Last Friday night was the forth time I saw Metallica in concert. It might have been the best show ever.
This is not hyperbole. Last Friday night's Metallica show at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami might be the greatest concert I have ever attended. You're talking to someone who has already seen Metallica four times live, attended hundreds upon hundreds of concerts.
Hell, I've even seen Michael Jackson live before.
Last week was different. I don't know if it's because I do not get out much cause I am married with two boys, a website and two podcasts (soon to be three) to keep up with. Whatever the case is last Friday was worth it all. Here are a few things that stood out from that day.
1. I was a lucky son of a bitch throughout the entire night.
First off, I was late arriving to the show so I missed the opening band Volbeat and the first couple songs of Avenged Sevenfold, who I also really enjoy and have seen live before. But it was a good thing I arrived when I did because parking at Hard Rock Stadium went at a $40 clip. So while I was in line getting ready to park, a random attendee of the concert happened to approach my car while I was blasting Metallica's "All Nightmare Long" with my windows down. He asked whether I was paying for parking to which I said that I had planned to. He proceeded to give me a free parking pass (I guess he had extra).
Saved $40 bucks right there. That money went towards some merch and beer. Because of course that makes the most sense.
Then our original seats we purchased (I went with a group of friends) had us located literally on the second to last row on top of the stadium. SECTION 325, Row 29 Seat 14. You guessed it -- NOSE BLEEDS!!! Cheap Seats sound more accurate.
So after Avenged Sevenfold's set I decided to run and grab a Bud Light and buy my $60 Metallica shirt.
(For the record Metallica is the only band on the planet I would pony up that kind of money without a thought on a damn t-shirt.)
Then my buddy Blake (the real MVP) calls me and explains that no one in the 100 section is being checked, which is right next to the floor and much closer to the stage. We immediately went down there as a group and Blake was correct -- little to no security presence down there.
Another win for me.
2. There were much more first timers at this show than I thought.
One of the things that shocked me was when James Hetfield asked in the middle of the set "how many people tonight are seeing Metallica live for the first time?" I shit you not -- nearly the entire stadium had their hands up. Maybe it's myself getting older cause I must admit while this was my 4th time seeing the band live, it was the first in nearly 13 years (2004). But it's also a credit to the longevity and relevance of Metallica after 35 years. People still give a shit. That is a good thing especially when you look at the entire scope of music today. At least parents who brought their young ones gave them the opportunity to see an authentic band playing -- unlike the fake ass top 40 garbage polluting the airwaves.
3. Metallica's setlist was very direct and to the point.
One of the complaints a good friend of mine made that attended the show was that the band did not play enough of their 80's material.
He could not be further from the truth.
Metallica played 18 songs. Five songs off their new album. Five from the Black album. The remaining eight were material off of Kill 'Em All, Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets and And Justice For All. Albums that were released in the 1980's. Nothing from Load, ReLoad, St. Anger or Death Magnetic. Unlike years past the band went direct to what old school fans would want and the mainstream fan as well. For the most part every fan should've felt satisfied.
4. I finally accepted Robert Trujillo.
This is going to sound stupid because I like Rob on the bass. I thought he was a solid replacement for Jason Newsted. This is strictly personal. A large portion of my Metallica fanhood is because of my admiration for Jason. I started playing bass at age 16 because of him. My entire playing style stems from him. So when he left the band in 2001 to say I was devastated would be a bit of an understatement.
But remember earlier when I said the band sounded the most tight that ever heard them in the four times I've seen them live?
Much of that is due to the low end sound coming form Rob. In some weird fucking way -- last Friday night I had closure. Pathetic yes that it took nearly 15 years but Robert Trujillo does in fact belong in Metallica.
To Firas, Teddy, John and Blake. Thank you for sharing this kick ass experience with me.