Metallica Live in Manchester

There’s nothing quite like a full-on Metallica album tour. We’re not exactly starved of Metallica shows over here, but a night hosted by Lars, James, Kirk and Rob at their own show with their own set beats any festival slot, any day.

The WorldWired Tour rolls into Manchester as the UK leg of this HardWired run comes towards the end. We’ve been avoiding spoilers for the show where we can but it’s no surprise to see Metallica open up with the duo of ‘Hardwired’ and ‘Atlas…’.

The sound is a little ropey to begin with but that hardly matters as the crowd erupt with euphoria. The boys are back in town!

Setlist wise, it’s heavy on the new album. ‘Manunkind’ and ‘Halo Of Fire’ sound impressive but it’s the stunning ‘Moth Into Flame’ that takes our breath away. Lot’s of little moths formation dancing above the stage is possibly the best thing we’ve seen all year.

There won’t be many bands playing Manchester Arena in the near future who won’t reference the tragic events of earlier in the year. James addresses this a few times as he says he’s inspired by Manchester’s resilience. The real heart-warmer comes from Rob and Kirk however as they jam out a bit of Oasis. Yeah, Oasis at a Metallica show. Any other situation and ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ would probably go down with much ridicule, but Manchester Arena comes together to sing the iconic chorus as one. A pretty special experience…

“Metallica gives you heavy!” alright. ‘Sad But True’ is, as ever, absolutely huge. ‘Stone Cold Crazy’ ups the pace before ‘Master…’ ends the set in style.

The stage show on this tour is a real eye-catcher. No beach balls this time around but we get fireworks, flames and the video boxes put on a great show of their own. Even if they do get in the way for those of us up in the rafters! Another emotional bit sees Rob playing ‘Orion’ along with footage of Cliff. A really effective and fitting tribute.

Not sure about the random drumming session by all four members of the band though? A bit weird…

Encore time. ‘Spit Out The Bone’ was an unexpected highlight from the ‘Hardwired’ hidden away at the end of the LP. ‘Nothing Else Matters’ has Manchester in fine voice once again before the ’…Sandman’ comes to see us off into the night.

36 years and counting of Metallica. Still massive. Still the best.