Concert review: Metallica

Concert review: Metallica

The best for last

Text: Alex Tham

Image: Aloysius Lim,
Alvin Ho

Armed with their first album in eight years, 2016's Hardwired...To Self-Destruct, here are seven ways Metallica brought the pedal to the metal at the Singapore Indoor Stadium

1. Showcasing their new material
For many Metallica fans, nothing else matters after 1991's self-titled album (also know as The Black Album). Yet, as the band's ill-fated collaboration with Lou Reed showed, Metallica isn't content with just recycling their best hits. Of the 18 songs that Metallica played last night, seven were from their latest album.

2. That Morricone intro
Like a gunshot, the concert began with a dramatic scene from Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly displayed on five huge screens behind the band. Metallica has opened their concerts with Ennio Morricone's Ecstasy of Gold since the '80s, and the band didn't break with tradition last night.

James Hetfield
3. Warnings of war
The band played their classic For Whom the Bell Tolls early in their set, where guitarist and lead singer James Hetfield growled the refrain "For a hill/men would kill/why?". One of the most striking images screened during the concert was the silhouettes of soldiers marching on towards their death. A warning of tidings to come?

4. Robert Trujillo's chops
Metallica's bassist played like a pugilist on fire. In one memorable interlude, Trujillo shredded his bass guitar like it was a Stratocaster before proceeding to detune its strings while simultaneously making it cry.

Robert Trujillo
5. Kirk Hammett's horror guitars
Thanks to the gigantic screens, we could see the lead guitarist's life-long love of horror films on his guitars up close. One guitar displayed the title of the Bela Lugosi film White Zombie; another was his signature Ouija guitar, so named because of the occult board layout on it. Sure enough, Hammett played like a man possessed.

6. The crowd-pleasers
The crowd headbanged to the new songs, but they really got jumping to the old favourites. Master of Puppets, Fade to Black and Unforgiven got them going, while the biggest reactions came when the band played Seek & Destroy and ended with a majestic version of Enter Sandman. Like a blast from the past, there were even some attempts at crowd-surfing.

7. Good vibrations
Mostly dressed in black t-shirts, the crowd included youths as well as people who were teenagers when Kill 'Em All came out in 1983. There was even a friendly demon headbanging in the front row (at least whenever the mask was on). Everyone rocked hard, prompting drummer Lars Ulrich to say that Singapore had been the last and best of their Asia tour. 

Lars Ulrich
Metallica performed in Singapore on 21 January at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. For more concert reviews, click here