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Orion Festival Day Two Recap: Metallica Go Backward in ‘Black’

James Hetfield of Metallica
Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Metallica set the bar high after they finished their set on day one of the Orion Music + More festival in Atlantic City, N.J. Fortunately for fans, day two exceeded all expectations. Sunday night, mighty Metallica tore through their ridiculously successful 1991 self-titled disc (better known as the Black Album), and to no one’s surprise, they played it backwards, just like they did with ‘Ride the Lightning’ the night before. Delivering another night of 2 hours of solid rock ‘n’ roll, how anyone left Orion without their faces melted off is an absolute mystery!

While there was some overlap with the set lists, Metallica switched things up to leave even the most hardcore fans satisfied. From ‘Fuel’ to ‘The Shortest Straw’ to ‘Blackened,’ the metal pioneers’ catalog is deep enough that Orion could have lasted for days on end.

Besides Metallica’s epic set on day two, Sunday brought with it several other highlights. Avenged Sevenfold put on an explosive show on the Fuel stage, packed full of ear-piercing rock and molten hot pyro. Denmark’s Volbeat played to a packed audience on the same stage earlier in the day and took new fans by surprise when they ripped into a cover of Johnny Cash’s ‘Sad Man’s Tongue.’ Throw in sets from groups like Sepultura, Charred Walls of the Damned and the Black Dahlia Murder, and day two of Orion proved to be chock full of metal.

The beauty of the weekend-long festival was that metal fans were exposed to a whole new world of music. Most hard rock concert goers would never take the time to see country artist Eric Church or alternative rockers the Gaslight Anthem. But that was why Metallica created Orion, to give fans a full experience of and peek into their vast array of eclectic musical tastes.

Aside from the variety of musical genres represented at Orion, the greatest thing about the festival is that Metallica was fully invested in it. They didn’t show up to their performance 10 minutes before in a limo. They spent both days immersed in Orion, from bassist Robert Trujillo skating on the half-pipe to drummer Lars Ulrich watching movies with fans to guitarist Kirk Hammet surfing on the beach. This was their festival and they weren’t going to miss a second.

The question was asked at the press conference on Friday: Will Orion hit the road? Is Orion a one-time thing? James Hetfield addressed the issue at the end of ‘Tallica’s set Sunday night. “We hope we get to do it again,” he told the crowd. “It’s been beautiful. You fans are amazing, the best fans in the world. You should be proud.”

For anyone wondering how the state of metal is doing in 2012, look no further than the success of Metallica’s Orion Music + More festival. Metal is thriving and it’s not going anywhere.

View Our Exclusive Day 2 Orion Music Festival Photo Gallery

Metallica’s ‘Black’ Orion Set List June 24, 2012:

‘Hit the Lights’
‘Master of Puppets’
‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’
‘The Shortest Straw’
‘The Struggle Within’
‘My Friend of Misery’
‘The God that Failed’
‘Of Wolf and Man’
‘Nothing Else Matters’
‘Through the Never’
‘Don’t Tread on Me’
‘Wherever I May Roam’
‘The Unforgiven’
‘Holier Than Thou’
Lars Ulrich Drum Solo
‘Sad But True’
Robert Trujillo Bass Solo
‘Enter Sandman’


‘Seek and Destroy’ (dedicated to Metallica’s fans and the late bassist Cliff Burton)

Watch Lars Ulrich Check in From Day 2 at the Orion Music + More Festival

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