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Metallica, in London, England

By A Headbanger, Do You Bang Head?
Friday, July 20, 2007 @ 7:01 AM

At Wembley Stadium

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Reviewed by From: Dessie "Fish" Daley

Listen to any discussion of Metallica's studio career to date and inevitably two groups will form. On one side, you have those who are adamant that Metallica's best work was done up to and including 1988's, “....And Justice For All” album. On the other side of the ring, there are those who maintain that every Metallica album to date has had something to offer. Either way, there is one thing that both sides always agree on: As a live act, Metallica have always been and still are second to none. Sunday 8th July, 65,000 people in London's brand new Wembley Stadium witnessed another phenomenal live performance.

Taking stage at 7:45pm to Ennio Morricone's, "The Ecstasy Of Gold", "Creeping Death" was selected as the first song of the night. "For Whom The Bell Tolls", "Sad But True" and "Disposable Heroes" followed suit. "Heavy metal is alive and well in London" was rhythm guitarist and lead singer James Hetfield's response to the electrifying atmosphere. "I’m feeling a different energy towards me than yesterday" Hetfield then quipped referring to the non-heavy metal crowd at the previous days "Live Earth" show.

"The Unforgiven" was next up, followed by a song not heard live for quite some time "...And Justice For All". This number was sung with such conviction by Hetfield that its inception can only be attributed to first hand experience of the shark filled waters of the U.S. justice system. Telling his adoring audience of his understanding and appreciation of their knowledge of every word of every song, Hetfield then encouraged their participation in "The Memory Remains." The crowd didn’t disappoint him.65,000 people singing the songs chorus in breath- taking unison brought the remark, "That is why we do this…that is why we do what we do".

Five tracks from early days Metallica were then delivered. "The Four Horsemen", the always utterly stunning, "Orion", "Fade To Black", "Master Of Puppets" and "Battery" provided a forty minute feast for those who savor pre-1991 Metallica material. The decision to record a live album with the San Francisco symphony orchestra in 1998 was for some the most questionable move Metallica ever made. However, the album did include two new studio recordings including the song, "No Leaf Clover". This song, with its absolutely crushing riff, can only be seen as the band’s answer to those who have long criticized their post "Black Album" output. This track would befit any album of any band.

"Nothing Else Matters", "One" with spectacular pyrotechnics, and "Enter Sandman" were then played to a crowd already in seventh heaven. A fan who that called for a guitar pick from Hetfield wish he hadn’t. As it was duly supplied from stage, the fan who called for it found himself surrounded by fifty fans who wanted it a lot more than he did. Seeing this Hetfield remarked "there you go...now share with your friends!!!"

The house was brought down with "Whiplash" and "Seek And Destroy". Leaving stage at 10:05pm,the band saluted their elated crowd. It was another awesome performance in an awesome venue by one of the world’s truly great bands.

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