Metallica, Death Magnetic Release Celebration - London, England, 15th September 2008

Event: Metallica: Death Magnetic Release Celebration
Written by: Baz Anderson
Published: 16.09.2008


Metallica, Death Magnetic Release Celebration - London, England, 15th September 2008 by Baz Anderson (18)
To mark the coming of the year 2000, one of the many things we did to celebrate was build the Millennium Dome in the middle of London. Some years later the place was renamed the The O2 and became apparently the world's most popular venue with its huge size and list of some of the most popular artists and acts around that have and will play there.

To mark the coming of the 15th of September 2008, the release date for a certain album called "Death Magnetic" in this country, Metallica decided to put on a little album release show exclusively for members of their Metallica clubs at the O2 Arena for just £5 a ticket with all the money raised going to the Youth Music charity. A few days earlier in Berlin if you were a member of one of these clubs, 10€ would get you into a special show there also, with money going to the Deutsche Herzzentrum Berlin.

The O2 is a big place, it is immense in size, and this day it became overrun with hairy, metallers both young and old. Rows and rows of up-market restaurants and posh cafés became overrun with the sight of legions of Metallica fans waiting to see their favourite band. Seeing someone not wear a Metallica shirt was some kind of an achievement. Supposedly 15,000 people had swarmed to this event from around the country, and actually around the world. There were more people at this one show than some open air festivals. The O2 is used to these kinds of numbers however and queuing was not a problem at all due to the copious amounts of entrances we are allocated.

Inside the arena is a breathtaking sight, the stage was set up bang in the middle of where the audience would be, fans surrounded the stage both standing and also on seats all around the arena. This allowed for actually a great view wherever you were seated, if you were. Four times as much front row barrier for the people standing, and performing closer to the seated audience was sure to make for a strangely tight-nit, show even though there were as many people here to populate some small towns in the country. As the people entered the arena, finally the lights went down, the stage was lit up with blue lights and an enormous roar boomed around the arena as the four horsemen made their way onto the stage.

A huge stage with audience every side surrounding meant there was a lot of movement on stage, eight microphones were set up on there, so James certainly had a good selection of view. Robert seems to have fit into the band better than anyone could have imagined and his stage presence seemed to bring new energy out of the others, and even his little duck-waddle dance has drubbed off on James. The set started with the first two songs of the new album with a statement of intent, unfortunately Lars' drums did not sound right, but this was soon sorted after a few songs and from then on we could enjoy the full Metallica experience.

The setlist included songs from many different albums, it was clear that this was a setlist for an arena full of Metallica fans, as the band did not rely too much on old material as they perhaps would to please the masses at a festival where not everyone may be there to see them. Indeed, if these Metallica club members love every album they have put out, this setlist would have been somewhat of a dream considering some of these songs do not usually get to see the light of day. By the time of "One" there were no sound problems which lead to one of the most intense moments of the night with the machine gun guitar firing riffs and solos as the song reaches its end. Two more new ones, which included "Cyanide" were to follow, which sounded very impressive, so good in the live environment - it just brought the best bits right out of the song. It seems this is the most popular new song as the whole arena clapped its hands to the crunchy guitar riff of Kirk.

Inside the arena this was like some kind of festival, there was enough of a sound system and enough people to call it one. But this did feel like some kind of celebration with the band and they closest fans. That being said, there were a few people around who looked slightly out of place, it comes to something when you are wondering if the guy sat next to you even likes metal outside of Metallica. But still, with the stage in the middle and the band closer to all of us, even though 15,000 people were in this arena it somehow felt like we had been invited to some kind of exclusive, intimate Metallica celebration. There was nothing too fancy apart from a heap of black Metallica beach balls being dropped into the arena at the end. Indeed this was more of a back to basic, raw Metallica affair as well. Nothing but the music doing the talking.

Amusingly before playing "Frantic" James sarcastically mentioned "St. Anger" was "much loved", and "say what you want about that album; this song kicks ass" - and it actually did sound very chunky, heavy and enjoyable until the vocals came in, then it all stinks of trying too hard, and is all that "tick tick tick..." necessary? Lars is a little bundle of energy and adrenaline, after every song he would stand up and run around bit to remind us he was still there, and occasionally stand up to enthusiastically deliver the final smash of his drum. His drum kit rotated in the middle of the stage for each side of the arena to get a good look at him. The last two songs before the encore were the legendary "Master Of Puppets" which had everyone singing along, and then the fantastically thrashy "Blackened" which was possibly the highest point of the night. If we are criticising, Lars did make this song a tiny bit sloppy, but that's just part of the whole experience of seeing a band live, nothing is perfect, and if it was you might as well be listening to the CD. For all the stick Lars gets, he doesn't deserve it with his enthusiastic performance tonight.

Back on for the encore and it was great to hear, also on the day the new Queen album was released, to hear Metallica's metalled up "Stone Cold Crazy" with the double bass drumming and thrash edge. The last two songs of the night were the band's only visits to the "Kill 'Em All" album with the self-admittedly disco sounding pomp of "Jump In The Fire" and to finish the night, "Seek & Destroy" which again, had everyone in the arena singing along to the chorus to wish the band a good night. Before the band eventually went they each said their thanks into the mic and threw out everything they could into the audience.

And that was that. Metallica did what they do best and are still going strong now. Apparently they are coming back around February or March next year to see us again, but in the meantime we all have these memories of a show bigger than any most people will have ever been to for just the one band. Now just imagine 15,000 sweaty metalheads trying to get on one underground tube.


That Was Just Your Life
The End Of The Line
The Thing That Should Not Be
Of Wolf And Man
Broken, Beat And Scarred
Until It Sleeps
Wherever I May Roam
For Whom The Bell Tolls
The Day That Never Comes
Master Of Puppets
Stone Cold Crazy
Jump In The Fire
Seek & Destroy

Written, and photos by Barry Anderson


Written on 16.09.2008 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More articles by Baz Anderson ››


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Valentin B - 16.09.2008 at 19:24  
fuck yeah Jump In The Fire as the encore would rule.

too bad they didn't play the better less known songs, Dyers Eve, The God That Failed or The Memory Remains(this one would have been just kickass live to scream along to the melody in the end). Frankly instead of Frantic i would have preferred St. Anger, but i guess the setlist was pretty good for every die-hard Metallica fan. hell if Priest or Manowar did something like this i'd go apeshit too and just scream with any song they played.
Stuart - 16.09.2008 at 21:02  
i'm sooooo pissed off I couldn't make this
Nerevarine - 16.09.2008 at 21:06  
Wow, they didn't play Nothing Else Mattesrs
Asitis - 16.09.2008 at 21:31  
Written by Nerevarine on 16.09.2008 at 21:06

Wow, they didn't play Nothing Else Mattesrs

Like "that matters"

As you can read in the review, they didn't play a usual set. They played for hardcore fans - Nothing Else Matters is their most commercial song to date, kinda logical they didn't play it.
Nerevarine - 16.09.2008 at 22:51  
Yeah, but I think they played it in almost ALL the gigs they've done since thhe Black Album,so it's quite surprsising.
Otherwise I don't really care, it really isn't my favourite song of them, prefrby fatr the thrashy ones
Angel_Lament - 17.09.2008 at 00:31  
Wow, seems like it was one of the hell Concerts!
Justice - 17.09.2008 at 11:52  
where is unforgiven III ?
What a Great show
DrunkenFuck - 17.09.2008 at 18:47  
It must have been a sweet show! I was at the Berlin concert (maybe I should do a review?) and it was probably just as great as in London. The only differents in setlist was that they played Blitzkrieg in Berlin instead of Stone Cold Crazy.
BloodTears - 17.09.2008 at 20:53  
Jump In the Fireeeeee. God, I love that song. Sounds like an interesting show.
Suamo - 18.09.2008 at 08:35  
excellent platform
K†ulu - 18.09.2008 at 21:43  
Gosh, I wish I ever visited a show like that...
Yazdan - 18.09.2008 at 22:57  
Fuck'em All
THE_BLACK_GOD - 19.09.2008 at 10:38  
Written by K†ulu on 18.09.2008 at 21:43

Gosh, I wish I ever visited a show like that...

100% agree with u
iaberis - 19.09.2008 at 18:53  
Written by Guest on 19.09.2008 at 10:38

Written by K†ulu on 18.09.2008 at 21:43

Gosh, I wish I ever visited a show like that...

100% agree with u

Wish I could too... This is fucking awesome! Better than football derby!
THE_BLACK_GOD - 19.09.2008 at 19:02  
Written by iaberis on 19.09.2008 at 18:53

Wish I could too... This is fucking awesome! Better than football derby!

yes but so much cheaper
iaberis - 19.09.2008 at 19:19  
Written by Guest on 19.09.2008 at 19:02

yes but so much cheaper

I don't believe all shows there are cheap... this arena needs miilions to keep runing
Baz Anderson - 19.09.2008 at 21:22  
Written by iaberis on 19.09.2008 at 19:19

I don't believe all shows there are cheap... this arena needs miilions to keep runing

Hey thanks everyone for the commets! It was indeed a fantastic experience.

Tickets aren't only £5 at all shows here, they are usually quite expensive - it was only £5 here and 10€ in Germany for Metallica as special prices for the Metallica fans in their clubs.
AiwiAstwihad - 19.09.2008 at 21:45  
Written by Baz Anderson on 19.09.2008 at 21:22

...It was indeed a fantastic experience...

Hamird - 20.09.2008 at 19:57  
The stage is so nice...
Baz Anderson - 21.09.2008 at 16:30  
A good quality video of them performing "Broken, Beat & Scarred" at this show can be found here:
Black Mass - 22.09.2008 at 03:03  
Its events like this that make me want to move to Europe. We miss out on so much down under
Great review + pics!
Daggon - 23.09.2008 at 07:15  
Written by Black Mass on 22.09.2008 at 03:03

Its events like this that make me want to move to Europe.

Oh yeah, I'd like to move to Europe as soon as I finish my career haha, I wanna go to events like this!!!
SwallowTheSun68 - 29.09.2008 at 23:18  
No matter what songs they play, a concert without Fade To Black is shit..
Tod_Engel - 30.09.2008 at 17:20  
They should've played the whole Death Magnetic album, would've been nice. I like, how the stage was centered. Now wait for them to come to Estonia again.
ThunderFuck - 05.11.2008 at 15:39  
It was to far for me and so was Berlin, bas luck they were woth in week and not weekend, i hope they add nightmare and judas (suicide & retemption) to setlist when they visit Europe!
Søren - 23.06.2009 at 20:06  
Wow, it looks so huge in the pictures, but it's actually about the size of an average stadium here in the states. According to Wiki, capacity of O2 is 23,000, whereas the United Center in Chicago is 23,500, the Allstate Arena (Chicago suburbs) is 18,500, and the Sears Centre they just built about 5 miles from my house is 11,800 (though Heaven and Hell couldn't even fill the lower level )

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