Metallica have been announced as the Saturday night headliners on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival. This year will be my eleventh or twelfth Glastonbury, starting in 1993, but mostly in a straight line of attendance at every Festival since 2002. In that time I've seen some amazing headliners: Blur, Muse, Radiohead, R.E.M., QotSA, Paul McCartney, Suede, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon, Rod Stewart, U2, Neil Young, Springsteen.... but I can honestly say that I've never been more excited about a headliner being announced than I am today. Well, I did briefly see the Velvet Underground headlining the Pyramid as I trooped my way back up the hill from Suede, but in my defence I was too young and too stupid in 1993 to realise how excited I should have been. I curse the 1993 me almost every time I think about that decision. I heard the rumours of Metallica playing, but I honestly didn't want to believe that this could happen until it was formally confirmed.
They've just confirmed it.
As soon as the rumours really started to take shape, a very tedious backlash started of people whining about how Metallica just aren't a Glastonbury band and that this will be a disaster for the festival. Well, that's clearly bollocks. Metallica have sold 100m records worldwide and are one of the biggest selling bands in the history of music. They are also an awesome live proposition. They wanted to play here and they will be amazing. Besides, anyone remember all that fuss people made about Jay-Z a few years back? Yeah, and how did that work out? Oh, that's right. He killed it in front of a massive crowd and everyone who moaned was made to look a bit silly. Sound familiar.
Lars Ulrich has said some really stupid things in the past, but today he said this:
"But I am aware of the fact that in England some people dismiss hard rock as something that’s lesser-than, or it’s not as valuable, or it’s not as important [as other genres]. And I’m not even going to get into talking about that. That’s just plain silly. Over the decades, hard rock sometimes hasn’t done itself any favours by embracing cliches and some sexism and short-sightedness. But that’s not necessarily limited to hard rock. I mean, I think you can turn over any musical stone and find different versions of cliches and narrow-mindedness, so it is what it is. But for better or worse, we’re coming! And we’re pretty fucking excited about it. If anybody has anything to say, then it’s a two-fingered salute and take that with ya."
Not interested in Metallica? Go and watch something else.
As someone who has seen them a few times over the years, take it from me: they're one of the best live acts in the world bar no one. Don't people usually spend their time moaning that Glastonbury's headliners aren't big enough? Well, is this big enough for you?
I can't really put it any better than a comment I've just read on the Guardian. Amidst all the predictable bile from people who apparently think the band will be playing to an empty field, someone just wrote: "GIMMEFUEGIMMEFAHGIMMEDABAZABAZAAAAAH". Well, exactly. It's true that lots of people may only know "Enter Sandman", but to tell the truth, I'm actually a little bit envious of them because they are also going to hear other - better - songs by the band for the very first time. Can you remember the first time you heard "Battery"?
This is going to be awesome. Now, where did I put my Master of Puppets t-shirt?
(you can read my review of their 2009 gig at Nottingham Arena on the Death Magnetic tour here)
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