NO MOSHING ALLOWED!!
Seriously, NO MOSHING ALLOWED is not exactly what you would expect to see as you enter the arena for a Metallica show, but there it is, as clear as day on the door as you enter. Just before you get scanned in by a man old enough to be twins with Phil the Greek and felt up by a gal no older than Justin Biebers bird.
Amazingly with a prompt arrival of 6MST on Friday August 17th 2012 there is only a line-up of four or five people, beer is being brought out into the lobby and buying a t-shirt takes less than three minutes. So very different to the scenario at the Iron Maiden show just two weeks prior.
Edmonton’s very own Stryker is lucky enough to open for these Monsters of Rock and they sound tight, if not almost exactly like the previously mentioned British boys. They were lucky enough to be chosen by the 100.3 The Bear team to open and they will have that forever. That aside, whatever happens next for the local lads will probably be a huge let down!
On to the main feature; two blokes with pants so tight it brings the question, “where the fuck is their junk?” These two in all black, supported by an almost bald guy with a portly belly and moobs and a skater dude with hair down to his knees and hands like shovels.
Metallica have arrived. The Metallica loyal are just that, LOYAL!
Not a whisper of Napster, St Anger or Lou Reed and no-one really cares now what these four accomplished/un-accomplished musicians look like these days.
James Hetfield is a long time without his flowing blond locks. It makes no difference. His voice is stronger and better developed now than it ever was. He looks happy, fit and very well. His stage aggression boosts his performance perfectly.
The Rogaine appears to still be having an effect on Kirk Hammett’s perfect coif. A little grey announces his arrival into the land of the grown up. His nimble fingers gather momentum during each song and he delivers note perfection throughout the two hour set. He looks relaxed, smiles a lot, engages his audience professionally and shreds the shit out of his guitar.
Though drummer Lars Ulrich is not wearing slippers he looks like he probably should be. Of the four, middle age has not been especially kind to Lars. He is so at home on the stage, seated behind his formidable drum kit that he could probably cat nap between songs. Give the man a cup of tea, a pipe and a TV and he is set for life.
Rob Trujillo was the perfect replacement for Jason Newsted and although neither would have been on the stage was it not for the untimely death of Cliff Burton, Trujillo fits. His appearance may be a little off key with the other three, but it was meant to be. He is a master of puppets and of his bass too. A head banging hero.
The set and props are just as you would imagine. …massive. Throughout the show giant toilets, headstones, statues, coffins and guitar necks are hoisted, swung and erected. Pyro is well timed and brings added heat and noise to an already blazing, roaring hot arena.
Metallica fan Ashley Nicol of Calgary described the show as; “So fricken’ amazing, my mind was blown to bits by the copious amounts of metally goodness!” Nicol was not the only music fan to have made a long trip tonight; Headbangerwoman spoke to people from as far as the UK and Iqaluit!
Thirteen year old local kid Brennon Ockey tells Headbangerwoman, at one hundred miles an hour that; “Blowing up the statue was sick. I’m grateful to have seen them. I wouldn’t have sold my ticket for a thousand dollars!” He could have though…..this show was a sell out! Two nights in succession!
Of course, no one leaves a Metallica show without bells tolling in their ears.
These San Francisco boys are deafening, but they are in tune, in time and still on top.
Hearing loss is mandatory, if only for a day or so. Who needs to mosh anyway?
Article and Photos by Karen Graham 22 August 2012