Metallica live May 4th 2009 at the Globe arena in Stockholm, Sweden

Last night I attended Metallica’s sold out show in The Globe Arena, Stockholm, Sweden

Background

Metallica were to play two shows in March in Sweden this year, but after the first show, James Hetfield got food-poisoned and couldn’t get well in time to perform the second night. I had tickets to that second gig, and it was a huge disappointment when the rest of the band came on stage and announced the cancelled show.

Making it up to the fans

The show last night was rescheduled from March, and I get it, people get sick, so Metallica could just have told the fans they’re sorry and that would have been cool. But, they really stepped up!

The Globe area was filled, 16 531 people, which I believe is a new audience record, and everyone attending got a custom made t-shirt stating that it was exclusively for this rescheduled show.

A picture of the text on the front of the custom t-shirt

The back of it depicted Hetfield throwing up in a toilet and the rest of the band watching, accompanied with, shall we say, alternate lyrics to the song Seek & Destroy:

Stockholm – on our way.
Oysters – he will pay.
Dying, one thousand deaths.
Stockholm – spoilt your day.
Puking – he did pay!
Dying, one thousand deaths.
Wretching…

sick and destroy!

A picture of the back of the custom t-shirt

On top of that, everyone also got a free download of the entire show last night (Metallica record all their live shows) to listen to it afterwards.

I have to say I’m really impressed by this, and I think it’s a great way for Metallica to show they’re sorry and sincerely want to make up for it to their fans!

The show

Machine Head

There were two opening acts, and if you ask me that is almost always one too many. I didn’t see the first one, The Sword, and only got a couple of glimpses of the second one, Machine Head. Machine Head’s bass player, by the way, had to go and do an emergency root canal, so the bass player in Swedish band The Haunted filled in for him.

Can’t say I’m really a fan of Machine Head, or, well, rather just indifferent about them. They did play a cover of Iron Maiden’s Hallowed Be Thy Name, though, and that was nice.

Show start

At around a quarter after nine in the evening, Metallica got up on stage and the crowd, naturally, went wild. I’m sure I have told you before, I’m a very active concert goer and I love going crazy down on the floor. Within a few songs, I had reached the fence, and was very very close to the actual stage.

A picture of the stage

Picture by Erik Mörner

The stage

In regards to the stage, Metallica have their stage in the middle of the arena, so they’re completely surrounded by the audience all around. This means that everyone get closer to the stage, and if you’re on the floor, a lot more people get the chance to stand very close to any of the band members. The stage is also only about two meters up, so it’s not like those festival stages that are up there in the clouds.

Another nice thing is that the drummer get to be part of the show, and not just hidden away in the back.

A picture of the stage

Picture by Erik Mörner

The centered stage has its cons too, though. When a band member is close to you, it’s awesome and everyone’s very happy, but there are times when no band member is present and you can’t even see all of them (because they might be on the opposite side of the drum set or just very far away on the other edge) – and if this happens in a new song/less interesting part, it becomes so obviously stale and less fun then.

So, I don’t know. Half of me loves the centered stage, half of me thinks it becomes too much of a mix between lows and highs.

Show grading

It was, I think, the 8th time I saw Metallica live (first time was almost 17 years ago) and they never fail to deliver. Last night, though, I have to say that it was good, but not fantastic. And it’s not because of the band, because they seemed hungry to finally play this show, and Hetfield really seemed happy.

A picture of the stage

Picture by Erik Mörner

The stage set-up was great, too; very nice light show, very hot fire columns (no explosions, though) and coffin shaped spotlight holders hoisted up and down. The sound was a bit off in the beginning, at least where I stood, but it gradually got better.

But what it fell on, I’d say, is that the new songs, in my book at least, doesn’t cut it – especially live. And when 6 out of 18 songs are from the last album, it definitely loses tempo as well as audience attention. And yes, I know, naturally they want and need to play new stuff as well to motivate themselves, but that makes the show as a whole an uneven experience. In a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best, I think I’d rate this show a 3.

Souvenirs!

During the last song, inflated balls were raining from the ceiling, and the audience were tossing them around all over the place – they also landed on the stage and the band were kicking them out again. And, at the end, lucky me managed to get a hold of a ball to bring home!

And as if that wasn’t enough, I finally managed to get a guitar pick as well! Previously, I have gotten guitar picks from Iron Maiden (Dave Murray – on two occasions!), Black Sabbath (Tony Iommi) and Alice Cooper but at last, I now also have one from Metallica!

A picture of me with the Metallica inflatable ball and a guitar pick

Set list

Regular set

  • That Was Just Your Life
  • The End Of The Line
  • For Whom The Bell Tolls
  • Holier Than Thou
  • One
  • Broken, Beat And Scarred
  • My Apocalypse
  • Sad But True
  • Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
  • The Judas Kiss
  • The Day That Never Comes
  • Master Of Puppets
  • Blackened
  • Nothing Else Matters
  • Enter Sandman

Extras

  • Am I Evil?
  • Motorbreath
  • Seek and Destroy
Posted in Music,Reviews/tests |

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