Concert Review: Waterloo bar 4th/5th December 2021
by Faye Farmer
I am 120 miles away from home to check out a tribute to Metallica, some might call it obsessive, let me explain...
Metal Militia were billed to headline the tent at WV1 Fest 2021, great news! But with me being a ridiculously obsessive Guns n Roses fan it clashed with my plans - what is a girl to do? agghhhhhhh.
I decide to watch the first part of Metal Militia then wobble drunkenly down to the main act of the day on the main stage. Safe to say I missed my band. People who know me will understand how much of a deal this is.
What did this band have that kept me in that tent? Well I needed to find out… So, I booked tickets to see them again at the Waterloo bar, Blackpool.
This was a two-day event with Metal Militia performing two separate sets, pre-black album on Friday and Black album to present on Saturday along with a wealth of quality support tribute acts.
We arrived at the Waterloo on Saturday and I was immediately filled with envy that the rockers and music lovers of Blackpool had this venue. I instantly became fuelled with excitement at the sites, memorabilia covering every wall in the building; it really is a rockers dream. The bar was filled with band beers and spirits served in a cup stamped with the cool waterloo logo. The setup of the venue is just perfect. The local Waterloo gig goers and staff just made the experience even better, welcoming us as a long lost part of the family.
Metal Militia came on stage to the iconic spaghetti Weston tune Ecstasy of Gold, the Waterloo added to the excitement with the back screen which continued playing images throughout the show, coupled with the best sound set up I have seen in a small grassroots venue.
Before you could digest their entrance and prepare, Hard wire, fuel, Atlas, King nothing, Cyanide hit you like a jet engine blast in the face. It was loud, real fast and as brash as the real thing. Was my neck going to suffer? …without a doubt!
Some people avoid tributes because they simply find the wigs and fake accents cringe, well you have none of that here. Just a band of brothers that not only are quality musicians but easily work as one machine to power through iconic songs, playing each one with the quality and detail it deserves. Their passion pours out in to the crowd with every note played and the atmosphere then gets thrown back and soaked up by the band. They use the crowd to keep their batteries charged, playing harder and faster, showing every member of the audience the reason why they do this and what it means to them.
They are not scared to bash out the rarities of Metallica’s live set lists and in my opinion play them faster and with the 80s style that the original band has lost with age.
The whole thing flows like the set list has been performed and played every weekend (but it couldn’t have been), proving again the passion these lads have and how versatile they are as musicians.
We get to hear My Friend of Misery which started with an inside band joke on the big screen, shared with the crowd that brought the whole of the room together as a family. The same feeling you get when watching the pioneers of thrash themselves.
The God that Failed and Of Wolf and Man came as a pleasant surprise to the Metallica fan that craves something not readily available in a commercial set lists before easing in to the guaranteed pleaser, Nothing Else Matters, giving the crowd moments to be heard with the well-known chorus ringing out in unity. Through the Never and Don’t Tread On Me followed with the same superb precision as the songs before them.
Wherever I May Roam and The Unforgiven, kept things flowing through the Black Album.
These guys are the gift that keeps on giving ending the night with St Anger, Queen classic Stone Cold Crazy and the Anti Know Where League cover SO What.
Of course, you couldn’t do the Black Album without Enter Sandman, allowing the room to erupt to the classic - new friends throwing beer over each other and ending the night with horns held high together.
I cannot think of anything more that they could have given.
These guys have a summer full of festival headline appearances and really do deserve to be on that top spot: you are truly missing out if you haven’t witnessed the magic of Metal Militia (just don’t tell Axl I said so 😉)
Photo credits: Faye Farmer.