Metallica, Volbeat & Mnemic
Venue: Vestereng, Århus
Date: Friday July 13th 2007


Tomas Obeast from Mnemic comes from Aarhus and he is clearly very excited about the fact that his band is opening for Metallica in his hometown. Of the two support bands, Mnemic is the least compatible with Metallica’s music, but that doesn’t really prevent the cyber-thrashers from giving the Metallica fans a serious kick in the butt with songs from their three albums. The early part of the evening presents massive headbanging on stage and probably the most technically adept performance as well.
Guillaume seems unimpressed behind the mic as he casually strolls from side to side on the gigantic stage, making slightly obscene moves behind his bent over, headbanging mates and managing to make things more relaxed than you’d expect from someone suddenly opening for the biggest metal name in the world.
Still, Mnemic look small on this stage, used as they are to smaller locations, and I find myself fairly lonely as I bang my way through their set in front. (70)


Much broader appeal has been obtained by Danish rock’n’metal comets Volbeat. Due to extensive airplay on the national Danish radio, the tune Garden’s Tale is known by most, and their album ‘Rock the Rebel Metal the Devil’ has sold by the thousands. Not surprisingly, the crowd can actually sing along to most of Volbeat’s material, and happy appearance of the band and the vivid performance of guitarist Thomas Bredahl in particular is unarming. Cool gig yet again by this original crew. (79)


Metallica gets by because they write fabulous songs. And they’ve done so for more than two decades. It is also the songs that are going to save this evening, because it’s isn’t exactly Metallica’s technical prowess or luck, for that matter, that’ll do it, it would turn out.

Creeping Death opens the ball, and to anyone my age, this is heaven. Sound is good, the band seems determined to kick arse. And then For Whom the Bell Tolls. Even better. And then…pop! goes the PA! The band plays on, unable to hear anything beyond their onstage gear. People think it’s a trick of some sort and keep singing. I’m close enough to hear the onstage gear, so no sweat, but for the people at the back, this is going to suck big time (there’s a crowd of 50.000 here tonight).
And the sound doesn’t come back. James finds out. Robert, James and Lars leaves the stage, Kirk launches into a solo, still unaware that there’s no sound. Consequently, the man looks more than just a bit silly, cranking out his soul but with no sound. He finally realises and leaves the stage.

After fifteen minutes, the PA comes back to us, and so does Metallica.
Visibly annoyed, James and the band launches into Wherever I May Roam, Disposable Heroes and a blistering version of Sanitarium. …And Justice for All is a song I’ve never heard live, and it’s like a long lost friend.

In this array of classic material, The Memory Remains and No Leaf Clover all of a sudden appear, for no reason, it would seem. I could have found replacements for those two, but fair enough, if they insist. Robert has his little do with a supreme solo – the man is a bass monster! Orion then makes everything good again after the Reload material, beautiful, fantastic. Then comes Fade to Black and the two Master of Puppets hammers, the title track of said album and Battery. By this time, my neck is about to strike…

Sad But True opens the encores. Then Nothing Else Matters in a beautiful version, too. One is a brilliant track, but this is where it becomes too obvious that Lars Ulrich is not quite with us, or rather, in time with his band. Mysterious fills are put in to cover that he’s forgetting to listen.
This is not exactly the first time this evening, but forgiveness comes easy to this band – in my world anyway.

Enter Sandman is naturally a popular choice, but the two last encores, Whiplash and Seek and Destroy set a memorable full stop for old-school fans like me.

The conclusion is that Metallica on this evening is a mixed experience.
Never mind the power shortage, screw that, things like that happen. No, the cynic would say that Lars Ulrich can’t really cope playing the songs he wrote himself, that James is out of tune from time to time and that Kirk’s solos are superfluous (and too numerous). But the music lover would say that the songs they’ve written could elevate any band to the stars and for writing those, they deserve all the credit that could be bestowed on them. And I tend to do that. This was a memorable evening by all accounts, if not for the brilliant performance, then for the fact that we saw the almighty Metallica looking just a tiny bit silly for once.

Attending: Thomas, Claus & Kenn