The sun had gone down, Linkin Park had left the stage and anticipation was high for the one band at Soundwave that many had come to see – metal kings Metallica.

One final sound check and the crowd waited… and then waited some more. Anticipation turned to restlessness and a few boos could be heard around the stadium. The Mexican Wave even made an appearance.

But finally, as ‘The Ecstasy of Gold’ began to ring out around the stadium more than half an hour after Linkin Park had finished their set, the crowd knew that Metallica were not far away.

Drums crashed, the stage lit up and Metallica launched, appropriately, in to ‘Hit the Lights.’ The crowd erupted and so began a more than two hour set which focused on old favourites. With all the boys dressed in black (big surprise) they powered their way through classics such as ‘Master of Puppets,’ ‘Harvester of Sorrow’ and ‘Ride the Lightning.’ Kirk shredded, Lars hammed it up and the crowd responded every time James called on them.

They moved in to ‘Broken, Beat & Scarred,’ the only song they played from ‘Death Magnetic’ and the only track that wasn’t from their first five albums. ‘Load,’ ‘Reload’ and ‘St. Anger’ were left out entirely, but the pumped-up crowd didn’t seem to mind.

‘Sad But True’ and ‘Fade to Black’ followed, before the sound of recorded gunfire and some impressive pyrotechnics signaled the start of ‘One.’ Crowd favourite ‘For the Whom the Bell Tolls’ followed, and James felt the love, thanking the “Metallica family” for their continued support.

‘Nothing Else Matters’ brought out the mobile phones and lighters and the band finished off with what was surely the biggest song of the night - ‘Enter Sandman,’ which had the entire crowd singing along.

Metallica left the stage, but soon returned to play ‘Creeping Death,’ ‘Fight Fire with Fire’ and ‘Seek & Destroy,’ a highlight of the night.

The lighting and stage set up added to the show but it was the song selection that kept the audience happy - Metallica stuck to a set full of their early classics and the crowd lapped it up. As the headliner of what was probably the best-ever Soundwave line-up, Metallica did not disappoint.

Written by David Thomas


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