Concerts Music

Metal veterans look back

{mosimage}Metallica, the elder statesmen of trash metal, misters Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett
and Trujillo, put up a solid show at
Helsinki Olympic Stadium, the second to last gig of their Sick of the Studio
'07 tour. Once again the middle-aged metal gods proved their mastery of
machine-gun-riffs and face-melting licks in the face of a worshipping crowd of
metalheads. Hard core fans and casual enthusiasts each got their fill from a
set which combined the best parts of Metallica's long career: the early days'
trash metal genius of staccato riffs and breakneck transitions, and the more
mainstream metal from 1991's Black Album


The band seemed to be in good spirits and appeared happy to
be playing older songs. Fan favourites from the past dominated the setlist,
only a few post-Black Album songs were played, and none from 2003's St. Anger. Instead, the first  three albums were well represented. Rob
Trujillo, who wasn't around when most of the songs were first composed, seemes
to have reclaimed his place in the ranks of the Metal Militia. Following Trujillo's
bass solo the band payed homage to deceased original bassist Cliff Burton by
launching into Orion, a meandering
instrumental bash-a-thon written by Burton. The main portion of the set finished
off with the crowd chanting to a thunderous Master
of Puppets, followed by a raging Whiplash.
The band  returned to deliver the
necessary crowd-pleasers from Sad But
True to One
, this time with added
fireworks and pyrotechnics to boot. Cheap tricks, sure, but who cares, they
worked. With Enter Sandman out of the
way, the band came back once more to play Am
I Evil?
and finally obliterated the venue for good with Seek and Destroy.

It's good to see Metallica at ease with their past and
performing with such energy. With a set leaning towards their early career,
they sounded – in a good way – like they might as well have performed in a
dingy basement club. Still, mr. Hetfield is a enough of a showman to grab
an  audience, and he has the skill to
bring out the dramatic arc in a byzantine metal-oddyssey. While the concert
offered nothing really new, it was an entertaining and well executed
cross-section of the career of one of the most important metal bands ever.

On a side note, certain Finnish tabloids have been following
HIM's ordeals as Metallica's
warm-up act, and apparently for a reason. They were just all wrong for the
situation. Sandwiched between first opener Diablo's
aggressive piledriver metal and the colossal main act, HIM's synth-heavy and
melodic rock seemed completely out of place. The band's poor performance didn't
help either, or the fact that a large portion of the audience was still queuing
to the stadium during the opening acts. Then again, it was hardly a total
disaster: at least people applauded politely after every song.

 This show and all the shows of the tour are available for purchase and download at: 



15 July 2007 – Olympic Stadium, Helsinki 

Creeping Death
The Four Horsemen
Kirk Doodle #1
Ride The Lightning
Disposable Heroes
Kirk Doodle #2
The Unforgiven
And Justice for All
The Memory Remains
No Leaf Clover
Rob Doodle
Fade to Black
Master Of Puppets
Kirk Doodle #3
Sad But True
Kirk Doodle #4
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman
Am I Evil?
Seek and Destroy

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