell Tolls Blackened Battery Seek & Destroy Singer-rhythm guitarist James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, bassist Robert Trujillo and lead guitarist Kirk Hammett arrived onstage as Ennio Morricone’s The Ecstasy of Gold played on the sound system. They immediately delivered a one-two punch of Hit the Lights and Master of Puppets. I can’t believe they let us play this place, Hetfield shouted out to the crowd. For Metallica fans, it was a rare treat to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, who tend to favor stadium shows these days, playing in an intimate setting. More than 30 years since they began, Metallica remains a tight, well-oiled metal machine. During the course of the next two hours, the crowd was served up roaring takes of The Day That Never Comes, One and Welcome Home (Sanitarium). They brought a 12-song set to a close with For Whom the Bell Tolls, but quickly returned for an extended six-song encore, which included Enter Sandman, Nothing Else Matters and Battery. The foursome capped the night with a searing Seek and Destroy. SiriusXM is to be commended for introducing a diverse and new generation of music fans to the charm and history of the Apollo Theater. The satellite radio giant previously organized concert events there featuring Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney. Built in 1913, the 125th Street venue was originally Hurtig and Seamon’s, a whites only burlesque hall. It was rechristened the Apollo Theater at the start of 1934 and showcased some of the finest African-American artists of the 20th century, including Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Crime and street violence in Harlem prompted the Apollo’s closing in 1976, though it was quickly revived. It changed private ownership twice before the state of New York purchased the Apollo in 1991. The state created a non-profit foundation to manage the theater and launched an extensive restoration of the building. The Apollo Theater welcomes 1.3 million visitors annually.