The opening events for the (hopefully) annual event that is Orion Music + More Festival took place over the weekend. The creative child of metal gods Metallica, the two dates were by most accounts a screaming success. Metallica, who have been in the news a lot lately regarding their less-than-conventional ideas for the band’s brand, may have struck gold by buying into the festival game.
Headlining the event themselves, Metallica played for the first time ever the entire Right the Lightening album backwards. The album released in 1984 took the band to heights few similar acts had seen. Jame Hetfield commented on the significance of the performance, saying it “started to splinter us off from your SLAYERs and other thrash bands. A song called Fade To Black was an instant thorn in the side of the metal community. It was the first veering off the studded path. [The Black Album] became the album, I guess, that people needed to have. It’s a gateway for people to get into METALLICA.” On the Saturday night and for fans on the Sunday gig they did The Black Album, once again in reverse.
Metallica showcased their somewhat eclectic taste in music, picking bands not so much based on what’s hot but what’s good. Other acts on the bill included heavy rock legends Avenged Sevenfold and The Gaslight Anthem, as well as Arctic Monkeys and Cage The Elephant. What’s more, the event also held exhibitions and showcases, including a film festival curated by none other than Lars Ulrich, a custom car demonstration held by Hetfield, and of course Kirk Hammett’s horror movie memorabilia display.
According to Blabbermouth, when asked the all important question regarding the band starting a festival: Why? James Hetfield replied: “First of all, because we can. Why wouldn’t you? We’re just trying to bring a little more of a mix to what is going on… I think the Europeans are able to look at a festival more as an event than ‘my favorite band is playing’. We’re not necessarily trying to reproduce that in the States, but we’d like to bring a little taste of that here.”
Check out the video re-cap below. Imagine if they brought this to Australia… That’ll be the day.