Download Festival 2023 / Metallica on Saturday, a Night to Remember

Download Festival 2023 – Saturday. When this MetalTalk scribe first saw Metallica on the hallowed grounds of Donington Park thirty-eight years ago, neither he nor they themselves could have imagined that they now hold the record for the most appearances at this site (ten).

Metallica - Saturday - Download Festival 2023.
Metallica – Saturday – Download Festival 2023. Photo: John Hayhurst/MetalTalk

The Metal Titans have worked tirelessly to achieve those lofty heights, though and when your audience stretches as far as the eye can see, they know they’re doing something right.

Having played the first of their two headline sets a couple of days ago with some absolutely huge numbers, the big question was what would be performed tonight. With a catalogue that spans four decades, there were never going to be any issues, though and old classics mixed easily with tracks from 72 Seasons.

Metallica - Saturday - Download Festival 2023.
Metallica – Saturday – Download Festival 2023. Photo: John Hayhurst/MetalTalk

Harking back from that first appearance, the opening Whiplash sounded as brutal as ever, the following For Whom The Bell Tolls a monster. New numbers If Darkness Had A Son and You Must Burn! show that the fire has been stoked up to roaring point again.

Metallica - Saturday - Download Festival 2023.
Metallica – Saturday – Download Festival 2023. Photo: John Hayhurst/MetalTalk

Welcome Home (Sanitarium) is a sinister delight and Unforgiven glorious, Kirk Hammett’s stinging solo Heavy Metal heaven. With Dad Jokes from James Hetfield and mile-wide grins from Robert Trujillo and Lars Ulrich, the atmosphere onstage was good-natured and celebratory.

Metallica - Saturday - Download Festival 2023.
Metallica – Saturday – Download Festival 2023. Photo: John Hayhurst/MetalTalk

A feral tear through Battery and the bounce of Whisky In The Jar saw bodies lost in reckless abandon. With the climax of One and Enter Sandman seeing a sea of upraised mobile phones recording every second.

When Hetfield announces, “We are Metallica…and so are you,” you know the family blood runs deep.

Metallica’s M72 World Tour, live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington TX, comes to cinemas worldwide on 18 and 20 August via Trafalgar Releasing. Tickets on sale now at Metallica.film.

Metallica - Saturday - Download Festival 2023.
Metallica – Saturday – Download Festival 2023. Photo: John Hayhurst/MetalTalk
Metallica - Saturday - Download Festival 2023.
Metallica – Saturday – Download Festival 2023. Photo: John Hayhurst/MetalTalk

Metallica – Saturday Setlist

Whiplash

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Ride the Lightning

Until It Sleeps

72 Seasons

If Darkness Had a Son

Welcome Home (Sanitarium)

You Must Burn!

The Call of Ktulu

The Unforgiven

Wherever I May Roam

Moth Into Flame

Battery

Whiskey in the Jar

One

Enter Sandman


Take Part: Are you at Download this year? Who are you looking forward to see? Want to get in touch and tell us how it’s going? Email MetalTalk Editor Steve Ritchie to tell us how it’s going for you. Download@MetalTalk.net.

Download Festival 2023

Download Festival 2023 was a record breaking year.

MetalTalk Download 2023 coverage can be found at MetalTalk.net/tag/download-2023

Download 2023 will see the festival celebrate its 20th anniversary with an additional day, meaning four days of live music in total.

This year’s MetalTalk team is:

Monty Sewell

Paul Monkhouse

Photography:

John Hayhurst – SnapAGig

Andy Shaw

Sleeve Notes

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