Friday, November 07, 2008

Metallica, Pepsi Center, Denver

S. called and told me about Metallica playing in Denver, and he got to know pre-release. I didn't even have to think twice, so he got what turned out to be floor tickets! Took a day off work on Tuesday to go down to see them.

We got there way early, at 3:00, for a concert that started at 7:00. Not a minute too soon, either, since the crowd started piling up. Unlike my last three concerts, I noticed that we tended to be on the older side of the crowd :) We waited till 6:00 when they finally opened the doors. A quick scan of my ticket, the usual security clearance... but then they gave us this wrist-band, which I assume was to identify us on the floor. We pretty much ran from the doors to the stage, to get a better vantage... and boy were we amazed! Mere FEET from the stage, I couldn't believe my eyes! I called D., and while talking to her, this security guard points to a yellow line and says I need to be on the OTHER side :-D The stage was right in the middle of the floor, people all around.

There were two opening acts, the first group was The Sword. They were tight, especially the drummer. Trouble was, the sound system (or perhaps our location) meant we couldn't hear the vocals at all. I could see the guy ten feet away, though, screaming into the mike!

The second opening band was Down. These guys scared the crap out of me... I'm not exactly used to sludge metal. The sound system suffered the same problems, and I was hoping they'd fix it before Metallica played. I'll never forget Anselmo hitting himself on the forehead with a microphone so hard he started to bleed.

About 45 minutes and several false alarms later, Metallica finally took the stage. The stage went dark, and the effects from That was just your life started to play... then all of a sudden, LASERS... hundreds of them, formed a cage all around the stage! They went on to play The End of the Line, and then surprised us all by playing Ride the Lightning :) Mebbe Hetfield was a bit surprised too, saying "Whoa, it seems you know that song, yeah?"

The lights were up on these coffin-shaped fixtures, just like the album cover. Didn't think much of them until in the middle of the solo for Ride the Lightning, they tilted way down over the band:

Was a great show, the new bassist Robert Trujillo did a great job with both the new songs as well as classics like For Whom The Bell Tolls. Kirk Hammett did his solos right up in our faces, I could see each note he played. He scorched effortlessly through every song, and threw in two solos to boot. Lars Ulrich looked like he was thoroughly enjoying himself, thrashing away on his kit. There was a group of Lars fans nearby, who had a Danish flag, so our side of the stage became his favourite :D Hetfield was... being a bit weird, saying his daughter disapproves of his too-short hair! Oh well...

My favourite song was, by far, Master of Puppets, the crowd singing along, the solos, ah, awesome! The set was pretty good, I just wished they played Battery, Blackened or Sanitarium. Of course, there was this moment during Enter Sandman where I'm sure Hetfield was looking right at me screaming out the song, wondering "what the heck is this desi kid doing in the audience?" :D

It would seem like the band is really trying hard to make amends for the whole Napster fiasco, they gave away a copy of the audio CD for Death Magnetic to everyone who bought a concert ticket, and I could download a copy of the entire concert as MP3s :) My very own bootleg!

Set List:
  1. That Was Just Your Life
  2. The End of The Line
  3. Ride the Lightning
  4. The Memory Remains

  5. One
  6. Broken Beat and Scarred
  7. Cyanide
  8. Sad But True
  9. Wherever I May Roam
  10. For Whom The Bell Tolls

  11. Kirk Hammett Solo
  12. The Day That Never Comes
  13. Master of Puppets
  14. Damage, Inc

  15. Kirk Hammett Solo 2
  16. Nothing Else Matters
  17. Enter Sandman
  18. Last Caress
  19. Hit The Lights

  20. Seek and Destroy

I just noticed that way at the end of the concert, they threw in a bit of Waste my Hate...

"Hail to the King"