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)

Virginmarys, Michael Monroe,Therapy?, Darkness, Alice Cooper, StoneFree Festival, Indigo at O2 , O2 Arena, London 18-6-16


Scans0672 No, it wasn’t a complimentary ticket (you hand them in on entry & collect them after gigs finished), i paid over £70 for a CRAP service, but to got see some good bands 🙂  * Let me just get this rant out of the way *

From the start, i knew this one would be a balls up.In their wisdom, they didn’t post out the tickets (a service i paid for). When i chased them up, they said could be collected from the box office from 11am on gig day.I then requested my postage costs to be refunded, as i paid for a service they didn’t provide. Got the reply : ” Unfortunately, we are unable to refund your transaction as this also covers the cost of placing your tickets for collection from the venue box office”. Oh how typical, anything to rip off their customers.Well,before we got there, Jim contacted me to say the box office wouldn’t be open until 12pm ! Yeah, just know how this is going to go….
When got there, had a little wander around & bumped into my old mate Dave Ling. Not seen him for ages. I asked him how he was & his reply was something like “More to the point, how are you?” That was nice of him. Next we had a little wander around the venue looking at the overpriced eating places 😉 Then i noticed a familiar face coming towards me. It was a lad from Sheffield, Tonito, who i’ve met at loads of gigs (Sheffield/Nottingham etc). Thought it was time we connected on Facebook, so we did 🙂 Went to join the box office queue & after a while, Eric & Sonia arrived. First thing Sonia said was “You’re looking well”. That was very nice to hear. It may seem small, but to me, that’s a big boost to my well being/confidence.
When box office opened, a few people in front of us came away with no tickets! Strange eh? Once it was our turn, they said that the tickets hadn’t arrived at the box office yet! Oh See Tickets/O2 arena are such professionals ! (sarcasm). Every subsequent customer was told “The tickets will be here in an hour”. So, the first act started at 12.20 & majority of us didn’t have tickets yet ! Personally, i don’t think these so called “professional companies” should be able to get away with this. We paid for a service which they did not provide, TWICE now. Cunts.
Eventually we get our tix & just hope that not many have gone in before us. Poor old Jim was STILL left waiting as his ticket (different company) had still not turned up. Now, i’d planned to go in the balcony & it seemed empty. Asked security & they said ” We won’t open the balcony until the main floor fills up”. I was still livid from the ticket B.S. so had a word with the production manager, a very nice American lady. She said i could have a seat. Well, it turned out it WASN’T in balcony, but in the disabled area, which wasn’t that great a view. So i went back to her & said we had crossed wires. She then told me ” The balcony is closed & only VIPs can go up there” (erm, so the security had totally sold me a bullshit line eh?!!) Well, i gave up on that goose chase & went back in. Place was busying up. Partly cos i was pissed off & partly as i didn’t think the place would get all that busy, i decided to go front row! Watched “Jackaman”, who were new to me & pretty good. Damn, can she sing !


Next up, it was the band which were the main reason for me coming here : The Virginmarys :-). I absolutely LOVE the latest album, ” Divides”. There’s not many bands i can say i like every track on the album, but this is certainly one of the special few. Songs such as ” I Wanna take you home” really resonate with me. It was a well thought out set list to hit hard & fast.



The set just seemed to fly by. Ally, as ever, showed his appreciation for the crowd turning up to see them. He also briefly told how they were delayed because of Alice Coopers snake 🙂 They were easily my band of the day.

To my utter shame,after all these years, i’ve still not got a VMs t-shirt ! (only got a beanie hat ). I didn’t see any merchandise for them around the arena ( The O2 probably wanted too big a cut to sell there 😉 ) so i sent Gareth a msg to see if i could buy one. Unfortunately, they only had ” Tent ” size in the one i wanted 🙁 So still haven’t got one…


Michael Monroe was running around like mad. He was making Dunc work hard as regards his microphone stand. I reckon MM does it deliberately 😉 Reminded me of the show at Camden Rocks in 2015. I was stood on the left & we had a moment where i could see the exasperation in the eyes poor old Dunc 😉

Well, whatever, MM played a typical upbeat set. A few times he came down to the barrier to meet his people. Thinking about it, i’ve never seen a bad show by him. He has a solid band behind him & they always seem to have fun. Great stuff.

Next it’s Therapy? Again, you know what you’re gonna get with them. Never seen a bad gig by them. Fun with a capital F ! 🙂

We then move to the main arena, where things are already quite busy. I must say, i really don’t think the organizers really thought things through as regards the Indigo O2 room. I mean, what would have happened if a lot of this crowd had wanted to see the acts in the smaller room ? It’s obvious not everyone would have fitted in & there was potential  for even more unsatisfied punters…
So, first band up in the arena was ” Blackberry Smoke”. They were ok i suppose. Next it’s Apocalyptica. They were a great novelty act when they started about 20 years ago, because it was an original idea. I guess it was always going to be a limited potential though, when just playing the cellos. So along the way, they got guest singers for some songs. The standout one for me was when Sandra Nasic (Guano Apes) did “Path Vol 2” back in 2001 (If my memory is correct, she also had the honor of being the first person to add vocals to an Apocalyptica song). I’ve not really followed their career since then, but did notice they had some great guest vocalists/collaborations along the way. Can’t say as i like the band nowadays & if i’m honest, i’m amazed they’ve managed to make such a good career out of it all. However, i respect the fact they’ve worked for everything & are now even able to play a gig at Royal Festival Hall !

Somewhere during the night, i bumped into Adrian Hextall. I first met him at the Camden Rocks show a couple of years back. Again, such a nice chap that he asked how i was doing with regards to my tumors etc. Was really appreciated. Next it’s The Darkness. They’ve certainly had some HIGHS 😉 & lows over their career. I reckon one of my fave times seeing them was at the MTV birthday gig at Brixton ,back in 2003.(Along with “The Music” & headliners “Janes Addiction”). They were just starting to become well known at the beginning of their meteoric success. As with many bands, internal problems & drugs caused them to implode & they were away for some years. I wasn’t sure what to expect of them tonight.I could take it or leave it tbh. But, as it was, i mostly REALLY enjoyed their set. It was fun & a laugh. What i DIDN’T like though was when Justin started trying to guess audience members names! Just seemed stupid how he was rambling on. Maybe there was a reason for it ? 😉

Finally it’s time for Alice Cooper. By now i’m starting to feel tired as it’s been such a long day. I was enjoying the set a lot, but, after maybe 40mins or so, i just felt like if i stayed i’d pass out (or something worse). I know when to not push myself.


So i said goodbye to everyone & arranged to meet Ady back at Stanmore tube. Despite the initial tickets clusterfuck, the day did end up ok. Apologies for my initial rant, but, i just cannot take it when there is such incompetence !

Janes Addiction, Nine Inch Nails, Mew, @ O2 Arena, London 15-7-09


I never liked the idea of this venue, so it had to be something pretty special to make me go there. It was Janes Addiction (With the bonus of N.I.N.) that did it. My reasoning being that it was pretty obvious that Eric Avery wasn’t gonna stay with the band & i just wanted to see a show with him. Simple.

As this was the first time I’d been to the O2 Arena, I didn’t know if I could get back to my car in time. So I left early & missed this 🙁

Nine Inch Nails & Gary Numan – Cars

Nine Inch Nails & Gary Numan – Cars Live in London 2009

Posted by Indie Cabinet on Friday, 18 January 2019