We left Stockholm during the morning last Friday and drove 500kms (310 miles) to Gothenburg. It was hot on the way, and luckily there was no rain.
We stayed three nights at a hotel near Ullevi stadium, the Elite Park Avenue. Considering it was very close to a 75 000-seat stadium, and that Gothenburg was full of Metallica fans who had travelled from all over, our room was really really nice. So many Swedish hotel rooms are tiny. This one was spacious, with a huge bathtub, beautiful bedlinen, and also very quiet.
The show started at 6pm but we skipped the first supporting act, and got there in time to listen to Volbeat, a Danish band. They are really really good, and amazing live.
Our seats were really good because we could see the whole stage plus all the standing fans and the Snake Pit. The only downside for Metallica is that in Sweden it does not get dark in summer so most of their special effects were not visible. For us though, it was lovely to be able to see the fans on the floor.
The photo of the flags below was taken at about 10.45pm.
There was a lot of head banging on the stadium floor and in the Snake Pit but, as Beyoncé recently discovered, Swedes generally sit and enjoy the music quietly. Beyoncé kept trying to get people to dance in their seats but nobody did.
The age range was wonderful to see – everything from 13 (the minimum age) to 80-year-olds. You could see newer fans, perhaps coming from Stranger Things. And you could see people who looked like they had been to every single concert.
After 2 hours of Metallica we walked home, together with loads of the other almost 59 000 fans who had been there.
On Sunday we went for a long bike ride around the county, and on Sunday morning we went for a walk around the shopping district and through some parks.
Sunday night was Metallica again. Five Finger Death Punch were supposed to play but they could not come due to injury in the band, so we skipped the supporting acts and had dinner at the Hard Rock Café instead. While we ate we looked at what merchandise people were buying in the Metallica pop-up shop. Metallica must make SO MUCH money from merchandise. Hoodies were $100 and t shirts were $40. When the queues died down, I bought a keyring.
Metallica outdid themselves on the second night. All I could think of was that they don’t need the money and have been doing this for 42 years. How can they still be so into it? Lars Ulrich is 60 this year and yet he still drums up a storm!
My favourite of the second night was a cover of Thin Lizzy’s Whiskey in the Jar. It was not a hit with the fans, but I have always liked the ballads, and I love Thin Lizzy.
Some of the colours were blindingly bright. Maybe they ramped up the colours so you could see them in the Swedish summer light.
Early on Monday morning we both had Teams meetings and then left for the long ride home. In total we drove 1300km (807 miles). It was so nice to see the cats again.
People don’t really see me as someone who is interested in classic cars, motorcycles or heavy metal, but I like most things. And I enjoy all kinds of music, apart from heavy jazz where everyone seems to be playing different songs. Most of my life I have been drawn to heavy rock and alt-rock but I also love things on the heavier and lighter spectrum.