Metallica return to Reading Festival after seven years away, kick off with crowd on stage

The metal legends open their set with 'Fuel'

Metallica have kicked off their Saturday headline set on the Main Stage tonight (August 29), returning to the festival for the first time in seven years.

The band last played Reading And Leeds in 2008 alongside Rage Against The Machine and The Killers.

Arriving onstage to ‘Ecstasy Of Gold’ the musical composition by Ennio Morricone, from the Sergio Leone film The Good, The Bad And The Ugly’, with scenes of the movie being played out on the big screen behind the band, frontman James Hetfield declared: “We’re Metallica – this is what we do.” The band then tore into ‘Fuel’ from their 1998 album ‘ReLoad’.

Much like their Glastonbury performance in 2014, the metal veterans were accompanied on stage by a huge group of fans.

As the band launched into Metallica classic ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’, Hetfield asked the crowd: “Metallica is with you. Are you with us [Reading]?”. They followed it up with ‘Battery’.

Check back later for a full Metallica headline report. The second day of Reading has already seen performances from Foals, Slaves and Royal Blood.