Monday, November 10, 2008

They still got it!

Once I found out they were playing in town, it was almost certain I'd go. This was the band who I grew up listening to. This was my first taste of Metal and boy oh boy, did I savour it! The name "Metallica" brought back memories of late nights spent solving derivative and integration problems at 2 am in the night, trying to break the neighbour's window with miniature 'rockets' made out of ballpoint pen tips, listening to "Enter Sandman" blaring from the stereo while sipping Old Monk.... Good times!

The concert comprised of 3 bands

Sword - The youngest band of the trio, they played first for about 30 minutes. It was clear this band was there just to warm up the crowd - there was no way they could sell out a concert by themselves. They were just about OK and they knew it from the lukewarm response of the crowd. I went out to grab a few beers while they were performing :-)

Down - With 2 of its 5 members from the erstwhile band "Pantera", they were certainly not new to a live show (they are as old as Metallica)! Their show started with words like Motherfuckers and Cocksuckers - it was clear this was a serious heavy metal band with loads of in-your-face attitude! "Get off the seats, you fat ass motherfuckers" said Phil Anselmo to the crowd - A few fans responded with chants of "Pantera!" and almost everyone was on their feet. Their music and performance was much much better than Sword's and I admit, at one time I thought with skepticism "Can Metallica better this?". These guys were good and they knew it. By the time they left the stage, 50 minutes after getting on it, I was all pumped up and completely into the concert.

Time for the last Beer break!

Everyone knew it was time for the main performance - This is what the crowd had come to see - the covers came off the biggest drum set on the stage while simultaneously, ladders dropped down from the top and a few operators climbed up on them to take control of the coffin shaped lights symbolizing the Band's recently released album Death Magnetic (September 12, 2008)

I had a light buzz going on - I was ready for Metallica!

The crowd went wild as Kirk, Ulrich, James and Robert took stage! Knowing they don't need any intro, the band did not waste any time and immediately started belting out the first of many songs... During the next hour and a half, I was in a trance-like state at least 3 times and could not believe I was actually headbanging to a Metallica performance, LIVE! I had never thought I'd get a chance to witness this band perform live from so close! For those who are wondering whats the big deal... Watch this and you'll know the power this band exudes on its fans.

At one point, James tells the crowd - "Answer honestly and raise your hand if this is your 1st live Metallica concert." Quite a few hands go up. Then he asks "Who has been to a live Metallica concert more than once?" About 70% of the hands go up. "We have to teach the new fans how we do it Metallica style. We all sing the songs together even if we don't know the lyrics to them. And yes, welcome to the family". Such modesty from the World's most influential Metal band was refreshing - they know it is the fans that have made them what they are! No wonder the band is a favourite of other Rockers and has inspired and influenced multitude of rock bands around the world.

The crowd was so pumped up and loud - at times their singing drowned out the band and that is no small feat in a Metal concert. This was the complete experience with Strobes, lights on Metal Coffins, Lasers, multi-coloured Pyrotechnics - the works! Ulrich even managed to break one of the drums that he quickly replaced while the show was still going on! It was in one of those moments that I had to pinch myself to believe I was there too and this was not on MTV! The concert was certainly one of life's unexpected pleasant surprises!

27 years since inception, with songs like "Whiplash" · "Jump in the Fire" · "Seek & Destroy" · "Fade to Black" · "For Whom the Bell Tolls" · "Master of Puppets" · "Battery" · "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" · "Harvester of Sorrow" · "…And Justice for All" · "One" · "Enter Sandman" · "Don't Tread on Me" · "The Unforgiven" · "Nothing Else Matters" · "Wherever I May Roam" · "Sad but True" · "The Memory Remains" · "The Unforgiven II" · "Fuel" · "Cyanide" under their belt, the band sure knows how to pack a punch - With people coming from neighbouring states to see them perform, the youngest fan at the concert was only 10/11 years old and he was standing upfront, right next to the stage - Metallica still seems to be doing everything right - THEY SIMPLY ROCK!!!!!

The concert got over at 11:30 pm - I was back home by 12 - so pumped up that I could not sleep till 4 am coz the concert was still playing in my head!

Thank you Metallica! I had a BLAST!!


Oxy said...

Do I envy you already, eh? Man, Metallica and the freaking LIVE concert, Pheew what else ya need...

Liked the James conversation...

Smita said...


Rock for me means Rock only!!!! Never been into this kind of music but looks like you had a great great time :)

The only live concert I have attended is of Euphoria and I had enjoyed it....

Angel's Flight said...

Ok now I am totally Jealous!

eye-in-sty-in said...

Oxy - I'm so glad I went to this concert... These guys deserve all the accolades heaped on them and then some more!

They had such a good understanding amongst each other... It was amazing!

Smita - Thats what I thought in college when the friend with the "Old Monk" told me there was a rock show... I thought to myself, "why do I want to see a bunch of rocks!" and then I went to one and I was an overnight convert!

You should try it sometime - it can be a liberating experience for a newbie...

Angel - Dont be! AC/DC is playing this month too... and its sold out! R u game?