“Just do whatever you are doing, just try to do it with the best you possibly can, try to be as honest about it as possible.”
More than three years after Metallica’s China debut, the band is set to rock fans here again, with concerts in Shanghai and Beijing, reports.
When Metallica gave its first performance in China, at Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz Arena in August 2013, more than 20,000 fans were there for the historic moment.
“It was epic,” says Jiang Wei, a Beijing-based indie live show promoter, who was in the audience.
“It was totally a metal zone,” Jiang adds, recalling the band’s performance of hits such as Hit The Lights, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Seek & Destroy and Enter Sandman.
According to AEG Live, the promoter of Metallica’s China debut, 10,000 tickets for the first show were sold in a few minutes, prompting the scheduling of another concert the next day.
Jiang, in his 40s, who has been listening to Metallica’s music since 1993, went to both shows and bought tickets in the front row.
The excitement is returning for Chinese fans like Jiang: the Grammy Awardwinning rock band will return to Asia with a concert in Shanghai on Jan 15 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. Metallica will then make its debut in Beijing on Jan 18 at the LeSports Center.
“Tickets of their Beijing show sold out within minutes. It will be another epic night,” says Jiang.
Members of Metallica shared the feverish enthusiasm of Chinese fans during their stay in Shanghai in 2013.
“We didn’t really have much expectations going into China, because it’s a new place and we try not to expect too much,” says lead guitarist Kirk Hammett.
“But once we got there, we were very surprised how well-versed the fans were with our music. They knew the songs really really well.
“The pure enthusiasm that we saw everywhere — before, during and after the show — it was like just a very, very cool thing to see how much the Chinese audience appreciated the fact that we were there. There were people who were crying in the audience because they were so happy. At least, I think that’s why they were crying,” adds Hammett.
The band continued its relationship with China by teaming up with Chinese pianist Lang Lang at the annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Jan 26, 2014. They performed Metallica’s classic song One, the first single from their 1988 album, and Justice for All.
Because the Grammy broadcast aired on TV in Shanghai and radio in Beijing, the performance caused a stir among Chinese fans.
Formed in 1981 by drummer Lars Ulrich and guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield, Metallica has become one of the most influential and commercially successful rock bands in history, having sold 110 million albums worldwide.
The band released its 11th studio album, Hardwired … To Self-Destruct, on Nov 18. The two CD / two vinyl set earned the band its sixth No 1 album on the Billboard Top 200 and debuted at No 1 in 23 countries. The newalbum was recorded entirely inHQ, a first for the band.
“It’s like, every time we record an album, it’s a different experience. And there’s so many different things that we change in the studio. A lot that has to do with the songs, a lot has to do with, you know, how we play our instruments at that point of time,” says Hammett.
What has made Metallica members proudest in the past 30 years, he says, is that they are still together.
Their goal? “Just do whatever you are doing, just try to do it with the best you possibly can, try to be as honest about it as possible,” he says.
“And don’t lose touch of that inner voice, man, because that will guide you through the music, and all that whole creative process that come with playing music.”
In 2016, more than 900,000 fans visited the Mercedes-Benz Arena which presented 273 ticketed events, thereby making it Asia’s No 1 sports and entertainment venue.
Since 2011, AEG has brought to the venue in Shanghai, as well as other venues in China, superstar artists such as Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and the Rolling Stones.
Recently, the German automaker brand MercedesBenz has extended its partnership with AEG and Oriental Pearl Group for the naming rights of MercedesBenz Arena in Shanghai until 2025, an additional five years beyond the existing 10-year deal negotiated by American arena operator AEG, which commenced in 2011.
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Metallica, formed in 1981, is one of the most influential and commercially successful rock bands in history. Kirk Hammett, lead guitarist