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Metallica End Orion Music + More on Two Hour High Note

James Hetfield
Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Six months after it was initially announced, Metallica‘s Orion Music + More festival experiment at Belle Isle in Detroit is over. Despite a small number of setbacks, Orion seems to have found a new home in Michigan. The metal titans closed out Day 2 Sunday night (June 9), unlike their middle-of-the-day secret performance on Saturday, literally with a bang during their epic 2 hour plus performance.

Metallica’s set is what any rock fan would expect: loud and grand. The mix of songs were able to please fans old and young, starting off with “Blackened.” Other favorites included “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” Harvester of Sorrow,” “Welcome Home (Sanitarium),” and ended with “Enter Sandman,” fireworks, flames and lasers. What, were you expecting anything less?

Metallica kicked off their encore with a cover of the Bob Seger classic “Turn The Page.” A wise move when you’re playing a rock show in Michigan. For a band that’s been together for 30 years, they still have a lot of passion running through their veins. ”We’ve had a blast, and I hope I’m not the only one that’s had a good time,” frontman James Hetfield said to the screaming fans. “We appreciate you as a family.”

The rock and roll hall of famers acknowledged onstage that there were some hiccups over the weekend. The main issues were at will call and long waits for the shuttle buses from the Cobo Center in downtown Detroit to Belle Isle. However, Metallica seemed to have taken notes on improving the experience for a possible return in 2014.

“You’ve got to know in the first year there are going to be some screw-ups,” Hetfield said. “But that’s how lessons are learned for next year. You like Orion here in Detroit? We do, too, so far.”

Other notable performances on Sunday included alt metal veterans Deftones, who played right before Metallica. The California rockers had a varied setlist as well, including songs from their most recent album Koi No Yokan. We had the pleasure of interviewing the band, which will be posted later. EDM supergroup Destroid drew a huge crowd at the Sanitarium stage that hosted various dubstep and electronic acts, much like the Perry Stage at Lollapalooza in Chicago, IL.

The last day of Orion showed that the event was picking up momentum as attendance was higher and lines for food and attractions were longer. Almost every time we wanted to check out things like guitarist Kirk Hammett’s horror collection, appropriately named ‘Kirk’s Krypt,” the wait seemed overwhelming. That just showed how smart it was to have non-musical elements at Orion.

In the end, Orion Music + More was a great experience for us from beginning to end. Having such a high-profile event in Michigan is always a good thing. As someone who’s from Detroit, I was pretty proud of the city this past weekend. Hopefully Metallica decide to make the Motor City Orion’s permanent home.

Did you go to the Orion festival? Let us know some of your favorite performances and attractions in the comments section below.

Follow Dave Kim on Twitter: @davekim83

Watch Metallica Perform “Enter Sandman” at Orion Music + More 2013

 

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