Metallica. Whether you’re one of those people who thinks all of Metallica’s output after Cliff Burton died sucks, or whether you were stoked as Hell when you heard Metallica would be playing their mega-selling, self-titled Black album in full (and in reverse order, for some reason) at this year’s Download Festival, the one thing that’s undeniable is that they are the biggest metal band in the world, and there’ll never be another band as big as them with a drummer quite so bad. If there’s a reason they can print those Birth School Metallica Death t-shirts without looking like conceited pricks, there’s no reason Lars still can’t play drums 20 years later. Did anyone else see Black Album merch with Rob Trujillo’s face on instead of Jason Newsted’s?
Metallica Beyond Magnetic Vertigo Records 30 January 2012
by Tom Doyle
If we follow the chronology of that famous T-shirt, we appear to currently be in the “death” phase of Metallica’s career. I recently took to these very pages to explain why Lulu was not the worst album of 2011 but that should not be taken as a defence – the record was an unmitigated disaster and will surely be looked back on in years to come as real emperor’s new clothes moment of folly from the yes-men who now surround the biggest heavy band ever. But in truth Metallica fans haven’t had a lot to shout about for a long time now. St Anger‘s problems were well-documented, and it said a lot about the sorry state of affairs that the band were in that Death Magnetic – an LP which was average by any standard let alone when compared to the bands monolithic back catalogue – was met with a “this isn’t THAT bad” pat on the head from fans and critics.
Outer space – not particularly “metal”, is it? The things about space that are pretty metal – aliens, big freaky robots, whatever it is Bruce Dickinson is singing about on the latest Iron Maiden album – aren’t really what space is about. Space is really about science, satellites, and very, very slow spacewalks. But if we have our way, on November 1st 2010, for 5 minutes 32 seconds outer space is gonna be Metal.
There’s no denying it – 2009 looks like it’s going to be a good year for the Big Four. If you’re suffering from an epic brain-fail, and don’t already know who they are, The Big Four are the quartet of bands who helped define Thrash Metal as we know it – Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. But who amongst them is tr00ly still shredding it like they were in 1985?
Yes, Metallica played ‘Blackened’. It was their fourteenth great song of the night. Yes, it was a set highlight.
No, Metallica did not play ‘Enter Sandman. It didn’t really matter. They played ‘Blackened’.
Yes, they played the majority of Death Magnetic. Yes, they fitted into the set seamlessly.
Yes, Metallica are the greatest band in the world. FACT.
Metallica @ London O2 Arena setlist
‘That Was Just Your Life’
‘The End Of The Line’
‘The Thing That Should Not Be’
‘Of Wolf And Man’
‘Broken, Beat And Scarred’
‘Until It Sleeps’
‘Wherever I May Roam’
‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’
‘The Day That Never Comes’
‘Master Of Puppets’
‘Stone Cold Crazy’
‘Jump In The Fire’
‘Seek and Destroy’
Metallica @ London O2 Arena gallery
They came from far and wide. These from west London.
This is how you Throw The Horns. They did this at least two more times this evening.
James Hetfield, probably saying, “YEAH!”
Another day, another guitar solo for Kirk Hammett
Kirk gives it a widdle
The O2 Arena
Lars loves sticking his drumsticks into the air.
This is the only shot we got of Robert Trujillo. Hi, Robert.
Anyone got a spare riff? No? Ok.
Lars: “James, get off my drum riser! MY DRUM RISER!”
The day before Metallica play London O2 Arena, they performed a very special show for the BBC to just 300 people. Lifelong ‘Tallica fan, Tony Hampton was there to soak up the atmosphere.
Ok, so everyone at this special BBC Radio 1 Presents… show should be off down the deed poll office to change their middle names to ‘lucky fucker’.
The atmosphere is incredible. Including fans, media types and the odd musician’ (Flea and Simon Neil among others) there arre just 300 people here to witness the mightiest of the mighty.
Metal legends Metallica.
As they hit the stage with an opening brace of newbies ‘That Was Just Your Life’ and ‘End of the Line’ its clear they band are relaxed and enjoying themselves, while remaining tight they’re obviously having fun.
Death Magnetic material sounds dynamic, fresh, heavy as hell and just like proper Metallica should.
A nice dip into the often overlooked Load, which did produce some good moments, era with ‘Until It Sleeps’ follows, ‘Broken, Beat and Scarred’ and ‘Cyanide’ – anyone who doesnt like that runaway Maiden-style riff has serious issues – and straight into ‘Frantic’ which is a brilliant and brutal song, live or otherwise, whatever people say about St Anger.
Watch the video to ‘The Day That Never Comes’ by Metallica
‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’, sublime, utterly sublime and into ‘Day That Never Comes’. What follows is the most memorable though as Hetfield messes up the intro to ‘Master Of Puppets’ and get a sound ribbing from both band and audience.
He laughs it off. And its truly heartwarming to see them enjoying this event so much. You see, Metallica really do care about their fans, always have and thats not changed now they can sell out the enormodomes of this world.
Some bands make people pay for meet and greets at shows, to pick up some pocket money. This will never be the Metallca way.
They finish with ‘Blackened’. Necks snap, grown men with huge beards openly weep. Tomorrow night they will tear the 02 a brand new A-hole in front of 18,000 people for the official launch party for Death Magnetic.
This really is a great time to be a Metallica fan.
In a great interview with The Quietus at Reading Festival 2008, drummer Lars Ulrich talks about alleged drug overdoses at Download Festival, not being friends with Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine and the Death Magnetic fiasco.
Lars, rumour has it that you’ve enjoyed a line or two of coke in your time. “I had my fun with it, it was always more of a social thing. We were never like rolling around and spending days in bathroom stalls, and peeking out the keyholes of doors for days.”