Metallica may have been booked for just the final night, but all four band members were around all weekend, with shots of James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Larch Ulrich and Robert Trujillo fanboying to Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, and enthusiastically air-guitaring to AC/DC circulating online.
And while Metallica are one of the biggest bands in the world, they're not afraid to acknowledge their roots, telling the crowd at the Empire Polo Club; "Out idols are here, and we, Metallica have been here all weekend. These bands are responsible for what Metallica are."
With that out of the way, it as time to the metal behemoths to crown what had been an incomparable weekend of music. Kicking off with a storming 'Whiplash' with 'Creeping Death' following in quick succession, with Hetfield adorned with a white Gibson Flying V in a hark back to the old days, this was Metallica in fiercely vintage form.
"Indio, welcome to the last band. We're so grateful to be here tonight", announced the singer. Though the air of melancholy was palpable for the final day, Metallica were determined to see it out with a bang, and at only four songs in, they astonishingly dropped 'Enter Sandman' into the set. Prompting the loudest singalong of the night, Hetfield knowingly commented; "oh, we're gonna have some fun tonight!"
The 'full speed of nothing' powerhouse 'Lux Æterna' followed, before a pensive 'Fade to Black' - the third song of the seven played thus far to come from 1984's 'Ride the Lightning'.
Allowing Hetfield and Ulrich to take a break, Hammett and Trujillo performed one of their sketches, fittingly titled 'Funk in the desert'. A slow jam that gave the founders a breather, it's unlikely however, to be troubling the track list on the next Metallica album.
With the likes of fan favourite 'Fuel', instrumental epic 'Orion' and an admittedly wonky 'Nothing Else Matters' - "sorry guys, I screwed it up again!" (Kirk Hammett) - following, this was the perfect festival set.
Touching on their later period, a brutal 'The Day That Never Comes' and frenetic 'Hardwired to Self Destruct' reminded that not all their best tunes come from back in their past.
Closing out with 'Master of Puppets', Hetfield declared; "All my friends in the desert, did you have a good time or what?! Well, we did too. It's been the best weekend of our lives!". Doubtless many agreed, and leaving to a fireworks finale that left Power Trippers agape, one thought prevailed; "I was there!"