Review: Metallica – The O2 Arena, London – 22nd October 2017

Having formed in 1981, meaning they’ve been active for a whopping 36 years, Metallica (*****) have solidified their dominance in rock history in numerous ways over their incredibly successful career, and this current UK tour in honour of their latest album Hardwired…To Self-Destruct, was just one more thing to add to their ever growing list of achievements as ticket sales of over 90,000 over five nights at arenas around the country made attendance record history, 44,000 of which were sold across two night’s for London’s O2 Arena alone, a record previously set by Muse in 2016. Luckily, we were there to attend the first show of the Worldwired Tour in London to witness the Metallica madness.

Having had Norwegian heavy metal band Kvelertak (**) kick off the proceedings to, what was unfortunately a half empty arena, the room slowly began to fill to the brim with die-hard Metallica fans of all ages and when those lights went out and the introduction to Ecstasy of Gold began, the arena was packed and ready to rock their socks off. The sound practically tripled and Metallica exploded onto the stage with their self-titled track off the new album Hardwired quickly followed by Atlas, Rise! and Seek and Destroy; three songs to stir fans into a complete frenzy.

It’s safe to say Metallica don’t do things half-heartedly; not only did they sound fantastic, they looked fantastic too. Having their stage centred in the middle of the arena and accompanied by floating cubes equipped with visual effects, it meant that wherever you were, you got the full Metallica experience. The band made sure to perform a nice variety of tracks in an attempt to cater for fans old and new; highlights included For Whom the Bell Tolls, Fuel, Moth into Flame, and Master of Puppets. Now That We’re Dead also sounded incredible, especially as fans were treated to an extended drum solo by all four members of the band during the song.

As always, Nothing Else Matters was a beautiful addition to the set, sending goosebumps down the spine and providing a well needed breather from the recent onslaught. As Enter Sandman ended, bringing the evening to a close, the thousands of fans made their way slowly out of the arena and whether it was their first, fifth or even tenth experience of their live show, everyone was now a part of the Metallica family.

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