Metallica Live At The Etihad Stadium

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Last Night, Metallica’s WorldWired Tour brought them to Manchester for one hell of a show

Despite the rain soaking the stage and the crowd, Metallica gave the crowd everything they had and more. 

The night was kicked off by Bokassa and Ghost, two fine bands who were a perfect fit to get the crowd ready for the onslaught of metal that Metallica always deliver, and last night was no exception. With old, new and everything in-between decorating the set-list, there was something to please everyone, despite the perfectly timed rain which started as the band came on, and finished not long after they went off stage.

Their set opened in the same way it did last time they were in Manchester, but they went all guns blazing with the pyrotechnics and stage design. ‘Hardwired’ balloons came from above the stage, fire shot from the top of the rig, and as the band hit the final chords of their new album’s lead single, ‘Hardwired To Self Destruct’, the balloons popped in perfect time to the cheer of tens of thousands of Metallica fans.

The set continued, and the band roared through their finest material, with songs such as ‘Sad But True’, ‘The Unforgiven’ and newer material such as ‘Moth Into Flame’. At about the half way point, things got really interesting though, as the Rob and Kirk were left alone on the stage to do what they do best, have fun and mess about with their instruments. Last time I saw them, they played ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, as a beautiful tribute to what had happened in the city not long before that gig. This time around, they opted for something a little more upbeat, in the way of The Stone Roses, ‘I Wanna Be Adored’.

The remaining half of the set was much more focused on their older material, ‘St Anger’ kicked things off, with ‘Master Of Puppets’, ‘One’, ‘Seek and Destroy’, and ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ all featuring in the set before the pyro-laden encore of ‘Lords of Summer’, ‘Nothing Else Matters’, and what is probably their most famous song, ‘Enter Sandman’.

‘One’ was a really high moment in the set. There will always be an argument as to where this song falls in the category of best song, but there is no argument to be had when it comes to visuals. This song takes the lead by a mile. Opening with fireworks and flames simulating the battle noises which open the song, and continuing to deliver a feast for the eyes as the song progresses. The visual starts with silhouettes of soldiers marching behind the band, but the visuals soon become haunting as those silhouettes turn to a mix of skeletons.

It was a perfect ending to a night of incredible visuals, stunning music, rain, and the biggest pyrotechnics budget I have ever seen. No doubt that Metallica will return to Manchester, and I know I won’t be missing it.

Images by: Billy Seagrave. 

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