Metallica live billboard 2015
Metallica performs onstage at exclusive the Call Of Duty: Black Ops Launch Party held at Barker Hangar on Nov. 4, 2010 in Santa Monica, Calif. Chris Weeks/Getty Images

Paris, the city of love. And what could possibly be more lovely than catching Metallica playing three shows in one day? Well, there’s genital torture… but we’re joking, of course.

It’s 82 degree outside La Boule Noire, a walk in the park compared to the heat inside. In this 400-capacity venue Metallica look like the world’s most ridiculously over-ambitious pub band, but ‘Frantic‘ and ‘Seek And Destroy‘ are murderously, woundingly heavy. ‘Spec.

Six hours later the band are across town at Bataclan. Outside, distressingly attractive young women in flimsy summerwear sip fruity cocktails in sunlit bars. Inside Bataclan 1,500 hugely sweaty men drop a bollock when a shirtless James Hetfield rolls out the skin-stripping intro to ‘Master Of Puppets‘.

“Have you got ‘St Anger‘ yes?” asks james.

“Yeahhhh!” scream the crowd.

“Do you like it?”

“Umm, yeah…” they holler.

“You wanna hear something from it?”

“Mais oui,” they shrug, not exactly getting ready to leave, but possibly eager for older thrills. They get ‘Frantic’ again. They also get über-oldieOne‘, which is undoubtedly the best power-ballad about a bloke with no arms or legs ever.

At 11.30pm, Le Trabendo’s Sabbath intro tape stops abruptly and Metallica launch straight into ‘Riff‘. Frankly, and unsurprisingly, the band look knackered, but during ‘Harvester Of Sorrow’ they find untapped energy supplies and soar again. We live in fear of ‘Frantic‘, and get ‘St Anger‘ instead, but it’s that old stand-by ‘Master of Puppets‘ that destroys all competition.

Metallica are the rockingest, heaviest, loudest, meanest motherf—ers in the known world, but if we ever hear another second of their music ever again we will kill with our bare hands. Unless it’s ‘Frantic‘, with rules.

© Rob Fitzpatrick NME June 2003

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