IMG_3045Over the course two days at two separate iconic landmarks, Metallica made their presence known this weekend in New York City. With their Through the Never movie opening this Thursday night, the band are kicking things into high promotional gear. They played Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater on Saturday (21) for a special show for SiriusXM subscribers. Earlier today, as had been rumored, the band showed up at Yankee Stadium to play “Enter Sandman” for the ceremonies honoring retiring closing pitcher Mariano Rivera.

Let it not be said that SiriusXM doesn’t know how to throw a party. With Metallica getting their own dedicated channel on the satellite radio service for the next few months (deemed Mandatory Metallica), SiriusXM also presented a special show for subscribers at Manhattan’s 1500-capacity Apollo Theater. Winners were given a free shirt, complimentary beverages, a laminate, and even a free bus ride back downtown when the show was over. Oh yeah, and they were also treated to a two-hour show from the most popular metal band there is at an intimate venue.

“I can’t believe they let us in here,” James Hetfield said three songs into the band’s 17-song set. “This place is so rich with musical history and we’re going to come in here and screw it all up.” Nonetheless, they didn’t screw up anything. With luminaries like Howard Stern, Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta and Death Angel vocalist  Mark Osegueda in attendance, and without the visual spectacle the band’s been delivering at festivals and stadiums, Metallica relied on the music, sticking mostly to the hits, with only three songs from after The Black Album. Given the lack of set pieces, lasers, and lights, the intimate setting of the theater allowed those in attendance to focus on the music. Metallica’s a well-oiled machine, and they delivered on all counts.