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Metal mayhem is unleashed; Metallica, Metro Radio Arena.

Byline: Nicolle Thompson

METALLICA are in the middle of their first full UK tour for 13 years, so make no mistake, this was quite an event to have a ticket for.

Widely considered to be the greatest heavy rock band in the world, the reputation was there to live up to.

Hence the pre-concert buzz displayed an intensity and sense of anticipation that cannot fully be described without sinking to Joycean depths.

My only concern, as I waited in a packed Arena for them to appear, was that with a new album out, promoting this would take precedence over playing their older stuff. I wondered briefly if they were feeling the same slight apprehension that I was. Not if the opening was anything to go by.

Exploding onto the stage in a purple haze we were launched straight into That Was Just Your Life from their new album Death Magnetic.

Lasers swirled around the platform as the crowd went suitably wild.

From there they moved on to a furious rendition of The End Of The Line. But the traditionalist in me need not have worried. Flames erupted as the soul-searing track One got under way.

A definite crowd pleaser. By the time they got to Sad But True they had the audience in the palms of their hands.

Thousands of people screaming out "Master, Master" during Master of Puppets was a suitably eerie experience, while the haunting Nothing Else Matters caused neck hairs to raise all round.

They balanced old with new, but played to their strengths, finishing with Enter Sandman before being summoned back on stage for the encore.

James Hetfield still has whatever makes him the one and only James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich still drums like a man possessed.

World beaters indeed.

CAPTION(S):

AMAZING FRONTMAN James Hetfield of Metallica.; HARDCORE Metallica fans soak up the atmosphere at the Arena.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 5, 2009
Words:313
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