Metallica Shakes Up Christchurch on the "World Magnetic Tour", Wednesday 22nd September
Band Photo: Metallica (?)
Biggest metal band in the world, good friends and a 4 hour road trip – what more is needed? After pressure from a Facebook group of all things, Metallica decided to head down south for two dates on the final leg of the “World Magnetic Tour” in Christchurch, New Zealand, and I went to see what breath was left in the great four horsemen.
Supporting acts for the night were Christchurch locals Tainted, Texan band The Sword and metal luminaries Fear Factory. For the normal reasons (meeting people, searching for alcohol, parking, travel etc.), we turned up part way into the show when The Sword was just closing, so it's unfortunate I can't comment on the first two bands much. I've seen Tainted several times now (who plays a modern brand of Lamb of God styled groove metal), so I wasn't too disappointed there, but from what I heard from others, The Sword subdued a baying Metallica crowd well enough, taking the stage with "Hey... we're The Sword" and then blasting out some tunes.
No matter, however; I was there to see Fear Factory and Metallica and Fear Factory hit the stage in full force. The lighting show was stepped up a notch and they played a heavy set, showing some of the speed of tracks from their new album "Mechanize." Gene Hoglan was on drums for the night and it was hard not to be impressed with the guy, looking pretty relaxed and having no trouble letting his feet do most of the talking. Burton C. Bell was good overall, but did have difficulty with the clean vocals on tracks like "Linchpin." Not to put down his performance much, however, as he was otherwise spot on. After "Christploitation" played, Hoglan lifted his drumsticks up in the air in the shape of a cross before slowly sliding it to an inverted cross (a joke no doubt lost on many of the casual Metallica fans), showing he has a good sense of humour seeing as he is a converted man himself. Overall, the band put on a great show and brought some true heaviness to the night (no pun intended?).
Here's Fear Factory's setlist:
2. Industrial Discipline
3. No One
9. Self Bias Resistor
Next up, however, was of course Metallica, and they were undoubtedly the band the bogan crowd was waiting for. It was Metallica's first trip down to Christchurch (or anywhere near the region), and since the city had just had a 7.1 earthquake it was no doubt a huge relief for fans that the stadium had not been damaged as much as surrounding suburbs.
So, onto the show. The number 1 question for me was how well has Hetfield's voice stood the test of time? Well, I can say I was pleasantly surprised – he's never going to sound like he did in 86, but he sure still sounds like he did in 01. The rest of the band also kept up the pace and the songs were played as fast as they ever were, Lars doing a great job on the kit. After the abominably loud mix on the "Death Magnetic" album, it was also nice to hear the tracks played live and be able to appreciate them a little more. The set-list was quite varied with some interesting picks like "Turn The Page," but they played enough older material to stop me rioting in the streets afterwards.
While the band didn't have their custom stage, which wasn't a good fit for the stadium, plenty of flames, lasers and balls dropping from the ceiling kept people entertained. There was another magnitude 5 earthquake early that morning, so the band undoubtedly got an early wakeup call. But me? I slept through it like a baby, happy to have seen the band that sent me into a spiral of metal fandom.
Metallica's setlist was as follows:
1. The Ecstasy Of Gold
2. That Was Just Your Life
4. Harvester of Sorrow
5. Through The Never
7. The Memory Remains
8. The Four Horsemen
9. Sad But True
10. Bass Solo
11. Turn The Page
12. Judas Kiss
13. (Kirk Solo)
14. The Day That Never Comes
15. Master Of Puppets
16. Damage Inc.
17. (Kirk Interlude)
18. Nothing Else Matters
19. Enter Sandman
20. Suicide And Redemption (abridged)
21. Blitzkrieg (Blitzkrieg cover)
22. Hit The Lights
23. Seek And Destroy
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