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Tuesday, 10 March 2009

The day that finally came

The day arrived, and me and Shithouse kicked off the beers at 13:30 in true heavy metal style. For at that point, we were only five hours away from the Dark Lords and by arse, the excitement was running like the blood of a slaughtered dragon (not sure why I've gone all Manowar here but it's my blog, so whatever...)

Bandy picked us up, and off we went, three fucking metallers with inflatable guitars in a company Vauxhall Vectra. For 'tis how we roll. We got to the O2 after a rousing chorus of the Kill 'Em All album en route and set off in search of a beer. Met up with Metal-R from my work, then the four of us hit the bar. We sold the car so we could afford the second round in the Guitar Hero bar, and by now me and Shithouse were a tad beered up.

We were all keen to catch Sword and Machine Fucking Head so took our seats relatively early doors. Sword, I must confess, I knew very little about but after an impressive, prog-inspired few songs, I can see them being a band I take an interest in.

Machine Head didn't have the same energy as the last few times I've seen them but in all fairness, this wasn't their fault. The mass appeal of Metallica means that the front standing area was a mix of old rockers, young emos, and every type of person in between. For this reason, the fucking bat shit donkey rape carnage of the circle pit you'd expect was little more than a couple of people fidgeting around, occasionally grazing the person next to them. Even my inspirational shout of "START A CIRCLE PIT YOU FUCKING PUSSIES!" didn't set them off. Strange.

Machine Head limped through a much more family-friendly set than usual but it wasn't for the want of trying. Rob Flynn's calls for a pit were greeted with a couple of moments where it looked like it may go but alas, the front was a bunch of gaylords.

Not too long after the Bay Area gods left the stage, house lights went down.

It was beginning.

The crowd were on their feet.

And fuck me didn't they start well.

Opening with a track off the new album was bold but inspired. "That Was Just Your Life" threw the crowd into a frenzy (still no pit though) which continued for the next few songs. The positioning of the stage made this an even better spectacle than was expected - friends have been to the O2 and seen bands with the stage at one end, never positioned dead centre of the arena. We all had a great view, the acoustics were awesome (Bandy had a few issues with it but he'd had 3 Pro Plus and 4 Red Bulls - he could have been raped in the ear by a Silverback and would barely have noticed) and the interaction was something else.

As "One" opened, my neck was at breaking point but we kept the momentum going. In all honesty, the double-pedal breakdown in the middle of the song was pretty fucking terrible by Lars, and there was a couple of hits that he clearly missed but the crazy little bastard had so much energy, I think I was the only sad twat who noticed.

My lighter ran out of petrol during "Nothing Else Matters" but this tune was probably my highlight of the show. Metallica's haunting epic being backed by 20,000 loyal fans, in an atmospherically lit venue the size of a football stadium. And the fact they ended and went straight for "Enter Sandman" only exemplified their greatness and absolutely mastery of the crowd.

Ending with "Seek and Destroy" meant we all left on a high. Sorry, let me rephrase that. We left on a monumental, 10-storey high with sea views and personal helipad. My one criticism, and this is not of the band, was the lacklustre front of the crowd. Iron Maiden at Twickenham was fight-for-your-life carnage; this could have been as good but the cross-over nature of Metallica's music meant that the range of those at the front was so great that it never really kicked off. Me and Shithouse tried to storm the crowd but the ever vigilant security guards stopped us pretty sharpish. Which is probably just as well; I don't think they were ready for about 30-stone of drunken windmilling.

To summarise, in essence, I would like to say, Metallica owned the O2. They were the Masters, we were the Puppets.

Boom boom.

Faith No More to headline?? I fucking like your style boys! Journey as a rumoured addition? Get that in and I'll touch you all in a sexy place...

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