The first time I ventured into a gig at the Stade De France was for U2 on the 360 tour in 2010. I was completely blown away by the stadium and the experience that I had that night.
I had said to my friend that if Metallica were ever to announce a date here that I would be at it in a heartbeat!
Fast forward 2 years and I find myself in Paris to see Metallica play the Stade De France. Although not the biggest of stadium’s in the world, what impresses me most about the venue is the ease to get to it using the metro and how well the crowd are organised and also the personal touches.
The branded Stade De France/Metallica beer cups – very nice touch indeed.
The Kills and Gojira were support for the night but I have to say that my reason for going was always Metallica so we ventured into the venue at 8.30 for the main act to come on stage shortly after 9pm. From the start the atmosphere in the stadium was incredible – I didn’t realise that this was the biggest crowd that the band have ever played in France until James mentioned it at the end of the set…would explain the sold out crowd!
They kicked off the set list with Hit the Lights and then continued on with 4 other songs including ‘Hell and Back’ taken from ‘Beyond Magnetic’ before starting into the Black Album in full and in reverse order. I know alot of people were not sure if this was going to work but I was very excited about the running order and it made complete sense when you see it live. The opening visuals to the start of the ‘Black Album’ section was a collection of images and scenes taken from the ‘A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica’ documentaries and was a nice touch to set the crowd up for what was about to happen.
I have to say I got very emotional during ‘The Struggle Within’ and ‘Wherever I May Roam’, it could of been down to the awesome french cider I was drinking before the gig but personally I would have put it down to being in an 80k plus crowd with great friends, listening to my favorite band play two of my favorite songs.
Not to be biased as they are my favorite band but I was very impressed with how tight they were and although I like nothing more than to hear James Hetfield speak (and would happily pay money to listen to him read the back of cereal packages if that’s what he wanted to do), I think that the running order of minimal talking until the end gave a chance for the set-list to speak for itself. It is after all the anniversary of the Black Album – which can more than satisfy any fan. By the time ‘Enter Sandman’ kicked off, the crowd was completely buzzing and the energy on the floor was just amazing.
Towards the final few songs of the night, James took the time to thank the crowd for their support and to inform everyone that this was the biggest crowd that they had played in France – hard to believe that this band hadn’t already as they seem to of played to massive crowds in just about every venue in the world!
Encore’s on the night came in the shape of the mighty ‘Battery’, ‘One’ and finally ‘Seek and Destroy’. All in all it was an incredible night and has acted as my warm up for the headline slot at Download festival this year. My only wish is that they bring as much pyro to Download as legally allowed!
1. Hit the Lights
2. Master of Puppets
3. No Remorse
4. For Whom the Bell Tolls
5. Hell and Back
6. The Struggle Within
7. My Friend of Misery
8. The God That Failed
9. Of Wolf & Man
10. Nothing Else Matters
11. Through the Never
12. Don’t Tread On Me
13. Wherever I May Roam
14. The Unforgiven
15. Holier Than Thou
16. Sad But True
17. Enter Sandman
20. Seek & Destroy