Metallica rocked the crowd at Glastonbury out on Saturday night, and proved that heavy metal has a place at the annual musical event, despite the nay saying of some vocal critics. The Glastonbury festival is Britain’s biggest one, and though it has generally featured musical acts which have a hippie ethos, the audience welcomed the heavy metal band Metallica with thunderous applause.
A short film that was shown before Metallica performed, about a traditional English fox hunt, concluded with the fox hunters being shot by bears. The “bears” were actually the members of Metallica in bear costumes. Then, there was a message on the screen that read: “Are you ready for Glastallica?”
Fans were lined up on the Pyramid Stage where Metallica performed. They waved Metallica flags and T-shirts with the phrase “Peace, Love & Metal” on them, reminiscent of the motto from the 1960s, “Peace, Love, & Dope.”
Metallica invited hundreds of their fans at Glastonbury to take to the stage to watch them, and these mud-splattered fortunate few got an up-close-and-personal experience behind Lars Ulrich’s drums, listening and dancing to the music of the U.S. group which has sold over 120 million albums.
Metallica opened up their set with the song Creeping Death, and then launched into another of their hits, For Whom the Bell Tolls. The third song of Metallica’s set was “Wherever I May Roam,” and it was a great song to showcase the talents of bassist Robert Trujillo. Frontman James Hetfield was determined to show the rural farm in southwest England where approximately 135,000 fans had gathered what the heavier side of music was like.
Metallica engaged both their fans and newcomers to their music with blistering performances of their hits, like Enter Sandman and One. The band played for one hour and 40 minutes, showcasing their blazing-fast guitar riffs, pounding drum beat of Lars Ulrich, and the incredible vocals of James Hetfield.
The fourth song Metallica performed was Sad But True. They followed it with Fade to Black, then Cyanide, from the album Death Magnetic.
Warning the audience “It’s going to get louder,” Hetfield and the rest of Metallica then performed The Memory Remains. Hetfield asked the concert-goers to sing along, and they honored his request, in one of the many highlights of the band’s set.
More great music followed, as animated scenes of WWI soldiers where shown behind them. Metallica got the Glastonbury audience even more pumped up by playing two of their biggest hits, One and Master Of Puppets. After those two, the group then played what is arguably their most famous hit, Enter Sandman.
That marked the end of their main set, but they were called back for an encore, and Metallica — not wanting to disappoint the Glastonbury audience — came back to play a cover of Whiskey in a Jar. The final song Metallica played was Seek and Destroy from their 1983 album Kill ‘Em All. Black beach balls, with the Metallica logo on them, were released into the enthusiastic crowd as they played the final song of the evening. James Hetfield thanked the Glastonbury audience, and said “Metallica loves you, Glastonbury.”
Metallica was impressive in their debut at Glastonbury, enthralling their fans and winning over some of the other people in attendance at the music festival, such as Helen Langton from Stratford-upon-Avon in the Midlands, who stated that the group was “brilliant, amazing.”
Michael Eavis, the 78-year old founder of the event that started in 1970, invited Metallica, and then found himself having to defend his invitation to the media. Metallica proved by their amazing set that heavy metal music does, indeed, have a place at the annual Glastonbury music festival.
Written by: Douglas Cobb