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Orion Festival Day One Recap: Metallica Power Through ‘Ride the Lightning’ Set List

Theo Wargo, Getty Images

Day one of Metallica‘s Orion Music + More festival is in the books, and there is no doubt that 32,000 people left Bader Field in Atlantic City, N.J. with smiles on their faces Saturday night.

For the first time on U.S. soil, and the only time in 2012, fans got to hear Metallica play 1984’s ‘Ride the Lightning’ in its entirety. While it is always a treat to hear an album played live, this one brought with it a historical moment. Never in all of the shows Metallica has played over the years has the song ‘Escape’ made the setlist, that is, until June 23.

In addition to the album – which they decided to play backwards starting with ‘The Call of Ktulu’ – ‘Tallica gave fans 10 additional songs, ranging from ‘Hit the Lights’ to ‘Hell and Back.’ The set clocked in at just over two hours. The energy was incredibly high on stage, and it didn’t take more than three songs into it for James Hetfield to look out at the crowd and say, “This is a dream come true, man!”

Besides the obvious high point of the day with Metallica’s set, day one brought with it a world of entertainment. From an enormous crowd gathering to watch Jim Breuer’s Heavy Metal Comedy Tour to lines forming outside nearly every lifestyle tent, Orion made a big impact on everyone in attendance. Those who were in the crowd for Suicidal Tendencies got a great surprise when Robert Trujillo, Metallica’s bassist, joined his former bandmates onstage.

Before day one, there was speculation that a festival with as much variety in genres as Orion might not be successful. Not only was that proven wrong by the sheer number of people in attendance, but nearly every artist Loudwire talked with agreed that there need to be more festivals like Orion.

Day two will bring sets from Ghost, Volbeat, Avenged Sevenfold and more, and of course Metallica will be playing the Black album in its entirety. If Sunday lives up to the expectations that Saturday set, Orion Music + More is going to be an experience not many will forget anytime soon. As the late Cliff Burton once said, “We just do what we do, and we’re going to keep it that way.”

If you’re not at the Orion Festival, you can still catch the streaming webcast at 8:00PM ET this evening right here when Metallica will perform their ‘Black Album.’

Watch Metallica Perform ‘Ride the Lightning’ at the Orion Festival – Night One

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Metallica’s ‘Ride the Lightning’ Orion Set List June 23, 2012:

Hit the Lights’
‘Master of Puppets’
‘The Four Horsemen’
‘Sad But True’
Robert Trujillo Bass Solo
‘Hell and Back’
‘The Call of Ktulu’
‘Creeping Death’
‘Trapped Under Ice’
‘Fade to Black’
‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’
‘Ride the Lightning’
‘Fight Fire with Fire’
‘Nothing Else Matters’
‘Enter Sandman’


‘Seek and Destroy’ (dedicated to the memory of original bassist Cliff Burton)

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