DAY 2 AND THE BIG FOUR
Yes, Saturday at last.. Vita de Vie opened the second day. There were two Romanian bands in the festival and Vita de Vie was chosen to open for the Big Four which was indeed a great privilege which they honoured with a good live performance. Frankly speaking, they were more suitable for the last day. Formed in 1996, they are among the alternative pioneers in Romania, mixing a lot of styles, hardcore, rap, jazz, reggae. This could be one of the reasons for which they were the big winners. Another possible reason, they always have had good promotion, good instruments and managed to release albums despite the fact that their live concerts were not always very good. But I must say this was the best of their concerts. They sang many of their old songs which definitely touched the public of my generation. People gathered early to get a place for the big four, so there was enough public to jump with them.
But when Anthrax made their appearance on stage with Caught in a Mosh, the big day started! In my “golden cage” area there were still enough space while the back become crowded already. I could get quite close to the stage, which made me selfishly very happy but I think they deserved more public there also. At least a public to call them for the encore. Still, they knew how to please the audience, including the metalheads who were there for Metallica only and even playing songs from 1984 and 1987, when many of those were probably not born yet. With a vocal on who’s face you can read only kindness and ingenuity and with Scott Ian being so at ease and dedicated, they offered a real thrash show for which Romania waited 29 years as they said, grateful for the waiting. There were many memorable moments… I think the best was on Indians which they interrupted to do Heaven and Hell and then continuing it with Belladonna’s running wild on the stage wearing the Indians feathers. Everybody sang on Anti-social. Be all End All was an intense moment also, due to Belladonna’s endless energy to get the public’s feedback, singing and running at the same time. Yes, I said Belladonna so many times… and I’ll say it again: before exiting the stage, Belladonna said: “Remember Ronnie, man, Heaven and Hell!” They really deserved to be called back on stage…
Setlist:1. Caught in a Mosh 2. Got the Time (Joe Jackson cover) 3. Madhouse 4. Be All, End All 5. Antisocial (Trust cover) 6. Indians with Heaven and Hell cover 7. Medusa 8. Metal Thrashing Mad 9. I Am The Law
“You’ve been great, we’ve been Megadeth!” My personal surprise for Sonisphere was that Megadeth sang before Slayer. I mean, it’s clear that they are more popular, but, as a friend of mine said, maybe Mustaine had a problem with opening for Metallica… I like Megadeth. Actually, I love Megadeth. I like Mustaine, even if he is such a bastard sometimes. When it comes to music, every time he spoke about his music, he was coherent and always explained how and why he did a song and what’s the vision of an album so he has all my respect for that. For this show, they kept the stage-set used during this 2010 tour for the 10 years anniversary of Rust In Peace: an empty stage decorated only with some panels framing the drums on one side and the other. Not even monitors, everything was wireless. I found this very cool, as it was like watching a play with the guys and their stage movement, changing places during the songs. This time, the panels were covered with plastic, as at Sofia show it rained during Megadeth and Mustaine was not glad about it, so he decided to be cautious this time. But the weather was great, so was the public who basically sang all the time. When we were not singing along, we were chanting “Me-ga-deth” between riffs on Hangar 18 or Symphony of Destruction. You know what I’m talking about: Mustaine: “You take a mortal maaaan” and then the public “Mega-deth! Mega-deth! Mega-deth!” The voice was very clear, you could hear the lyrics, especially on Sweating Bullets and Peace Sells, which is not usually the case for Mustaine. And his solos were amazing, I felt like the sounds he made were faster than my capacity to catch them.
1. Holy Wars… The Punishment Due 2. Hangar 18 3. Headcrusher 4. A Tout Le Monde 5. In My Darkest Hour 6. Skin O’ My Teeth 7. Hook In Mouth 8. Trust 9. Sweating Bullets 10. Symphony Of Destruction 11. Peace Sells 12. She-Wolf
But the band I most wanted to see was Slayer. I needed to find a place in the crowd not dangered by the pits, which was quite difficult. At Slayer everybody went crazy. I remembered I was screaming all the time, around me people were screaming all the time, moving, headbanging, singing, screaming again. Every song was like a blessing, if I may say so about Slayer’s dark lyricism. They started with World Painted Black from their eponymous named album, but went soon to tracks well know as War Ensemble, Angel of Death, South of Heaven … For me it was for the first time to hear Seasons in the Abyss live. Raining Blood was exceptional, the intro almost made me wonder if it was not gonna rain again. Neither Araya nor King were talkative, but they put all their energy in playing. Lombardo was a God; try to catch every beat he makes and you could die axfixiated as you might forget to breath. Hanneman was fascinating with his totally awesome black leather metal outfit. Yes, King was wearing his chains as usually. The setlist seemed so short and sadly again they were not called back for encore.
1. World Painted Blood 2. Jihad 3. War Ensemble 4. Hate Worldwide 5. Seasons in the Abyss 6. Angel of Death 7. Beauty Through Order 8. Disciple 9. Mandatory Suicide 10. Chemical Warfare 11. South of Heaven 12. Raining Blood
And here it comes the moment everybody was waiting for, Metallica. Metallica Live! I think Creeping Death is a good song to start with, as it goes very well after The Ecstasy of Gold Intro, which announced the four metal cowboys on the stage. The over two hours performance felt like seconds!
I heard a Nothing Else Matter sang with a slightly country accent and some rock’n blues accords, with a fantastic ending when Hetfield, just like a magician, by a move of its fingers still playing the last sounds of the song, reverses his pick for everybody to see “The Big 4” written on it. While public was still screaming, they continued with my favourite, Enter Sandman.
Before starting Sad But True, Hetfield gave a small speech dedicating the song to all the bands forming the Big Four. Then he tested the public knowledge inciting us to sing the first lines of the song.
One, with an impressive pyrotechnics intro and an exceptional clean sound was followed in force by Master of Puppets burning us faster and faster. We were a little bit slowed down only by that “It’s up to you, Budapest” which slipped to Hetfield. But he realised it quickly and paid a lot of attention to any “Bucharest” he uttered later on.
The big hits from the last album were there also: That Was Just Your Life, Cyanide, All Nightmare Long. For the encore we had a Queen cover, Stone Cold Crazy, followed by Hit the Lights, causing a lot of damage to our voices which we lost completely after the last song, Seek and Destroy, and all the screaming afterwards.
Hetfield was proud and happy to be there, Hammett outrun himself, he was Metallica’s engine, its Magnificent Trujillo was strong and rough and Ulrich was energetic and funny!
Setlist: 1. Creeping Death 2. For Whom The Bell Tolls 3. Fuel 4. Disposable Heroes 5. Fade To Black 6. That Was Just Your Life 7. Cyanide 8. Sad But True 9. Welcome Home (Sanitarium) 10. All Nightmare Long 11. One 12. Master Of Puppets 13. Fight Fire With Fire 14. Nothing Else Matters 15. Enter Sandman Encore:16. Stone Cold Crazy (Queen cover) 17. Hit The Lights 18. Seek & Destroy