** I don’t know if I can say much more about this one, other than thanks again to my favorite band. Proud to be a member of the Metallica Family. **
Originally published December 13th, 2011
I know what you’re thinking – “Hey wait a minute, I thought this was a baseball blog!” Don’t worry, there will be plenty of baseball talk on here, keep checking back. Today’s post is all Metallica!
I started listening to Metallica when “…And Justice For All” came out. My neighbor had a tape of it (that, kids, is what we had before CDs and MP3s) that we’d listen to when we played basketball in front of my house. It was a HUGE departure from the kind of music I heard on standard radio. I was hooked from the start. I remember asking my mom for a copy of it, but she wouldn’t let me get it until she read the lyrics. (You have to understand, my mom is a librarian, so censoring anything is pretty much the furthest thing from her MO.) I handed her my friend’s copy, she read thru the lyrics and handed it back to me. “Looks OK to me.” I worked my way back on past albums and my musical tastes started changing rapidly. By the time I was 15, I would walk a mile + to work listening to AM 1590 Z-Rock in Seattle. We moved across the water from Seattle when I was 16, I remember taking the ferry to see my friends (and girlfriend at the time) and would stop by this shop by the ferry terminal that sold nothing but concert and metal t-shirts (and Metal Milita dogtags). So much cool stuff. The store is a Doc Martens store now. The 90’s music scene hit Seattle, the music was different, and I liked it a lot too, but Metallica was still always top of mind for me. Metallica was my first concert, and it was amazing.
Metallica’s 30th Anniversary shows at the Fillmore in San Francisco were every fan’s dream. To have the opportunity to go was an honor, but to be able to go to Nights 3 and 4 was beyond awesome! The 30th Anniversary shows were the World Series of metal, and I was at Game 7. (See what I’m doing here, keeping it topical ) Night 1 of the shows was like Game 1 of the World Series. Everyone wants to be at the opening game; it’s all new and you’re the first ones there. Everyone wants the t-shirt and a program. Nights 2 and 3 were the middle games of the Series. You get some great games and you’re happy to be there! (You know that there are tons of people that wish they could trade places with you.) But Night 4, that’s like the best for last. It’s Game 7. It’s the band pulling out all the stops, they’re throwing the #1 starter in there (Orion) and brought in a ton of “relief pitchers” (w/the guests). By the end, you bring out the “closer” — Dave Mustaine to shred thru 5 tracks off of Kill ‘Em All. The shows couldn’t have been any better.
The 30th Anniversary shows were about more than just the band, it was about family. It’s realizing that the band put this on for its fans. Shows like these could have felt “self-important”. How many bands throw themselves a birthday party? But it wasn’t anything like that. The guys rented the Fillmore for the week. They brought in some HUGE guests to share in the fun. How much money did the band put into this thing? It was a lot more than the $6 a ticket they charged. I watched fans get up both nights and play a song with the band. They had contests every night for fans. They had raffles every night to support local music programs. I watched them bring up their HQ team and thank them for their hard work — there were guys in tears up there. They brought up the road and support crews and thanked them. This weekend wasn’t about money, it was about celebration. I felt like I was truly part of something special.
I am grateful to have had the chance to be there this last weekend. It was great hanging out with my friend Jake (who was at the Game 7 this year, lucky bastard). It was cool talking and hanging out with other fans. Thank you Metallica — I’ve never seen a band more engaged with their fans. I’ve seen it for years, I’ve been a part of it at your shows, I’ve been a part of it backstage, and I was a part of last Friday and Saturday. I had an experience I will never forget. Thank you.