The kings of metal set to conquer the Velodrome

The kings of metal set to conquer the Velodrome

The Bellville Velodrome hosted some of the Cape’s biggest concerts in its day. R.E.M., Avril Lavigne, Simply Red, UB40, Jay Z & Rihanna, Billy Joel, George Benson and Al Jarreau have all made us shout, dance, cry and shake our bums at the Northern Suburbs venue. Alas the Velodrome has lost its shine over the years as more and more concerts chose the newer Grand Arena at Grand West Casino instead. But next week the world’s biggest metal band will shake the dust off the Old Lady of the North. Metallica returns to SA for a series of concerts, including performances on April 24 and 25 in Bellville. The rock superstars were initially billed for Cape Town Stadium, but a series of events had led to the venue change.

Metallica formed in California in 1981 and over the course of the 1980s and 1990s became the most influential heavy metal band in the world. ‘Master of Puppets’, ‘Ride the Lighting’ and ‘The Black Album’ changed the way metal was consumed by mainstream audiences, making the genre more acceptable than ever before. But in the 2000s things changed: the band cut their hair and the music became softer, but record sales kept climbing – Metallica has turned their back on metal and began flirting with rock. Now it’s 2013 and the band has never been stronger: their documentary ‘Some Kind of Monster’ put them back on the map. They’ve recorded a concept album with Lou Reed titled ‘Lulu’. They’ve invested most of their life-savings in a 3D tour DVD. And you can be sure that they’ll lift the roof of the Velodrome next week. Don’t miss it.

Speaking of loud music, a second night has been added to the Cape Town leg of the ‘Kings of Chaos’ tour. The supergroup is made up of members of Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard, Deep Purple, Collective Soul, Skid Row and Velvet Revolver. I called up Matt Sorum at his L.A home a few days ago – he’s ex-drummer for Guns N’ Roses and the super group was his brainchild. Sorum says there is much excitement ahead of the SA tour – the band is stopping by here after playing in Australia with Van Halen and Aerosmith. I asked Sorum if ex- Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose would ever join forces with Kings of Chaos. Sorum laughed saying he’d consider the notoriously egotistical Rose for a voice audition and might “throw five grand his way”.

Lastly, the SA music scene has been shaken by the sudden death of Southern Gypsey Queen drummer Paul Wilson.  A heart attack, brought on by a case of meningitis, claimed the life of the young musician. Tributes by fans filled the timelines of Twitter and Facebook when the news broke. Wilson had been working on a solo project at the time of his death.

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One lucky reader can win 12 tickets for themselves and their friends, while five readers can win double tickets to Metallica. Send an image of yourself striking your best air guitar pose in an e-mail to, or post it on our Facebook page. The cutoff date is 12pm on Monday April 22. Good luck!