Metallica's Manchester, England stop on the current European leg of their WorldWired tour presented a unique set of challenges when a heavy downpour hit the outdoor Etihad Stadium where they were playing. In true expert form, the Big Four quartet still managed to churn out a near-flawless rendition of the title-track to their 1986 epic Master of Puppets — and look interminably cool doing so.
While they'd previously shared pro footage of the 2003 cut "St. Anger" from the British gig (see that below), the stormy atmosphere and crowd energy comes alive during "Master." A lashing, ripping, nearly nine-minute track, it remains a fan favorite and one of the hardest-hitting tracks in the band's nearly 35-year catalog.
A soaked and strutting Papa Het cut an imposing figure in all black, while drummer Lars Ulrich — at most risk for dropping the ball with his rain-drenched sticks precariously perched in his hands — spent a good chunk of the track standing behind his kit with a vigorous energy that saw only minor amendments to his usual set of fills and flourishes.
The highlight of the performance comes when Hetfield and lead guitarist Kirk Hammett deliver the song's gripping, emotional solo. With the famous graveyard album art looming on huge screens in the back, the frontman says, "Let's do this together, Manchester," and the tens of thousands in the crowd help with the growing "Master! Master!" mid-song chants. Watch the impressive showing for yourself above.