Metallica Wins Big At SoFi

Forty-one years into their career, Metallica showed no signs of mellowing during their two-night, record-breaking stop at LA’s SoFi Stadium.

Carl J. Petersen
8 min readSep 3

“Angry music for happy people”

– Shirt seen at the Metallica concert

It is often said that the era of Hair Metal was ended by the emergence of grunge emanating out of Seattle. I put the time of death much earlier, years before Nirvana unleashed “Smells like Teen Spirit.” I was a witness to Hair Metal’s demise on July 26, 1988, when Metallica took the stage for an epic performance at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Today Metallica is the biggest metal band in the world and one of the most successful in any genre, but in 1988 they were the second of five bands on the Monsters of Rock concert bill. Still, the stadium was packed as they took the stage at about 3:00 in the afternoon, indicating the reputation they had earned through performances on earlier stops on the tour.

The band was not too far into its first song, Creeping Death, when chaos ensued. As the crowd chanted along to the chorus of “die” during the song’s break, the security line separating the seating area in the bowl from the field was breached and thousands of rowdy fans flooded the field.

As Metallica plowed through their set, the energy level in the crowd continued to crescendo. Then as the band launched into “Whiplash” from their first album, Kill ’Em All, the power was cut to the sound system resulting in chaos. Minutes before the energy had been dissipated by the music. With the performance interrupted it turned negative. Luckily a DJ from the old metal station, KNAC, was able to take control before the situation devolved into a full-scale riot.

With precision, the band counted back into the song at the exact point where they had been cut off. The energy level of the…



Carl J. Petersen

Parent, special education advocate and former LAUSD School Board candidate. Still fighting for the children.