Jul 162007

Metallica on stage

45000 fans can't all be wrongSaw Metallica yesterday in the Helsinki Olympic Stadium on their Sick of the Studio ’07 tour.

The concert was oddly devoid of any real surprises, the band catered for the fans by providing a greatest hits set. Without any new songs off the forthcoming album, nor any from the 2003 St. Anger.

All in all the song selection was very conservative – surprises confined to what was omitted rather than what was included. No Leaf Clover off S&M was a peculiar choice, as was the title track from … And Justice For All.

This was the first concert ever that had a dedicated shirt, a nice red/black-design with the herald of Helsinki on the front. A shirt which was sold out pretty much immediately at the stands inside.

Trash strewn on the path to the stadiumWhile the entry into the stadium was far less painful than back in 2004, the lines stretched long. This time I avoided cutting the line, and joined it pretty much where the tail end was, three years back. According to reliable reports, this was about as good as it got, since both before and afterwards the line had been snaking much longer, way much longer.

A bunch of anxious fans had camped out on the path, and the results of a three-day stay showed – garbage was everywhere, rained on and trampled into the ground.

Missed Diablo, the first warm-up act completely. HIM was plagued with less than optimal sound (at least near the stage), and an indifferent audience. Didn’t recognize any songs as being from the forthcoming Venus Doom album, but wasn’t really paying that much attention either.

Metalllica took the stage some ten minutes behind schedule, and played for good two and a half hours. As stated, the set list was very much on the predictable side, with a surprise or two thrown in for good measure (Four Horsemen, especially, was a good choice – but omission of For Whom the Bell Tolls really wasn’t).

Creeping Death
Four Horsemen
Ride the Lightning
Disposable Heroes
... And Justice for All
Memory Remains
No Leaf Clover
Fade to Black
Master of Puppets
Sad But True
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman
Am I Evil?
Seek & Destroy

A nostalgic selection indeed, without any indication of the style of the next album. But as long as the band keeps playing the likes of Orion and Creeping Death, I certainly will be back for more. And that’s probably what Rolling Stones’ fans are saying about Paint it Black and Satisfaction. Though Metallica is not yet on the same bandwagon as messieurs Jagger and Richards, they have been skirting the edge of being not much more than a classics-jukebox for the last three tours.

The raps between songs seemed pretty much routine, but the thanks given by all band members following the show were on the genuine side (and devoid of any “Heavy Metal Capital”-expressions so loved by the likes of Bruce Dickinson).

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