Metallica

support Lamb of God + Mastodon
author AP date 23/07/09 venue Forum, Copenhagen, DEN

What a summer it has been. One legendary band after the other has graced this tiny nation with a visit and this enthused scribe has been fortunate to experience all of it, indeed also the extraordinary fivesome of performances given by Metallica two weeks ago. Smart as we were, TL and I had secured tickets for the third night - a most strategic decision, it would turn out, at least if the reviews by other media of the two shows before, and the two shows after, are to be believed. For this special occasion our friend Mr. Ulrich had chosen Forum as the venue and placed his stage smack in the center of it in the best old school fashion.

Mastodon

Unfortunately not every band knows how to, or even can exploit this kind of setup as was proven by Mastodon's disappointing support slot. One should feel sorry for those members of the audience who stood on the opposite side of the stage from us, because these boys weren't going anywhere. Instead, we were faced with three grizzly men playing what appears to have been a very decent setlist, if only the songs had actually been audible. Most annoying was that the band's greatest asset, the drumming, somehow drowned in the mix taking all but the bass drums and guitar with it thus eliminating every reason to watch this band live. Gone was the hypnotic atmosphere that flourished in the Apollo where I last saw these guys, and with it the visible enthusiasm of the respective band members. It's as if for Mastodon this was some run-of-the-mill, everyday procedure and not a prestigious position on a Metallica tour poster. Very sad indeed.

5

Setlist:

01. Oblivion

02. The Czar

03. Megalodon

04. Crack the Skye

05. Iron Tusk

06. March of the Fire Ants

Lamb of God

Now, these bluecollar boys' performance was everything but. Despite unfortunate circumstances, such as a missing lead guitarist (Mark Morton) and sound problems like those that had plagued Mastodon just before, the entertainment factor rose tenfold as soon as the infamous Randy Blythe rose on stage. The amount of energy at the band's disposal was almost overwhelming, and with it the band put the centered stage to excellent use. When the various band members weren't busy running around the stage brandishing their instruments, they rose on top of the selection of amps and platforms like gods, commanding horns and moshpits wherever they could. The crowd was in Randy Blythe's palm. Unfortunately the security personnel at Forum counteracted Randy's every move, breaking up moshpits to protect the younger (and older) members of the crowd from the menace that is this band's devout fan. No matter though, because the sheer charisma of this band is enough to keep every soul entertained (well, except for the odd douchebag in the mix who, and I quote, would rather have seen Volbeat supporting Metallica because they're so much better than this death metal piss). Surprisingly, most souls in the 10,000 strong horde knew the lyrics to most of the band's material, and particularly "Redneck" towards the end of the set was met with much welcome. The fact stands clearer than ever: Lamb of God are metal as fuck!

8

Setlist:

01. The Passing

02. In Your Words

03. Set to Fail

04. Walk With Me in Hell

05. Now You've Got Something to Die For

06. Ruin

07. Dead Seeds

08. Laid to Rest

09. Redneck

10. Black Label

Metallica

When the familiar intro track began to linger in the room, the ecstasy of everyone in the hall suddenly overthrew the annoyed, frustrated and bitter feelings about the one-hour-plus wait (undoubtedly no fault of the venue, rather, time to massage the band members' egos) and the outrageous prices of beer. What happened next though no one had expected: a laser show to shame puny events like Sensation or Qlimax while Mr. Hetfield roared through track number one from "Death Magnetic" with no trace of past demons. Seriously, seldom have I experienced a light show so fitting, and so exhilarating as this, and seldom have I watched a band of such credentials perform in such a professional and convincing manner whilst retaining a definite, down-to-earth connection with the audience. We are the superstars tonight, Hetfield ensures more than once.

Metallica's shows always carry an element of surprise, because the setlists change on a nightly basis. Noting that most of the songs we didn't care much about hearing had been played already on the previous two nights, TL and I were prepared for the best, and the best was what we received. A true journey through the entire back catalogue of Metallica including such must-haves as "For Whom The Bell Tolls" and "Blackened" as well as the expected, though no less rewarding "Master of Puppets", "Nothing Else Matters" and "Enter Sandman". No complaints whatsoever are accepted regarding what songs were played, because there's an awful lot of good shit to choose from and just two hours to pack it in. Some classics were missed, but other classics replaced them to no harm done.

If Lamb of God were energetic then Metallica were that times one thousand. So excited were the veterans to be playing for us tonight that poor Lars could hardly keep still, spending equal amounts of time sitting and standing (or running around his drumkit slamming the cymbals), singing, screaming, shouting, laughing, grinning and just having an awesome time. Maybe Connie was watching tonight? In any case, his energy rubbed off onto the audience in such a way that it became impossible to stand near the stage lest one could accept immense amounts of greasy grey hair, straps from leather jackets and beer mugs being hurled at you - not to mention the suffocating heat.

Lasers, pyro-effects, coffins descending from the ceiling, black Metallica balloons filling the venue, more guitar solos than is reasonable or healthy - you name it, they brought it. While this in no way paralleled the grandeur of AC/DC earlier this summer, Metallica is one of those bands that can do no wrong (well, not live at least) and as such I have no criticisms to dispense regarding the night's performance. When old men can still rock as hard as this, I am reminded again why age will never stand in between me and the music I listen to or make.

9

Setlist:

01. That Was Just Your Life

02. The End of the Line

03. For Whom the Bell Tolls

04. Wherever I May Roam

05. One

06. Broken, Beat and Scarred

07. No Remorse

08. Sad But True

09. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)

10. My Apocalypse

11. The Day That Never Comes

12. Master of Puppets

13. Blackened

14. Nothing Else Matters

15. Enter Sandman

--Encore--

16. Helpless (Diamond Head cover)

17. Hit the Lights

18. Seek & Destroy

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