In anticipation of Metallica’s headlining slot tonight at the 32nd Glastonbury festival, here’s 10 things you might expect from their live show, from a dedicated fan (me).
1. Old Stuff & Rarities
Although Metallica has recently performed a run of shows in which the audience has voted on the setlist – dubbed ‘Metallica By Request’ on bills, and to be featured in next week’s Sonisphere Festival at Knebworth – tonight the setlist will be a ‘straight-up Metallica setlist’, according to drummer Lars Ulrich. It is no secret that Metallica decide on the setlist as late as 15 minutes before a show, but Ulrich explained to the NME early in June that the setlist will depend what the mood is on the night. Metallica arrived at Worthy Farm yesterday evening, so will have plenty of time to adjust to their surroundings and maybe take some inspiration from the eclectic mix of artists on the line up to play some of their rarer tracks.
In their 1998 release Garage, Inc. they covered Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Tuesday’s Gone and Bob Seger’s Turn The Page, which have sporadically appeared in setlists in recent years.
Ulrich joked that they would open the set with a rendition of ‘Wonderwall’ (he jammed this in a Load session in 1996) , as Jay-Z did in his 2008 set. But amidst the ‘controversy’ of Metallica’s slot at Worthy Farm, this wouldn’t be a bad idea to break the ice with the hard-core Indie fans.
2. ‘Lords of Summer’
Their new release has been played in almost every show they have played this year, first played in Bogotá, Columbia on March 16. It has been released as a garage demo version on YouTube and more recently as an improved, ‘First Pass’ version on iTunes. There is no doubt their fans want to see them perform this live, as this is the first evidence of studio work since 2008’s Death Magnetic, aside from their 2011 collaboration Lulu with the late Lou Reed and their tribute to Ronnie James Dio this March.
It is fast, heavy and gets better every time it is played.
3. ‘Enter Sandman’
A staple of their live show. Nothing more to say.
4. Lars not sitting down.
As a drummer, part of your job is to sit behind the kit. Lars doesn’t like sitting down, and takes every opportunity to stand up on stage like everyone else in the band. Don’t worry though – he’ll still keep the tempo – just maybe not as conventionally as other drummers.
5. James Hetfield shouting ‘YEAH’
The frontman, who sings and plays rhythm guitar, does this a lot. Loudly. The die-hard fans love it. You will too.
6. Rob Trujillo’s Antics
Metallica’s resident bassist since 2003 has played with Ozzy Osbourne and Suicidal Tendencies, and has learnt some moves over the years. His groovy style leads him to move around the stage riding his bass low and jumping in quick rigid hops, especially during For Whom The Bell Tolls, a largely bass-driven track. Watch out for his signature windmill move in their encore track Seek and Destroy…
7. Kirk Hammett’s Solos
A couple of songs in, Kirk likes to let loose with a face melting solo. Later in the set he comes back to refresh the audience. Another staple of their live set, this is exactly what Glastonbury needs – metal guitarwork at its finest.
Every now and again Metallica have fun with huge stage set pieces, bringing something different every time with every era. Spanning their 33-year career they have had giant coffins, moving speaker structures, destructible stages, ‘Lady Justice’ (a 20-foot statue from the cover of …And Justice for All) and giant crosses. Even a giant toilet has appeared in their live movie Through the Never. The possibilities are endless!
Look out for these in One and Enter Sandman. Though this is Glastonbury, so maybe they have something bigger planned, who knows?
10. Audience Participation
Their last performance in the UK was at Download Festival in June 2012. During this performance they played an extended rendition of Enter Sandman complete with ‘yeah’s and chants of ‘Metallica’s Family!’, as brilliantly captured by these two guys below. An impromptu audience participation session at Glasto 2014 may alienate some listeners at home watching on TV, but at a festival where many people may not know the words to their songs, audience participation may just be the one thing they need to do to break the ice and introduce the 180,000 strong crowd to their humour and live energy.