Thanks for the love fest, Metallica

Thanks for the love fest, Metallica
The Grammy-winning heavy-metal quartet Metallica - comprising (from left) drummer Lars Ulrich, frontman James Hetfield, guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo - at Changi Exhibition Centre on Saturday. The concert was their first here in two decades.

SINGAPORE - I've personally seen American heavy-metal legends Metallica twice before. So, I was not initially worked up into a lather as I joined the crowd of some 40,000 who showed up for Metallica's first gig here since 1993.

Having caught them at the Leeds Festival in Britain in 2003, and then at Melbourne's Soundwave Fest in March, I'd known what to expect: A well-oiled machine with musicianship tighter than the skinny black jeans the band's metalhead fans are so prone to donning.

But the Singapore gig turned out to be something else.

The 21/2-hour extravaganza drew the band's worshippers to a new venue, the hard-to-get-to and hard-to-exit Changi Exhibition Centre (the Singapore Airshow grounds).

The Grammy-winning quartet - comprising frontman James Hetfield, guitarist Kirk Hammett, both 50, drummer Lars Ulrich, 49, and newest member, bassist Robert Trujillo, 48 - seemed to play on the energy of the crowd.

A sense of brotherhood had enveloped those gathered, even before the band arrived on stage.

There was a lot of hugging. There was much sharing of the poison of choice - beer. Random people I hadn't seen for years would approach me, all pumped up.

It was a love fest, Metallica-style.

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