10 Things We Learned From Metallica's WorldWired European Stadium Tour

Metallica's WorldWired tour is currently roaring across Europe and it is ridiculously good

10 Things We Learned From Metallica's WorldWired European Stadium Tour
Tom Barnes

Metallica kicked off their latest tour in Portugal last week. The 25-date leg of their WorldWired tour will hit Ireland’s Slane Castle on June 8, followed by shows at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium on June 18 and Twickenham Stadium two days later.

But before Metallica grace our shores, Kerrang! were lucky enough to catch the band in Barcelona and Milan, embracing the sweet, sweet warmth of their majestic pyro.

The Ecstasy Of Gold Never Fails To Get The Adrenaline Going

Metallica used to have the sound of a rapidly beating heart as their intro tape, until their first manager suggested the band switched to Ennio Morricone’s stirring The Ecstasy Of Gold, taken from the soundtrack to the Sergio Leone classic The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The score is accompanied by a clip from the 1966 Spaghetti Western, where Tuco (played Eli Wallach) roams a graveyard searching a hidden cache of gold coins, projected onto the five giant screens which form the stage’s backdrop. Going to a show on the current run? Just close your eyes for a moment and feel the hairs on your neck raise before the person behind you spills their beer in excitement. Listen out for gruff men attempting to sing along to Edda Dell’Orso’s operatic warble. It’s an oddly, beautiful thing. During Nothing Else Matters? Not so much.

There's No Roof Above The Stage

Last year’s arena shows were in the round and featured hanging video cubes and swirling drones. This series of open-air performances means that they’ve created a spectacle which will even please people in the furthest reaches of the venues they play. What you’ll get this summer is a spectacular stage structure, massive screens and flame towers which will warm your beer at 100 yards.

Enter Night Tastes Delicious

Speaking of beer, if you’re parched and fancy a drop of “a crisp and refreshing Pilsner”, Metallica’s new beer will do the trick. Look out for watering holes close to the venue who’ll host their own Enter Night themed, um, night.

The Setlist Is Fantastic

Three shows into this leg of the WorldWired tour, the band played 18 songs taken from Kill ‘Em All, Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets, …And Justice For All, Reload, St. Anger, Hardwired…To Self-Destruct and the standalone track Lords Of Summer. Here Comes Revenge – a Hardwired track which has only played four times prior to this leg of the tour – sits nicely between The Unforgiven and Moth Into Flame.

Metallica Still Gives You Heavy

How about Ride The Lightning into The Thing That Should Not Be? How about the triple lug-slap of Master Of Puppets, For Whom The Bell Tolls and Creeping Death? You’re welcome. Sad But True remains a punch to the sternum, followed by Hetfield driving his headstock into the ground, and detuning the strings until they’re flapping around the fretboard like a scarf on a blustery afternoon.

Frantic Makes A Welcome Return To The Set

Prior to this summer tour, Frantic had not been performed live for over a decade, save for a dusting off at their 30th anniversary concerts at The Fillmore in San Francisco in 2011. Tonight, it sounds unceasingly fierce.

The Videos Projected Onto The Screens Will Unsettle Your Head And Stomach

We’ve all gone into a department store – or big shop, if you’re less fancy – and marvelled at the size of their biggest flat screen TV. Now imagine that screen is the size of a row of terraced houses and you’re a dachshund with a love of all things heavy. It’s that big. Despite the deliberate, occasional glitchiness of the live performance footage, which ties in with the Hardwired artwork, the clarity is such that you can make out the individual stitching on James Hetfield’s battle vest. Throughout the set, certain songs are accompanied by mini films: Ride The Lightning is chilling, while the perpetual motion of the buildings during Fade To Black will make you feel a little disoriented. Look out for Pushead’s iconic skulls during the unsettling One animation, too…

Rob And Kirk's Doodles Are Fun

During the Hardwired… To Self-Destruct tour, bassist Rob Trujillo and guitarist Kirk Hammett have been having fun mid-set with stripped down covers, often tailored to the city they’re performing in. Stockholm got Abba’s Dancing Queen, while Minneapolis received their take on Prince’s When Doves Cry. In Barcelona, the duo played the late Peret’s El Muerto Vivo. Trujillo sang the Catalan Rumba classic in Spanish, along with thousands of Metallica fans. Which songs will they cover in Manchester and Twickenham?

There's A Nod To Cliff Too

During Trujillo’s extended bass solo, which featured his intro to ManUNKind and a passage from Orion, there’s a hushed reverence as footage of a head banging Cliff Burton from the band’s show at the Day on the Green, in 1985 is projected onto the screens.

They're Still On Top Of Their Game

With an impeccable supporting bill – Norwegian stoner metallers Bokassa and Swedish pope-core ensemble Ghost – and 140 minutes of crunching riffs, classic metal songs, and retina-searing pyro, any Metallica fan with a ticket for the remaining shows on this leg are in for a treat. The band will celebrate their 40th anniversary in just two years time. How will they top a spectacle like this? We can’t wait to find out.

Metallica are headlining the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on June 18 (get your tickets now) and Twickenham Stadium in London on June 20 (get your tickets now)

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