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
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
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.