Metallica, Gig Review. The Hydro, Glasgow.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

Metallica at the Glasgow Hydro. October 2017. Photograph used by kind permission of Graeme Smith.

The question is always asked, when will Metallica tour again, when they come and do more than one performance at a festival inside the U.K., invariably in a field somewhere as the night envelops the crowd and the memories of shows inside small venues, let alone the glory of the sell out arena start to fade into the distance. The bigger the group, unfortunately the more the world wants to share in the music, and that is of course arguably the only right way to think.

The sound of fury, of lightning and the rumble of the electric behemoth alerts many to the ensuing drama to unfold, the tension in the Hydro is as much a part of the city’s day as the Old Firm Derby, instead of green and blue parading the streets of the old beautiful city of Glasgow, instead this is more blood red anger dipped in the power of Metallica songs and the uniform black T-shirts. There is no taunting to be heard, no bravado of three points gained and championships won and lost, instead this is the personal thunder of a world-wide loved band once more marking their territory out with the unassailable noise of ferocity and a show to remember.

Hardwired, perhaps never more true a statement, the opening number of the Glasgow night, but not one of the muted cowl of self destruct, this was Metallica at their supreme best, showmen, metal lords and above all thinkers, minds attuned to their fans needs, requirements and love; a sense of the new flourishing with the old and fought over.

Songs such as the immensity of Seek and Destroy, the brilliance of Welcome Home (Sanitarium), the sorrow and realisation of One and the carnivore like Master of Puppets sat equally at home with Atlas, Rise!, Now That We’re Dead, Halo on Fire and The Memory Remains; the showmanship of rhythmic drumming, Kirk Hammett’s often under appreciated by those outside of the arena’s guitar playing, all was there to enjoy, to grab life by the fortitude and damn once and for all the silence that tries to infiltrate the lives of those in need of a good mosh.

When will Metallica come round again, never an easy question, the odd open air field will always beckon, the lure of the 100,000 strong crowd is a pull that many of us will never quite know but if they don’t come to the Glasgow, if the sound of a person humming the refrain from One after a show is never heard on Sauchiehall Street again, then at least the memory remains for all those who saw them in the city in 2017.

Ian D. Hall