It was a momentous night for us here in Hong Kong. Many of us have been involved in metal and heavy music in Hong Kong since the 80’s (some probably even before) and never in our wildest dreams did we ever think a band of this magnitude was going to step foot in our city. We’ve seen for decades bands of this scale skip Hong Kong for more lucrative markets such as China, Japan and Southeast Asia – we, as is characteristic with Hong Kong’s overall pragmatic approach to life, remained understanding that Hong Kong is probably just not big enough of a market. Finally – 35 years after the inception of this band – here they were on OUR stage, in OUR city, speaking OUR language (James came out and said 你好 Hong Kong! And at the end of the set he screamed 多謝!). And the 4 horsemen brought it hard…at one point at the end of the set when all 4 members took the mic to thank the audience, Lars even looked like he started crying when he said he couldn’t believe it took them 35 years to get here and that they will be back (We’ll see if there is any truth to that – most bands that come here say that, but only a very TINY handful actually make it back).
13,000 people showed up to support the band’s maiden appearance and gave the band their all. Loud singing, little tiny pits interspersed amongst those in the general standing area, lots of fists in the air, etc. Personally, the set was way too packed with new tracks off the latest record. Don’t get us wrong – we all understand the band is on this tour to promote the new full length and so we were well aware the band would be playing a few new tracks. We just didn’t realize how MUCH of the set was going to be new tracks. If we were allowed to select the setlist for this first EVER appearance by these metalgods (and by ANY metal band of this level to come to Hong Kong) then we would’ve certainly picked a set heavier on older tracks – the tracks that got us metalheads in Hong Kong through life for decades now.
Set opener Hardwired actually came off better then expected live. Opening snare pattern really gets the blood pumping and of course the lyrics “We’re so fucked, shit outta luck, hardwired to self-destruct” could not be more timely since the exact moment they were screaming these words with us here in Hong Kong, Donald fucking Trump was being sworn in as USA’s 45th president. Crazy. The band lost momentum big time when they stuck to their guns and painfully trudged through almost 4 new tracks back to back in the middle of their set. These were songs that a) people were not familiar with and b) were really not very good songs to begin with. One of the songs is called Halo On Fire which is a horrible song that we ALWAYS skip when listening to the full length, yet here here we were having to endure the full track live. Thank god for smartphones – that’s when a lot of us were updating our social media pages with setlists of the night so far or texting acquaintances who were lost somewhere in the mammoth arena hahahaha…(The real stand out track off the new album, in our humble opinion, is Spit Out the Bone. Why hasn’t that song made it into their setlist??? One really wonders.)
But it was the old tracks folks…when One, Fade To Black, Master of Puppets, Seek And Destroy, Battery, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Creeping Death, Enter Sandman, Nothing Else Matters, Sad But True, Unforgiven came on…holy fuck – the place erupted.
Day after the show and of course everyone’s social media is awash with photos, videos and thoughts about last night. A lot of local metalheads have asked and been asking how many of the 13000 people that came last night are going to come to future Hong Kong metal shows. It was very cool to see so many people screaming and singling along last night – but of course it would be great if this type of passion and love didn’t just show up when international bands come to town – but also transfered over to the local bands and local club shows. The bands that live here and are giving more to the local community just by existing are the ones that need our support more so then these international bands who come for a night, make tons of money and then leave.
It begs the question – how many of the 13000 people actually know that Hong Kong has fucking international standard metal bands? So here’s a good place to begin…we collected a bunch of currently active Hong Kong metal bands down below. It’s time for you to take this link and spread it like wildfire all over Hong Kong’s music related pages and on your own social media so people can become more aware of the immense talent we have right within our own borders. (This is NOT a complete list because there are just too many bands! If your band didn’t make it on to the list let us know and we can add it immediately!)
Also, here are some upcoming shows collected by the people who also put a lot of effort in promoting and organizing local metal shows in Hong Kong – Hong Kong Metal Alliance
15/2 – *Periphery (US Djent/Progressive)
18/2 – ~Coldrain (JP Metalcore)
21/2 – *Animals As Leaders (US Djent/Progressive)
12/3 – *Equilibrium (DE Folk Metal)
22/3 – ^Defeated Sanity (DE Death Metal)
2/4 – *Crystal Lake (JP Metalcore)
For more info on these upcoming shows hit up their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HKMetalAlliance/
PHOTO CREDIT: https://www.facebook.com/kenneviaphotography
Check out his complete collection from the night here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/kenneviaphotography/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1029997017106438
SHEPHERDS THE WEAK
Charm Charm Chu
MASSACRE OF MOTHMAN
Tie Shu Lan
ACTING WE ACTING
SOUL OF EARS