London, England. Sunday 22nd October 2017
*support from Kvelertak (check them out, they are great!)*
There was a great sense of anticipation for Metallica’s first UK tour for over 8 years! The band have come over many times for festival appearances and it was great to finally see James Hetfield and his band of merry rockers take over the O2 Arena for 2 hours of pure rock!
As this is a tour to promote their latest album HARDWIRED…TO SELF DESTRUCT, the album is given plenty of life in a setlist which blends the new songs with a great mix of the classics! ‘Hardwired’ and ‘Atlas, Rise!’ kick off the fresher section of the list, then we move on to ‘Seek & Destroy’ which gets the old and new fans jumping!
While the set goes between the old and new, there are very few gaps for air as the show is relentless and exciting throughout. The stage, being in the middle of the arena, meant that everyone could see the band clearly. Also, a great number of boxes floated around the stage which projected various images and added to an already incredible aesthetic for the show. We see the screens look like old TV’s, display fan art of the band and even depict music video sections.
‘Fuel’ sees the literal flames rise from the stage and ‘Moth Into Flame’ see a great array of lights fly around the stage in a visual spectacular! The highlight for me was reaching them last few songs. With ‘Master Of Puppets’ leading the end of the set with a blistering nine-minute performance and the encore providing the beautifully chilling ‘Nothing Else Matters’ and the almighty ‘Enter Sandman’ which was the perfect end to a brilliant show.
While I would have liked a few more classic tracks and a couple less of the newer songs, I can’t say I wasn’t blown away. The stage was set perfectly for all to see, the screens provided a great visual spectacle for all to see. Whether it was the ever-impressive vocals of James Hetfield, the hard-smacked drums of Lars Ulrich or the great guitar work of Kirk and Robert, they all made it work well. For a band that have 36 years of history, they still can pack out a crowd and wow them with so much energy!
All I will say is that it better not be eight years again for the guys to tour our fine country. This is rock music at its finest!
Final Rating: 9.5/10
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove