“WELCOME to the family.”
These simple words spoken by Metallica's main man James Hetfield have come to ring so true of the ethos behind what has made this Californian four-piece possibly the most successful heavy metal band on the planet.
Metallica is family.
And to the legions of Perth headbangers who flocked to their suitably epic World Magnetic Tour, they would not have it any other way.
Ending the Australasian leg of their world tour with a two-date run at the Burswood Dome - which kicked off last Friday - in what was arguably the most elaborate show ever displayed in their almost three decades on the road, there were few left wanting from the experience.
From the oversized robotic coffins lowered from the ceiling in hue with the artwork for their latest effort, Death Magnetic, to the bold laser lighting and scorching pyrotechnics - there was literally no expense spared for Metallica's first return to our shores in six years.
To get the festivities into gear, Georgia's Baroness began the evening with a blistering half an hour of pure adrenaline.
Though it was a very early start, there were many who had beat the 6pm opener to cast their ears to the quartet - who played as if the venue was packed to the rafters.
Sampling from the most hard-hitting treats from their young, yet meteoric, career - they leant towards picks from their more recent offering, the Blue Record.
The Sweetest Curse, A Horse Called Golgotha, War Wisdom and Isak set the bar - with the outfit throwing its weight to command the 360-degree stage.
Among the support acts were regular visitors to our neck of the woods, Lamb Of God, who made the obligatory tote for how much they love Australian punters before diving headfirst into The Passing.
And the word for the night, according to vocalist Randy Blythe, was “…motherf*****”.
Splicing the word this way and that, in between monster crowd-pleasers like Walk With Me In Hell and older tune Black Label, it was easy to see the months of touring with their headlining idols had rubbed off.
Usually a band that creates a division between heavy metal puritans, on the basis of taste only, this Virginian quintet certainly put those whispers to rest with a performance that demanded your attention - no matter which way you swayed.
As Ennio Morricone's Esctasy Of Gold boomed triumphantly through the speakers, the men that form the core of heavy metal stalwarts Metallica emerged - to a thunderous roar; as was to be expected.
Fading into Death Magnetic's That Was Just Your Life, they followed with fellow album-mate - the surprising savage Cyanide - marking a majority of the newer tracks in a set that catered for the ages.
Then everything was taken up a notch as lead strings-man Kirk Hammett signalled signalled the cue of For Whom The Bell Tolls, the whole stadium rippling with the unison of fist-pumping as coffins lowered themselves from the roof to rotate menacingly above Hetfield and company.
And the juicy selections from their first five records - the classics, of course - just kept coming.
“Gimme fuel, gimme fire, gimme that which I desire…” - phooosh!
Flames shot from centre stage as Hetfield screamed the words to Fuel, a most apt introduction, before delving into the spine-tingling One - the chorus of more than 15,000 voices joining.
Rolling through Master Of Puppets, Blackened and Nothing Else Matters - before ending on Enter Sandman; with Ulrich's tribalistic pounding held highly as its anchor.
Returning for their personal homage to Queen with a cover of Stone Cold Crazy - as fans literally climbed the stage walls - they toasted the evening with Whiplash and Seek And Destroy.
Kill 'em all? Metallica certainly did.
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When: Friday, October 22
Where: Burswood Dome
Reviewed by: Jessica Willoughby
Photographed by: Andrew Ritchie