METALLICA ,Kvelertak, O2 arena, London, 24-10-17

Originally, i’d planned to go see Placebo @ Brixton & then a couple of days later see Marmozets also in London. It seemed pointless & not cost effective to go back n forth to Boston a couple of times, so i was gonna stay at Hotel Rob for 3 days. I was umming & arring about if i should go see Metallica between the 2 shows or not. I don’t really like the O2 Arena as it’s just too ‘kin big ! In the end, i decided that as Metallica were playing “in the round” (i.e. Middle of the floor) i’d give it a punt. There were not many tickets still available, but thought it might be ok as it’s in the round.

Myself & Kristina made our way to the O2. Rob was gonna join later when he’d finished work.As we came up out of the tube, the station had a couple of signs which were quite cool :

  I knew my seat would be in the corner & reasonably high up, but what a didn’t realise was that as it was an access point below. What i thought would be 16 rows up, ended up with having just one row in front of me ! It was a great view point.(Just two seats to the left & it would have been a rubbish view) For a while, there were some empty seats directly in front of me. I just hoped no “big” people would sit there. (When i say big, i mean tall 😉 ) I was quite surprised no one came to those seats during “Kvelertak”. Then i started thinking “They’re probably on the piss & will come sit there totally drunk”. Once again, i had another bit of luck : A couple of guys came to those seats. Whilst i don’t think they were drunk, one of them was so big (I mean fat now lol) he struggled to fit in the seat ! After sitting there a couple of minutes, they both got up & walked off….& never came back ! Hows that for luck? I’ve now got a perfect view point 🙂 It was interesting to see the set up for the cameras that were down below. Seem like a mini TV studio ! 

I thought to myself “This is just too good a position to not try filming a lot of the show”. So i had a good go at it 😉 
Things start with the old intro & they go straight into the first 2 songs off the latest album “Hardwired To Self Destruct”, namely “Hardwired” & “Atlas Arise”. After those, James says “Metallica feels very welcomed & loved by the London Metallica family ! So tonight, let’s take it to another level huh? We’re gonna play new songs, but now… old stuff !” They play the classic “Seek & Destroy”. There’s some great crowd interaction on the “whoa-o whoa-o whoa-o” parts. Damn, we’re only 3 songs in & it’s just an amazing night already (Btw, i think Hardwired is a great album !).

(Please note, whilst the audio from my camera is rather good, a friend synced up the soundboard audio to “Seek & Destroy”)
James then quietly teases us ” More old stuff?” Hell yeah we’ll have that ! So next up is the super heavy “Leper Messiah”

Staying with the classic “Master Of Puppets” album, we then get my fave song from that album,”Fade To Black”.

James mentions that the Sunday show set the highest attendance at the O2 ever & asks us “I hope everybody can hear everything all right? What about you way up there?” *queue huge cheers* “London ! Are you alive? You know if you wanna live forever, first you must die”! I then notice there’s what looks like 4 boxes on the stage. We then get a couple more from the “Hardwired” album “Now That We’re Dead” & “Confusion”. During “Now That..” all the guys get drumsticks & start playing the said boxes.(On closer inspection, they seem to have 4 drum pads on them) That’s certainly different.
Next we get what’s probably my 2nd fave Metallica song ; “For Whom The Bell Tolls”. It’s heavy as fuck. Bloody love it 😉

Next another new one “Halo On Fire”. That’s followed by Rob & Kirk having a bit of fun jamming.They do parts of “Phantom Of The Opera Jam” (Which got off to a false start as Kirk had only learnt/jammed it earlier that day) “Ace Of Spades” (much better 😉 )

“Before we go any further…I’ve Got Something To Say”. A Cool version of “Last Caress” which goes into the early song “Creeping Death”. During “Creepin..” there were a couple of pissed up lads near me & they noticed i was filming the song. They got all gobby & totally out of time attempting to sing a long or maybe trying to ruin the sound of my recording? So there you go guys, your 10 seconds of fame, now fuck off ! (It’s a funny coincidence that after the song, James says how everyone wants to be famous nowadays 😉 ) He then dedicates “Moth Into Flame” to Amy Winehouse. During this song, a whole load of drones came out & were hovering/circling above the band/stage. (After the gig, my mate Rob, who was on the other side of the arena, said one of them went haywire & crashed into the crowd ! )
After Moths, James seemed to talk to the crowd for quite a long time (Maybe there were technical problems? I dunno). One of the questions he asked was “How many people here tonight, is it your first Metallica experience?”. I was amazed at how many newbies lifted their hands. “It doesn’t mater what took you so long…it really doesn’t….you’re here now!” He followed that with “How many here have seen us one, twice, a hundred times?” *Loads oh raised hands* He also said “Technically, i haven’t really see us so i cant raise my hand”. Nice & humble self-deprecation 😉 This is probably the longest time I’ve ever seen James talk to the crowd. He talks with someone who’s pregnant & then to a couple of kiddies. It’s quite funny hows he’s going on. It must have over 4 mins of chatter! Finally, he asks the question ” London, do you like your music heavy ?!? Metallica gives you heavy !” They then chug along with “Sad But True”.
Pretty much all the way through this, the boxes hanging from the lighting truss are going up & down. Oops! just realised i forgot to mention those earlier ! Basically the boxes sometimes have images projected onto them & they also have lights on them. It’s a cool idea & i think it works really well. Now where was i ? Oh yeah, thats it, they finish the song with James being the last one on stage making his guitar scream…
Soon it’s encore time. There were a couple of small guitar mess ups as “One” started up, but it still was good. They went straight into “Master Of Puppets” after that. I Love the classic old Metallica 🙂 (It’s hard to believe that when i saw them on the Puppets tour at Sheffield city hall, back in ’86, there were not many people there)
Next, we’re in for a real treat : the live debut of “Spit Out The Bone”

It’s great that they’re changing up the setlists at different venues. I wish more bands would do this.
They all leave the stage for a short time. Kirk is the first one back & he starts the intro to “Nothing Else Matters”. James then comes up & joins in with the harmony guitars. Cracking stuff. Once it ends, it then meanders into the last song of the night “Enter Sandman”. Fuckin brilliant. Metallica at the top of their game.  
Even though i’m not a fan of huge venues,tonight, somehow it didn’t feel as big as it actually was. I loved every aspect of the show. I’d probably even say it was in my top 3 gigs I’ve seen this year. I think something that really helped was that they were playing in the round. In theory, wherever you were sat, you’d get a good view. After it all finished, i met up with Rob & Kristina for the journey back to “Hotel Rob”. The following day i decided to come back home to Boston (seeing as the other gig i was meant to be seeing had got cancelled, there was no point in staying down London another day/night)

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Metallica, Bring Me The Horizon, Royal Blood, Ghost, Ducking Punches, Crosa Rosa, Area 52, Marmozets, Bramham Park, Leeds 30-8-15

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Saturday was a day/night of hanging around Leeds, up pubs, buying pyjamas!, a curry with Nomis & then a guided tour of various boozers.
Sunday myself & Cat set off for the festival hoping to catch Babymetals set, but unfortunately we missed them by a few minutes.Whilst walking around the site we bumped into Jason & Kristy 🙂 .We made sure we were in a prime position for Marmozets, down the front on the left 😉 Typically, Marmozets were just excellent as always.

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More photos of Marmozets are here 🙂

After their set, Rob & Kristina found us…again they know where to be lol. ( “Always on the left side” )

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We all then hung at the BBC Introducing Stage, where we saw ; Area 52, Crosa Rosa, Ducking Punches etc.

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I hadn’t seen Royal Blood before, so was looking forward to their set. They had great sound & it was a very solid performance. In fact, it was way better than i expected it would be.I still have my doubts about how much is live though… I’ve got to see them do their own headline show now 😉
I was expecting the crowd to go mental for Bring Me The Horizon,but, it just got silly really. Yeah, it’s kinda nice to see the pits etc,but, do any of these kids actually watch/listen to ANY of the show? BMTH also had the honour of having the worst sound of the day. It was just a mess. Hell, even Oliver commented from onstage about it. When it gets to the point that it’s just not enjoyable on any level, might as well leave, so we did ! Went & saw a couple of songs by Ghost then back again to main stage for Metallica.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, i love Metallica,have done since the beginning, they always can be relied upon for a great gig. But the venue/crowd can make a big difference. I’m not a fan of festivals, pretty much hate them tbh. Not just because of the weather, but the crowd. Nowadays they attract so many chavs. Today was one of those days. There’s always so many idiots just geting pissed up & not interested in watching the bands. Even though Metallica started the set with some classics, Fuel, Bellz, Blackened, King, i just couldn’t fully get into it because of the dickheads near me. Eventually i warmed to things & started to enjoy it (as much as i could given the situation). There’s no denying it was a great set list, maybe one of the best set lists ever, with many of the old classics including “Frayed Ends Of Sanity” (which i don’t think had been played before in the UK?), but still, it’s nowhere near as good as seeing them indoors.
All in all a good weekend spent with various friends. But i’m still in no rush to go to any festivals next year…

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Download festival , @ Donington Park, Terrorvision,Little Angels, Opeth, Nightwish,Slash, Halestorm, Ginger Wildheart,Turbonegro,Red White & Blues, Steel Panther,The Mission, Metallica, We are the Ocean, Reckless Love, Edguy, Firewind, Ghost,Sebastian Bach, Ugly kid Joe, Shinedown, Black Sabbath 8/11-6-12

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Truly fucking AWFUL weather in general. Even going INTO the festival on first day, the “roads” were a bloody mess. They should have had tracking down in a bunch of places, but they didn’t. The arena was late opening due to it being partly flooded. The little amount of straw they laid down was virtually pointless. Download took the piss. With all the money they must be making, why not invest in certain things to make the experience better when it’s these conditions?? I was & still am, disgusted with the whole experience (I’ve not been since). Even despite there being some great bands over the weekend, this one just left a nasty taste in the mouth.

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Download Festival , Metallica, Korn, Slipknot, Machine Head, Damageplan, Soulfly, Turbonegro, Ill Nino, Breed 77 , Castle Donington 6-6-04

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I only went for the one day. It’s hard to believe there were so few people in the crowd with camcorders. This is my angle. Considering my camcorder didn’t have any stabilization & i was quite far back, i think it’s pretty reasonable 🙂 I didn’t manage to shoot the whole show though as it started raining…i was prepared to trash the Cam for this unique show…the rain got in it & it shut down 🙁 But, with the joys of the internet & the hard core Metallica trading community, the other main angle (shoots more screen) & mine have been mixed together & even soundboard audio is added. Nice.

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Metallica, Sheffield Arena, 16-10-96

I don’t remember much about this one & it’s hardly surprising really. My personal life was in turmoil. Since my dads passing at the end of ’93, my world was falling apart. I got ill with colitis,which is stress related. At the worst i was just shitting myself away with no control of my bowels & often blood was involved. There was extra stress at work as i could see the place was going down hill ,partly due to the new “manager”. My wife wasn’t supporting me, she was just getting further away at i time i really needed her support. They were dark days. When i was diagnosed with colitis, someone said to me “You must be pleased to know it’s not bowel cancer”. Strange as it sounds, i hadn’t even considered that to be a possibility. I always thought i was indestructible, but things were proving me wrong.I was wasting away & losing the fight. I knew there were problems with the wife, but, when she wont talk about it, it’s hard to try put things right. I’ll also admit it wasn’t one sided, i had made mistakes. But, it was becoming too much of a struggle for me to get through the days as i was so weak (physically & mentally), so i needed to try look after myself more, or i wouldn’t make it through. So the Metallica show….All i remember is i met my old friend Andy there as at the time he was living in Lincoln (he’s since moved back to Boston). I said to him something like “It’s really falling apart with me & Jack. I think we’ll end up splitting up”. Little did i know that that night, whilst i was out, she would be fucking an absolute slime ball…i’d find out the following day. I still think it was partly because she didn’t have the guts to talk or even finish things between us. An easy cop out & she could blame someone else. For me, the most important thing in any relationship is honesty. If there’s a problem, talk about it & try work things out or call it quits. As much as i was furious,disappointed, betrayed, i said lets try work through this. (Yeah, i know, a stupid thought from me, but …) Damn it’s hard reliving this era of my life. Even now it ties my guts in knots. But i will say, there was one redeeming thing about this shit from her, she did eventually realise what she did was scummy & was perfectly “fair” with our divorce. No silly demands & just wanted a large cash settlement. Ironically, i had secretly set up a P.E.P.  The plan was to surprise her with a trip to Australia to see her cousin.  She cleared me out of all my money & then some. At least she didn’t put up a fight. I think that’s also because she knew i would not give in easy & we’d have both ended up with nothing.

So this show is one i’d like to forget & yet i will never be able too due to events around it. Jump forward to 2015 & i’m in such a good place now. The happiest i’ve ever been maybe. I’m surrounded by great friends, both local & abroad. Sure, there are times i wish there was that one special person in my life,but, i don’t think i can ever trust anyone again…

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Metallica, Therapy?, Skid Row, Slayer, Slash’s Snakepit, White Zombie, Machine Head, Warrior Soul, Corrosion Of Conformity ,@ Castle Donington 26-8-95

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Well this was a bit of a bad joke. Via the Metallica fan club, i’d got meet n greets. A local friend was meant to go, but dropped out. So my girlfriend went instead. Big mistake! We waited around for hours only to see James & Jason. We missed most of the bands! The missus was in one of her moods & she wanted to leave. So we did.Only saw about 30mins of Tallica i think…

 

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