Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Metallica @ Stade de France, Saint-Denis - May 17th, 2023

Two nights in a stadium. Two different set lists with zero repeat. Two sets of openers. This is the concept of Metallica's No Repeat Week End, which they are taking across the world in select cities. Say what you want about the American Heavy Metal juggernaut, they certainly do things their way. What other Hard Rock band could pull this off?

The downside of this is that someone attending just one night might not get the hits and classics that they would normally play every night of a regular tour. But if you're a die-hard fan, and Metallica has a lot, then you will purchase a ticket for each show and enjoy a double dose of your favorite band right between the eyes. Metallica has cunningly found a way to make their fans happily double their purchases. Other bands should take note.

As a live act, Metallica is an absolute killing machine. Whatever you think of their albums (and I happen to like them all, to varying degrees), when they hit the stage, you're going to get your money's worth. You might lose a few teeth and puncture an eardrum, but you can't make a Metal omelet without cracking a few skulls.

Since Metallica is always consistently crushing, the shows will be judged on their setlist and not on the performances. Simply put, this setlist was almost perfect. Aided by a breathtaking light show and a circular stage in the middle of the stadium (including the infamous snakepit in the middle), the band pummeled the audience with an avalanche of great tracks from nearly every era, including three off of their new album 72 Seasons.

It's amazing how four people can fill such a gigantic stage with their presence, but that's what being Heavy Metal Gods will do to you. The only downside to that configuration is the that every two to three song, the show has to stop in order to move the drums and rotate the whole thing. Even with the tapes and screens, the show loses a little momentum in those instances.

The other sore point was the sounds, which was very unbalanced: an extremely loud kick drums and some tiny guitars... Thankfully, this got better as the night progressed.

But sonic considerations aside, this was just the biggest, baddest, heaviest, most spectacular show in Heavy Metal: the mighty Metallica, playing to nearly 60 000 maniacs singing along with every chorus, banging their heads ti every riff, playing air guitar along to every solo.

And the best part? We get to do it again in two days.

Re-live the concert by playing the setlist in the embedded Apple Music player below
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