Fear Factory hold an important place in my youth. Their album Demanufacture may be one of the heaviest, most brutal albums you will ever hear; so to see them perform live again after seeing them some thirteen years ago was a bit of a treat for this reviewer. The new album Mechanize harks back to that old sound and playing predominately off the new record Digimortal, Soul Of A New Machine and of course the brilliant Demanufacture set the mood nicely for the rest of the nights proceedings. Granted, a lot of the audience didn’t really care for them and were being polite while waiting for Metallica, but I think they missed out on seeing a true heavy band. Hearing Replica, Lynchpin (during which my friend decided to go running onto the nonexistent pit) and Martyr made me feel like an angry, testosterone filled sixteen-year-old again.
The intro music played. The laser light show began; and they rose up from the bowels of hell. Four mighty men took to the stage and proceeded to blow the minds of the 50 000 or so people at Acer. Here is a band who know how to draw an audience into a show. The whole 360 experience was a novelty at first, but got a tad frustrating as you felt you were missing out on seeing Kirk’s brilliant guitar work, James’ fury on vocals, Rob’s insane bass work and of course, Lar’s manic drumming ability, but the band made the best use of the stage that they could.
Ripping through tracks off every release (except for the ordinary St Anger record) the crowd screamed to every word, banged their aging heads, and showed their appreciation with devil horn hand gestures and a hell of a lot of “fuck yeahs”. Obviously the older tracks gained a better response than tracks of Death Magnetic. The crowd lost their collective shit during One, Master Of Puppets, Sad But True and Enter Sandman. Fade To Black allowed the old school use of lighters being waved in the air and the closer Seek And Destroy, a song the band always close with, saw about a hundred black Metallica beach balls fall from the ceiling and get bounced around the crowd.
Metallica, for what you may think of them, have the loyalist following of just about any band I have ever encountered. Returning to Australia in six weeks to do it all again, you know that they will deliver just as intense a show as this one was. The pyro was awesome. The heat from the flames cooked the floor. The coffin-shaped lighting rigs down to the band spending almost half an hour after the show throwing picks, drumsticks and anything else out into the salivating audience was a testament to the show that they put on. Yes, they are older, yes they are probably living off former glories, but no one tonight cared. Tonight they saw their metal gods perform and left feeling fulfilled. I can proudly say I have seen Metallica play live now. I think you all should do the same.