Metallica live at Ullevi, Gothenburg 2023-06-16


James Hetfield

James Hetfield

Metallica are back in Sweden – this time playing two shows at Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg. Opinions differ among fans this time – both when it comes to the setlist and the stage. This time they don’t have a traditional stage. Instead the stage is a huge oval shaped catwalk in the center of the stadium, with fans both surrounding it and in the center of it in the so called “snakepit”. This means that fans get all the way up to the actual stage and even get the opportunity to shake hands with the band. It also means a lot more people get to stand in the very front row. But it also means you only get to watch the backs of the band for quite a large proportion of the show. Personally I am not a fan of this stage. The band does not really perform as a band, but rather more as individuals. To me that takes away a bit of the edge.  The fact that the speakers are placed in four towers in the center, pointed outwards, means that you have good sound wherever you are in the stadium though.

As for the setlist Metallica changes it completely from show to show. Like many others I am not a huge fan of anything Metallica has recorded over the last 30 years but to hope for a greatest hits set would have been overly optimistic I guess. Choosing Creeping Death as the opening number is a master stroke though. It is like being run over by a train. The varied setlist does mean most people will miss some of their favourites every night though, but I still take this any day over all those tired bands that recycle the exact same set every night for an entire tour.

Metallica gives a solid performance. James Hetfields vocals are very good and Lars Ulrich, who has been slightly questioned by some the last few years, is a power machine. The crowd centering and surrounding the stage are ecstatic, while those in the stands are a bit more hard to please.

The show loses momentum a bit halfway through, partly because of newer material, but then they start delivering classics again and when they leave us with Seek and Destroy and Master of Puppets everyone wants an encore – that never comes, probably because of the fact that the stage means they will have to pass through the fenced off crowd to withdraw into the inner sanctuary of the stadium.

All in all this was a good show albeit nothing spectacular – and I think the stage is partly to blame. And thank you for sparing us from Whiskey in The Jar, a favour that was not done to those who went to the Sunday show.


Metallica at Ullevi Stadium

Who: Metallica
Where: Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg
When: 2023-06-16
Rate: 7/10

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Metallica live at Ullevi, Gothenburg 2023-06-16

June 18, 2023

James Hetfields vocals are very good and Lars Ulrich, who has been slightly questioned by some the last few years, is a power machine.

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