The Four Horsemen: The Ultimate Tribute to Metallica

I saw the ad for The Four Horsemen: The Ultimate Tribute to Metallica show while I was scrolling through my Facebook feed one Friday night. They’re playing at District 142 in Wyandotte on February 24, which is a venue that apparently specializes in booking tribute bands.

In addition to The Four Horsemen, they’ve booked ZOSO: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience, That Arena Rock Show: A Tribute to 70s and 80s Rock, and Southern Accents: The Ultimate Tom Petty Experience this month alone. Is District 142 rock and roll’s version of off-Broadway? Not quite. They’re hosting Tom Green for two sold out shows in April. But still, District 142 seems to be the place to see your favorite classic rock from beyond the grave.

The Four Horsemen’s promo video on YouTube advertises them as “the only album-quality Metallica experience on the planet,” playing all the hits from “Black and back”. (“Black,” of course being the album with “Enter Sandman” on it.)

If you’re a casual Metallica listener, you need to understand that this is the absolute golden age of Metallica for many die-hard fans. Metallica still brought the energy when they played two shows at Ford Field this past November, but Metallica in the 80’s is a completely different band. Their shows defined the genre (thrash metal) with a ferocity that only roughly translated to what became all-time classic heavy metal records. Watch a performance of Metallica at the Day on the Green festival in 1985 or in Seattle in 1989 and you’ll see that The Four Horsemen sure are talking a big talk. 

If you’ve never seen a tribute band before, you should know that it’s essentially musical cosplay. The Four Horsemen do at least check most of the boxes that made Metallica a force to be reckoned with when they were in their 20’s.

What you expect to see is all there: stacks of Marshall cabs, white Gibson Explorer guitars, Misfits t-shirts, and long hair. The singer, Sean Perry, even has the handlebar mustache that Metallica frontman James Hetfield wore in 1991. And the videos the band has posted on their YouTube channel boast performances of deep cuts like “Dyers Eve,” “Trapped Under Ice,” and “The Shortest Straw.” These are songs that many young Metallica fans will only ever dream of seeing. They’ve even been known to cover a couple Megadeth songs, too. (So, depending on how tolerant you are of Dave Mustaine’s manufactured snarl, you may very well see the definitive version on “Sweating Bullets” or “Symphony of Destruction”.)

You have to give credit to a tribute band like The Four Horsemen. Knowing all those songs note-for-note and playing them in the same style as Metallica themselves – I see you Sean with the downpicking! – is not easy. 

The Four Horsemen play at District 142, 142 Maple St, Wyandotte, on February 24. Doors are at 7 pm. Purchase tickets online.

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