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article imageMetallica rock at London's O2 Special

By Tim Sandle     Oct 22, 2017 in Entertainment
London - Metallica gave a spellbounding concert at London's O2 Arena, thumping through classic numbers together with tracks taken from their new album. The concert backdrop consisted of some impressive digital projection.
London's O2 Arena is the capital's, indeed the U.K.'s, biggest venue and Metallica, on the first if their two night occupancy, entertained the 20,000 capacity crowd, divided between the expansive mosh pit and O2's characteristic sloping seats.
The concert opened with a version of Morricone's 'The Ecstasy of Gold' played off-stage, before Metallica came on and began a souped-up version of 'Hardwired'.
The veteran band, now in their thirty-sixth year, played some eighteen songs covering two-and-a-half hours, mixing several songs from their latest double album 'Hardwired To Self Destruct' with popular tunes drawn from their long career. The songs chosen were designed to showcase the virtuoso guitar and drumming talents of the four piece. That four musicians can generate such powerful sounds in such a large venue was impressive, and also reflective of advances in sound technology. Unlike some concerts of old, the vocals were also decipherable.
In terms of highlights, the version played of 'Now That We're Dead' featured an extended drum set in which all four band members took turns in drumming, before culminating in a four-piece drum set. Another song of interest was a cover-version, The Misfit's 'Die, Die My Darling' proved popular with the crowd. Perhaps the best was 'Master of Puppets', played before the encore and the close out 'Enter Sandman.'
Metallica performing at the 02.
Metallica performing at the 02.
As well as the music the concert utilized some impressive visuals. Frequently cubes, with image projections across all four sides, moved up and down, suspended above the band. Often the digital projections, be they old movie clips or graphic arts, matched the theme of the song being played. As well as the digital projections, and admission the usual colorful range of spot lights, the concert was enlivened by floating spotlights and occasional flumes of fire projected upwards from the floor.
The band entered into occasional banter with the audience, but for the most part communicated through their instruments. A reference to the city in which they were performing was symbolized through the opening rift of 'London Calling's, the signature sing of The Clash. There appeared genuine warmth between Metallica and their audience, with lead vocalist James Hetfield telling the audience on several occasions they were parts of the "Metallica family."
As the concert closed out a further sign of how far Metallica appeared to respect their fans was through the band not immediately exiting the stage after completing their encore. Instead they stood, clapped along and soaked up the atmosphere within the cavernous O2 Arena as the venue lights came on.
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