When you can feel your vital organs rearranging themselves around your body, you know something heavy is going on, and at Telia Parken on Thursday night that something was Metallica.
In the 1980s you can be certain that no fan of Metallica would ever have thought that the band would release a children’s book detailing the ABCs of their history, but that’s what we have: this once drug-fuelled band are now charitable, mellowed, and content with what they have done during their career. That is what came across last night.
Growling, ironic, addictive
James Hetfield was in fine form, and when not growling down the mic he was full of irony and sarcasm when asking the crowd “Do you like that one?” adding: “Yeah it’s not bad, it’s alright.” The answer was a resounding yes – yes we did like it, so give us more.
Rob Trujillo and Kirk Hammett were also on the money – who doesn’t love a Hammett guitar solo or twelve? And when the two hooked up for a guitar-laden duet midway through the set they even dipped into some classic Danish rock with a cover of D-A-D’s ‘Sleeping My Day Away’, which included a phenomenal solo.
A little Danish, a little dainty
Parken was full, and there were some clear hardcore fans in attendance. You can always spot the fans who have followed a band for decades and those, like me, who have heard the music but never really clung on. Nevertheless, the vast majority were absorbing the occasion of coming together to witness an iconic band deliver.
If there was something missing from the crowd, it was rowdiness. There were no mosh pits, no real chaos (a distinct lack of beer throwing) and, if anyone tried to start moshing, if that’s even a verb, it wasn’t obvious.
As the evening went on, Hettfield found out, or recalled, how hard it is to understand Danish as his Gentofte-born drummer, Lars Ulrich, cajoled the crowd with their native tongue. ‘Papa Het’ had no choice but to tell him to get back on the drugs such was his dismay at trying to understand what was going on.
When it came to the music they didn’t miss a beat – almost as if they’re doing it every night, which of course they are as the band are well into the European leg of their world tour. But despite being a band now in its 38th year, Hetfield admitted they’re still picking up new things and adapting.
This was something new for me seeing this band in concert and so too were the screens behind the stage. The visuals and pyrotechnics were phenomenal – at one point a whole ring of fire raced around Ulrich non-stop – and for anyone that didn’t know what was behind certain songs, they told a story and were powerful.
During one of their best-known songs, the aptly named ‘One’, the screens displayed a platoon of soldiers marching onto the battlefield whilst the sky lit up with fireworks and lasers, and then BOOM!
An explosion, almost nuclear, rattled through the bleachers at Parken. You could feel it inside your body, the screen changed to the soldiers becoming skeletal and zombie-like, and then a show of solidarity from Hetfield, Ulrich, Trujillo and Hammett as they stood together and played the remainder centre-stage.
A tribute to FCK
Next came ‘Master of Puppets’, which was nailed to perfection along with further visuals of mass graves.
Further classics were then belted out such as ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ and ‘Seek and Destroy’, and the encore included the phenomenal ‘Nothing Else Matters’ and ‘Enter Sandman’ (which FC Copenhagen have been walking out to during the 2018-2019 season) to cap the night off.