Hardcore Metallica fan Yosef Hayeem recounts his memorable experience on 31 October in Bengaluru
“You have waited too long… and so have we; 30 long years…” said James Hetfield at Metallica’s Palace Grounds gig.
The fervor was being built up in Bengaluru before the day of the show itself. From screaming fans on the streets to pubs blaring out the band’s music; Metallica had completely taken over! Shops were selling Metallica tees; hell, even the traffic signs were flashing messages about the gig. Fans poured in from all over the country; the show even saw many firangs in attendance.
Come the day of the show, the organisers’ sole focus was on the safety of the audience and the bands present at the venue – so much so that a bald white guy was asking fans to follow the motto of the day “Safety First”. This was being done to avoid a repeat of the Delhi fiasco.
After repeated crowd alignments and sound-checks the crowds witnessed Scottish band Biffy Clyro - who played a knockout set in spite of being soaked wet in the rain. However, the crowd continued being restless as they did with the first two opening Indian acts eagerly waiting for Biffy to end their set!
When the clock struck eight, the thirty year wait was finally over – the screens rolling a clip from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – fans delighted by the Ecstasy of Gold. Next: Lars walks out on stage and looks over at the crowd from his drum throne, flips his drink and breaks into Creeping Death. The already elated audience went nuts on hearing the intro to For Whom the Bell Tolls.
Once Metallica was done burning faces upon some chrome, Hetfield went on to churn out the good old stuff offering fans a chance to Ride the Lighting.
Fade to Black saw James climb on to the raised platform on stage and pick his acoustic. Metallica also belted out some tunes from their album Death Magnetic – Cyanide and All Nightmare Long which the crowd welcomed by flashing some rock ‘n’ roll horns…
From the moment the first song was played, the crowd was singing along every song; word for word, tune for tune – it almost felt like a karaoke night with Metallica.
The special highlight of the evening being Memory Remains – the crowd went on to sing the ritualistic Ra ra ra Ra ra ra Ra ra Ra ra at the end of the song for an additional three to four minutes. Metallica was astounded to see the crowd chant on even though the song was done; Hetfield finally took off his guitar and broke into speech “We’ve had some friends come tell us that if you go to India it will change your life… And it surely has for us…”
The exchange of energy between the band and the audience was electrifying! Sanitarium and One Metallica’s melodic masterpieces had the 20,000 Metallica fans howling for more. Hetfield then asked fans if they wanted something heavy and delivered Sad But True, Kirk also pulled out his signature black Jackson V-bird.
Twelve songs into their set Metallica decided to give the people what they’d been begging for all night Master of Puppets. James then began to tease fans by playing the opening riff to Fight Fire With Fire only to switch it and play Blackened accompanied by some face melting pyro!
James, Kirk and Robert each took the time to play a solo piece; also adding fresh parts to their songs live. Also, Kirk’s instrumental guitar bit before Nothing Else Matters was truly transcendental. Enter Sandman ended with fireworks and Metallica paid homage to Diamondhead by playing the heavy loader Am I Evil.
And how would any Metallica gig be complete without the blood pumping Battery. The band ended their set with the thrash metal classic Seek and Destroy which saw Robert Trujillo spinning around in circles whilst playing his bass guitar without messing up a single note.