Glastonbury embraces Metallica's 'heavier side'

Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:11pm EDT
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By Paul Sandle

PILTON England (Reuters) - Metallica rocked Glastonbury on Saturday night, confounding critics who said heavy metal had no place at Britain's biggest music festival.

After opening with "Creeping Death" and "For Whom the Bell Tolls," front man James Hetfield said they were representing "the heavier side of music" at the festival held on a farm in rural southwest England.

Both fans and newcomers to metal enthusiastically welcomed songs like "One" and "Enter Sandman" in the Pyramid Stage performance.

The choice of the U.S. group, which has sold more than 120 million records, for the prestigious Saturday headline slot had been controversial.

Some of the 135,000 festival goers complained that their music did not fit into Glastonbury's hippy ethos. Others said Hetfield's narration of a TV show about bear hunting did not fit the event's environmental culture.

Hetfield answered both counts in the one hour 40 minutes performance. He said all types of music were represented at Glastonbury, "so why not heavy rock."

And a film at the start of the performance took a humorous swipe at the hunting controversy.

It showed a traditional English fox hunt ending with the red-jacketed huntsmen being shot by bears, revealed to be the members of Metallica in costume.   Continued...

American pop star Kelis performs on the Pyramid stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival June 28, 2014. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton