The Big Four, metal and baseball

As any self-respecting metalhead knows by now, The Big Four of Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax played Yankee Stadium on September 14.

It was a special moment for Anthrax and Slayer because of the venue, and as several reviews of the show have agreed, Metallica still proved their worth at the top of the metal heap.

“Metallica’s two-hour-plus set earned its top billing,” wrote the New York Times, and the Village Voice wrote Metallica’s set “was arranged in such a way that the crowd was pretty much in the collective palm throughout.” 

Entertainment Weekly wrote, “While everyone brought their best noise, Metallica reigned supreme above them all.” (EW also noted the audience even sang along with the instrumental Metallica’s been opening their shows with since 1984, Ennio Morricone’s “The Ecstacy of Gold.”)


Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian also did an interview with ESPN about his love of the Yankees, and the honor of playing in Yankee Stadium. 1977 was a pivotal year for Ian growing up. There was the legendary Game 6 of the World Series where Reggie Jackson hit three home runs, then he saw Kiss at Madison Square Garden, which for the guitarist, “was  literally like a lightning bolt for me. Taking the train home, knowing, this is it. I’m on the path. This is what I’m going to do. There’s nothing else I could do with my life other than be in a band.”


Ian’s favorite Yankee was Thurman Munson. “To me, he just embodied the Yankees,” Ian said. “He just had this toughness, this grittiness, beside the fact that he was such a great player, such a great offensive catcher… He was just such a hard-nosed ballplayer. He was like a superhero to me.”


So when the call came in that the Big Four would play Yankee Stadium, it was one of “top three phone calls of all time. A lot of disbelief. It’s literally a dream come true… As a kid growing up in Queens, I’m literally going to be standing out in center field doing what I do.”