The other week I made my way to a Metallica show. It was their second show in Auckland at Vector Arena, and last one for New Zealand. While I have been a fan of the band for a long time, I had not yet seen them play. My only other opportunity was when I moved back to Auckland from Christchurch. Arriving in Auckland the day before the 2004 Big Day Out, where Metallica were headlining. I should have gone, but being new to town I opted out, and instead just wanted to chill out after 8 hours of driving up from Wellington. That was on the back of their “St Anger” tour anyway, so maybe it was for the best? It was a memorable drive though. A lot of Holdens, and dudes in black Metallica tee shirts all hitting State Highway 1 on the drive north to Auckland. It was like a convoy, except no one told me.

Well 2010, and I finally had my chance to see these guys put on their show. Thoughts going through my head. Hopefully they don’t play too much from 1990-2004. Has Lars finally given up on his hair yet? Will they play “For Whom the bell tolls”?

What was I expecting? Well looking at how the stage was going to be laid out from the Ticketmaster website. I was expecting a big production of a show, and a unique concert experience. Also, a lot of metal.

Realistically I figured I’d get a mixed set list with some stuff I didn’t like as much, but with some great stuff mixed in. Turns out the show delivered on most fronts. All the classics were there, but I missed out on the song  wanted to hear as it was played the night beforehand. That was made up by other songs I was not expecting though. The stage production was amazing, and a rare treat for NZ audiences who don’t usually get to see full productions like this. Let me tell you, nothing is more comical than 15 thousand metal heads all going “ooooohhhhh” when some fireball pyrotechnics are shot into the sky.

The crowd was good. Everyone was having a good time, and there was very little aggression until a circle pit opened in front of me right at the end of the show. I was clear enough out of the way that it did not affect me though.

For aging rockers, Metallica still have it. Everything sounded amazing. They brought a lot of energy into the performance, and most impressively, James Hetfield’s singing was really clear and good. Dude’s voice has held up well over the years.

All and all, a great show!

I have some more pics up at my Flickr account. An official bootleg of the show (and all Metallica shows it seems) can be found here for 10 bucks US. (the quality of the recording is also amazing).

Thanks for reading!