Metal mayhem

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Metal mayhem

Metallica did not disappoint fans on their return to Abu Dhabi

by Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Sun 21 Apr 2013, 8:49 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 4:55 PM

A promise was made to music fans and die-hard metal heads in the Middle East way back in 2011, and American giants Metallica stuck true to their word. Playing for the second time in Abu Dhabi to an audience of 25,000 people, the band did not disappoint the ‘metal-hungry’ fans.

Two years later and after four months of waiting since its announcement, the band finally made their return to the du Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Lead singer James Hetfield, guitarist Kirk Hammett, drummer Lars Ulrich and bassist Robert Trujillo gave a thundering performance which left even the non-metal fans at the concert in a state of trance.

James Hetfield andKirk Hammett

“Do you feel what I feel Abu Dhabi,” asked frontman Hetfield after opening the concert with Hit the Lights, followed by Master of Puppets and The Shortest Straw. “Did you miss us?” continued the singer before going on to perform one thundering number after the other.

You’d know that Metallica fans are a loyal bunch, mostly because you had people from all age-groups and countries attending the concert.

However, you’d only understand the loyalty when you see them perform live. Metallica still rock as hard as they did when they started out in the 1980s.

Iranian national Hamid Hosseinzade, who was seen sporting a few Metallica tattoos and had made his place in the front row of the concert fan pit, said, “I’ve come all the way from Iran for the concert and it’s the second time I am seeing them live.”

However, Hosseinzade wasn’t the only fan who’d travelled to Abu Dhabi to attend the concert. Fans travelled all the way from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Poland, and other countries to attend the concert.

Ali Mohammed, a fan from Kuwait said: “I only listen to Metallica and nothing else. I flew down from Kuwait only for the concert.”

The crowd did not seem to be affected by the sweltering heat and by the looks of it neither did the band. One of the highlights of the concert was when Hammett had to re-start the opening for Nothing Else Matters.

“My hands are really sweaty,” said Hammett with a sheepish smile. But the crowds did not really seem to mind the glitch.

Ukranian national Alex Perebyinis said: “Ukraine loves Metallica. We have a huge fan base there. I wouldn’t miss this concert for anything in the world.”

City Times also caught up with DJ Storm, the only metal DJ in the UAE, who said: “The metal scene in the country is definitely undergoing a major transformation, which is a good thing. Metallica coming into the UAE again itself is a witness to that fact. We are hoping to bring in bigger rock bands into the UAE now.”

The band even dropped hints about a hopeful third visit and closed the concert with the song Seek and Destroy and as drummer Ulrich said in his closing remarks: “You guys are twice as loud as back in 2011.”

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com

Dhanusha Gokulan
Dhanusha Gokulan


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