Words by Tyler Rosen | Photos by Brian Matus

Hot off the heels of their debut EP (appropriately titled Metal), Newsted set out last night to prove that they mean business, and did just that. Marking his triumphant return to the metal scene, former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted was welcomed by a metal loving crowd with open arms and open devil horns. The band warmed up to the melodic stylings of “AMP”, and continued to groove along when transitioning to “Heroic”. Once they decided that the audience was primed and ready, the band immediately exploded into the Motörhead/thrash inspired “Soldierhead”. Jason showcased early on that he still has the metal bass playing and singing chops he had during his tenure in Metallica, even at age 50. The rest of the band were no slouches either, with Staind guitarist Mike Mushok jumping uncontrollably during “Soldierhead”, and drummer Jesus Mendez Jr. failing to miss a single beat.

Things slowed down a bit and became increasingly heavier with the trudging tempo of “Godsnake”, allowing for plenty of fist to be thrown in the air in rhythmic fashion. Jason then announced that Newsted’s first album would be released in August, and teased it by playing the track off the record titled “As The Crow Flies”. This was followed by the more upbeat “Long Time Dead”, although it was still plenty metal. The crowd seem highly receptive of the new material, but not as receptive as when the band broke into the bridge of Metallica’s “Creeping Death” during “King of the Underdogs”, shouting along to the infamous “Die!” section. As if things could not get any heavier, the band busted into their doom sounding monster of a song, “Nocturnis”, convincing any naysayers that Newsted is capable of producing some of the heaviest sounds in the business.

While there was a generally positive atmosphere throughout most of the night, the good vibes came to brief halt when a crazed fan jumped on stage and tackled Jason onto the floor during their cover of Metallica’s “Whiplash”. This wasn’t enough to kill the show, however, as the band finished the song while Jason proudly shouted “Can’t bring me down!” After a quick break, Jason returned for an encore by breaking into the bass intro for “My Friend in Misery”, segueing straight into the “Spider Bite”. The frontman decided to shakes things up afterwards by swapping his trusty bass for a new guitar while playing the Sabbathy sounding“Skyscraper”, before ending the night with a cover of the Motörhead classic, “(We Are) the Roadcrew”, where Jason channelled his inner Lemmy will overwhelming results.

Newsted put on an impressive show in New York, filling the venue with heavy sounds and genuine enthusiasm. The band sounded incredibly tight, which is impressive considering they’ve only been around for 3 months. Based on their performance, it seems that the former Metallica bassist is happier than ever to be back playing the kind of music he’s most famous for, and judging by the crowd’s reaction, they were equally as happy to have him back.



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