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Review: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax – Live @ Sonisphere (Warsaw, Poland – June 14th, 2010)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2010 by Tickets There

Almost all Photo’s from Warsawa Gazeta

After nearly thirty long years of calls, prayers, pleads and begging from the metal community, thrash metal’s ‘Big Four’ have finally done it. On June 14th, all four bands appeared on one stage to play together and Tickets There, along with 80,998 other metal maniacs were fortunate enough to witness an event that will go down as one of metals most historical concerts.

The scene in Warsaw was insane. Never before have we witnessed such an incredibly massive gathering of fans from the metal community and we’re unlikely to ever see anything like it again. People had flown in from all over the world for the show, with flags representing every corner of the earth held high amongst the sea of black and denim. People converged on every space of free land for at least a mile around the venue. Bars, restaurants, roads, grassy Knolls, shopping centers, pavements and flower beds were swarmed with all four bands fans, waiting for the tasty cheap and plentiful Polish beers to dry up before beginning the adrenaline filled walk into the airstrip where the show was held.

Honestly we found the buzz a little strange because we didn’t know which band to get excited about in the flood of possible songs and scenarios that might arise during the day. Whatever happened we knew one thing, Anthrax were first and we’d have to sit through them.

Anthrax

 

We were never Anthrax fans and actually went about avoiding them for as long as possible. We won’t pretend we saw much of them, only enough to say we saw them. They sounded good for what they did but not our thing. Hopefully similar tours could call out Testament or Exodus to fill the gap between Anthrax’s draw and the other three bands. Saying that, Anthrax fans said the set was great we just never got the band. Maybe one day we’ll regret not showing more of an interest.

Megadeth

Just two days after their face melting show at Cork’s Marquee festival, Tickets There was once again fired up to see our personal nominees for Thrash metal’s premier group, Megadeth. The sight of 81,000 fans seemed to reignite Dave Mustaine and co. as they launched straight into Holy Wars, following it with a full performance of their classic Rust In Peace album. Hanger 18, Take No Prisoners, Five Magic’s and Tornado of Souls blew the air strip to pieces as pits erupted all around the stage with Mustaine acting as the chaotic ring master, barley stopping the assault of music to view the spectacle in front of the stage.

After Rust In Peace, the band threw out their latest single, Head-Crusher from last years End Game album, a song that deserves more attention than almost any other release today’s bands have recorded in the past decade. Obviously appreciative of the roaringly positive reaction from the crowd, Megadeth ploughed through Sweating Bullets and the iconic Symphony of Destruction before closing the set with an extended rendition of the  anthematic Peace Sell. Delighted with the crowd’s response, Megadeth took a long bow to soak up the fans screams and applause before thanking everyone and wishing us a great day.

Slayer

Anyone who’s ever been to a Slayer show knows one thing, Slayer take the crowd and fuck them up. Despite a blazing sun, the outdoor setting and Tom Araya’s bright red top, Slayers performance is like experiencing a well oiled war, ferociously laying waste to Warsaw (it’s all in the name)

Opening with the title track from their latest album, War Painted Blood, the band ripped through a set that left the crowd tearfully begging for more. New material like Hate World Wide, Beauty Through Order and Jihad stood the test of standing shoulder to shoulder with the bands classics such as War Ensemble, Dead skin Mask, Angel of Death, Mandatory Suicide, Chemical Warfare and South of Heaven before ending their set with one of thrash metals top outputs, Raining Blood.

Despite previous reports about Tom having vocal problems and the obvious concern over his recent back injury, he was able to stand toe to toe with Kerry, Jeff and Dave to deliver as good a set Slayer have preformed in their entire career. Unfortunately there was no room for Seasons in the Abyss but, if they had cranked that out on top of everything else, the necks wouldn’t have been able to take the night’s final act.

Metallica

Like many metal heads, Tickets There’s love for Metallica’s has waned over the past ten years. All the rubbish with St. Anger and Some Kind of Monster really damaged the lads and the promise of great things from Death Magnetic never really delivered and before long the album really proved a tad devoid of life. Still, no metal head can deny the band has produced some of the genres finest albums and for that, they will always be respected.

Taking the stage as the sun started to set over the air-strip, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo arrive in Metallica’s typical grandiose fashion, launching straight into Creeping Death from 1984’s Ride The Lightening and all the bad feelings, past disappointments and negativity immediately vanish. Metallica fire on all cylinders delivering the song with incredible force. No time wasting in this show, they follow with the ear bleeding For Whom the Bell Tolls before tearing the crowd apart with an pyro packed rendition of Fuel.

James, beaming with excitement welcomes the crowd to ‘the greatest metal show on earth’ before harking back to Kill Em All to deliver The Four Horseman, followed by Fade to Black.

While many pondered if this ‘Big Four’ tour would result in all the bands churning out just classics, it seems all are intent to stay away from the ‘Heritage’ section for the foreseeable future and Metallica are no different. New songs That Was Just Your Life and Cyanide may not generate the same reaction as their earlier material but visual aides help make them more acceptable.

Taking a break to reflect on the day, James proudly announces that today’s show is history and how fortunate enough all four bands are to still be together, making the music they love. Oddly enough, he went on to dedicate Sad But True to the other bands but given the good relations we’re hearing so much about, we’ll assume it was all for fun.

The show stopping Sanitarium (Welcome Home) followed, sounding as intense as it did in 1986 before All Nightmare Long reminds fans the new material can’t all be written off. Jaw dropping deliveries of One, Master of Puppets and Blackened bring the main set near its close before the usual Nothing Else Matters and Enter Sandman end the main set.

With the fireworks out and next day workers and sleepy heads on their home, Metallica return to close the day with a blistering cover of Queen’s Stone Cold Crazy before delivering the final thrash assault of Hit The Lights and Seek & Destroy leaving 81,000 dedicated metal heads feeling annihilated, obliterated and completely satisfied.

To many, this was a show that could never happen even if the bitter feuds that have divided these bands over the past thirty years could be worked out. It was just one of those ‘dream line-ups’ that have rarely come together but on June 14th, 2010 four heavy metal bands proved that childish fights and age old rivalries can be put aside for the sake of their fans and it worked better than anyone could have imagined. Tickets There is sure this won’t be the last we’ll hear of these four bands partnering up and hopefully they’ll make it to Irish shores on the next jaunt.

Anthrax

01. Caught in a Mosh
02. Got the Time (JOE JACKSON cover)
03. Indians
04. Heaven and Hell (BLACK SABBATH cover)
05. Antisocial (TRUST cover)
06. Madhouse
07. Only
08. Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)
09. I Am The Law

Megadeth

01. Holy Wars
02. Hangar 18
03. Take No Prisoners
04. Five Magics
05. Poison Was the Cure
06. Lucretia
07. Tornado of Souls
08. Dawn Patrol
09. Rust in Peace… Polaris
10. Head Crusher
11. Sweating Bullets
12. Symphony Of Destruction
13. Peace Sells

Slayer

01. World Painted Blood
02. Jihad
03. War Ensemble
04. Hate Worldwide
05. Dead skin Mask
06. Angel of Death
07. Beauty through order
08. Disciple
09. Mandatory Suicide
10. Chemical Warfare
11. South of Heaven
12. Raining Blood

Metallica

01. Creeping Death
02. For Whom The Bell Tolls
03. Fuel
04. The Four Horsemen
05. Fade To Black
06. That Was Just Your Life
07. Cyanide
08. Sad But True
09. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
10. All Nightmare Long
11. One
12. Master Of Puppets
13. Blackened
14. Nothing Else Matters
15. Enter Sandman
– – – – – – – –
16. Stone Cold Crazy
17. Hit The Lights
18. Seek and Destroy

Tickets There Likes: Metallica – …And Justice for All

Posted in Album Review, Music, Tickets There Likes: with tags , , , , on September 2, 2009 by Tickets There

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Ya know Metallica get a very bad rap these days. It’s as plain as day that they haven’t done themselves many favors over the last few years but people seem to be forgetting they have a stronger back catalogue than most metal acts out there. Very few thrash/heavy or hard rock bands can boast so many highly regarded albums as Metallica and they’re highly impressive and widely diverse selections of song writing make them the bonafide legends they are. Forget the St. Anger disaster and forget the Napster issue and the Some Kind of a Monster fiasco. These are long over with and the Bay Area Thrashers have returned to what they do best.

I remember first hearing Metallica in the early nineties and not being hugely amazed. Then again I was a Def Lepp / GNR kid and the styles didn’t really crossover in my eyes. It was until the late nineties that one of the lads from school started pushing me to listen to them. I remember seeing a picture of Kirk Hammett. wearing Calvin Klein undero’s and thinking ‘wow, how metal is that…puke!’. It looked like Metallica had totally sold out and this didn’t give me any inspiration to check out their stuff. Now I know there’s nothing worse in this world that an uppity metal fan. Every time you talk to one of those Bruxelles chaps they’d nearly put you off the genre entirely. They’re so up their own holes it’s almost sad and they sit there and argue on and on about mundane, unimportant crap about bands who make a living dressing up in makeup and screaming about death. Not sure if you noticed folks, but it’s meant to be a bit of fun, not f**king politics ya tossers. Anyway, enough ranting about those Metalireland.com chaps, they have to pass their sad existence somehow.

So eventually I took a copy of Master of Puppets from yer man and after a few days adjusting I came to love that album and like most of the TT Likes articles, listened to it repeatedly for many, many weeks. Ride the Lightening, Metallica (The Black Album) and Kill Em All only spurred on my excitement for the bands material and overnight, became staunch classics in my books. However it wasn’t until the mighty …And Justice for All came into my possession that I found their best work. I’d been put of getting this one by many people who wouldn’t shut up about the Bass being low and the quality generally lacking compared to the other early albums. I strongly disagree folks, and I think I’m in the majority.

Opening up with the mighty Blackened, Justice is an hour’s worth of melodic / blistering riffage, doomsday lyrics and drums all backed by Hetfields more matured, powerful vocals.  I don’t care how elitist you are, there’s no denying Metallica did it better than anyone else at the top of their game. Tracks like Eye of the Beholder, The Shortest Straw, The Frayed Ends of Sanity and Dyers Eye give the album it’s unyielding power  while better know classics like the title track, One and Harvester of Sorrow give the whole record it’s unstoppable force that band have failed to recreate since, despite a pretty good effort on Death Magnetic. Justice for All’s sound is so dark and inaccessible compared to all of their other work before and after and the band can be seen to vent their frustrations, pain and anger over Cliff Burtons death. It’s true the bass isn’t exactly the stand out instrument here and this is very obviously an attempt to avoid having to admit Cliff had to be replaced. As a final tribute to their friend, Justice has a nine minute instrumental entitled To Live is to Die which the band composed using riffs written by Burton before his death.

Whatever people say about Metallica now is irrelevant. Bunch of stuck up, metal pussy’s who’ve forgotten the whole genre is about taking it easy, have a few beers and a laugh. Not procrastinating and philosophizing about who’s more metal than thou! And let’s all be honest, metal fans are mostly made up of…..should I say it?, maybe not…but you know damn well the kind of people that I mean and don’t deny it! Why the hell these folks feel the need to close turn Metal into a Pink Floyd convention is beyond me. Relax folks!