Metallica 8/6/17

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So it seems I am on the see Metallica every 10 years train because the last time I saw them was at the KROQ Weenie Roast back in 2008 and the time before that was Lollapalooza 1996 at the Gorge. I caught wind of a presale after they announced a stop at Petco Park in support of their newest album Hardwired…To Self Destruct that was released on 11/18/16. I could have bought seats anywhere in the place with the presale but decided to buy reasonable seats to save a little coin since I had seen them up close at the Gorge. Bob text me months later asking if I would rather be on the floor. Of course I would but did not want to double the price. He apparently worked some magic and found floor tickets for the same price so I sold the two tickets I purchased to our friend Kyle.

At the last minute Larry and Meredith decided they wanted to go and found some tickets. After meeting at my place and blowing Meredith’s mind that you could get away with drinking in an Uber we met up with Larry’s cousin, Kyle and his friend at a place downtown adjacent to the ballpark called Rare Form for a couple beers. Everything was going swimmingly until we went to go in and learned that Larry and Meredith had paid $145 each for fake tickets and would not be coming in. Talk about a buzz kill. To make matters worse I had somehow dropped the doobie I had in my pocket on the ground when I was taking everything out of my pockets to prepare for the metal detector.

Once inside things quickly took a turn for the better as some random guy offered me a high powered cannabis “gummy” for reasons still unbeknownst to me. We had just enough time to grab a beer and wander onto the floor section before Metallica started (yes we skipped all opening bands including Avenged Sevenfold for which I harbor a particular disdain for). It felt like the show was sold out but we still had plenty of space around us to be comfortable and move about the floor. Their giant stage backed with equally impressive projection screens was the largest I think I have ever seen and this ranks as one of if not the loudest concerts I have ever been to. I quickly realized that there was a colossal difference between seeing them headline their own tour versus playing on a festival bill like I had the other two times. A spectacular pyrotechnics and laser display worked in unison with the projected images to accompany the music to epic effect. The band genuinely seemed to be enjoying the night and (as one would expect) was tight. In a nod to Cliff Burton, Robert nailed his “Anesthesia” bass solo as images of Cliff were projected onto the screens. The new stuff was good but the old stuff just flat out rocked. What a fitting grand finale of three concerts in four days…Wow. These guys at whatever age they are still crush it.

SETLIST: Hardwired, Atlas, Rise!, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Creeping Death, The Unforgiven, Now That We’re Dead, Moth Into Flame, Wherever I May Roam, Halo On Fire, Whiplash, Sad But True, One, Master of Puppets, Fade to Black, Seek & Destroy, Fight Fire With Fire, Nothing Else Matters, Enter Sandman

 

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KROQ Weenie Roast 5/17/08

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The KROQ Weenie Roast is an annual multi-artist music concert hosted by L.A.’s biggest rock station KROQ that was held at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater up until it was demolished in 2016. This was the first time Marvin, Bob, Bob’s then girlfriend or I had ever been to the now defunct cookie-cutter amphitheater. I did not have a ticket but Marvin has his ways and found me a ticket in the parking lot.

Ticket secured and however many beers later we walked in at the top of the hill to a band playing that looked like it was being fronted by a dark hairy mass with a guitar that resembled Kim Thayil from Soundgarden. Just as I was laughing with the boys about this I realized that the frontman was a beard clad Daron Malakian from System of a Down. I did not know the songs because Scars on Broadway were still a couple of months away from releasing their eponymous album but I was instantly hooked, especially once I saw his brother from System of a Down John Dalmayan drumming behind him.

Apparently we missed MGMT on the second stage but that is because none of us knew who they were yet. Seether was next on the main stage and I had literally seen them a month before this. No complaints here as they were just as rocking during the daylight hours as they were headlining their own show in the darkness.

The Raconteurs were touring for their newest effort Consolers of the Lonely that was released about two months before this. I had the pleasure of seeing them one other time in a tiny place after the first album (see The Raconteurs 7/19/06) and was more than ecstatic to see the new songs performed live. Jack White = Guitar God.

Apparently the only time I saw The Offspring about seven years prior to this was not long before they took a little hiatus, but now they were back to promote the album Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace that was about to be released. We did get a teaser of the new album less than two weeks before this show with the release of the single “Hammerhead.” Solid setlist, solid performance and so much energy that even the crowd in the very steep lawn section got moving. This was the first time I saw bonfires break out in the lawn section if that gives any indication of how rowdy the crowd was. If that’s not rock n’ roll then I don’t know what is.

SETLIST: Come Out and Play, The Kids Aren’t Alright, Hammerhead, All I Want, Gone Away, Staring at the Sun, Gotta Get Away, Want You Bad, You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid, Bad Habit, Pretty Fly (For a White Guy), (Can’t Get My) Head Around You, Self Esteem

We were still about 4 months away from the release of Death Magnetic at the time of this show and I had not seen Metallica since the very first time I saw them over 12 years prior at Lollapalooza 1996. Both the show and upcoming album marked the introduction of bassist Robert Trujillo but Metallica avoided playing any new material. This was a set of balls-to-the-wall epic Metallica classics and they looked happy to be out of the confines of the studio and back onto a stage.

SETLIST: Creeping Death, Fuel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Unforgiven, Wherever I May Roam, Harvester of Sorrow, The Memory Remains, Fade to Black, Master of Puppets, Battery, Sad but True, One, Enter Sandman, So What, Seek & Destroy

 

Lollapalooza 7/30/96

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My uncle Darryl informed me one week before graduation that I would have to move out. I ended up moving in with Jack, my best friend at the time, because he was also in a situation with nowhere to live. I started working full time at Super Lube and he got a job at the local car wash. We moved in and quickly realized we didn’t have any furnishings. With a little help from a lot of people we were set up. A lot of debauchery went down at that townhouse because for the first time our group of friends had somewhere proper to party. Before this we partied a lot of at different outdoor locations or house parties, but those weren’t the norm. That summer was the first time I ever took LSD and I took it frequently. I was curious about it long before I did it and read everything I could get my hands on pertaining to it. It didn’t help that my friend Ross lived with a drug dealer and gave me about 100 hits to sell. I’m no drug dealer so what ended up happening was my friends and I would get bored with nothing to do so we did it. I never took more than 2 hits at a time because I had heard about people who took too much and thought they were an orange and everyone was trying to peel them, etc. That summer was also the only time I have ever smoked Opium. I also had Hash for the first time and there were plenty of Mushroom trips as well. I know this sounds really bad but I never strayed so far from myself that I couldn’t come back and I always made it to work and paid my bills as well. I viewed these experiences as mind expanding and still do. I learned many important life lessons that summer.

Anyways Lollapalooza’s lineup this year included Devo, The Ramones, Screaming Trees, Soundgarden and the almighty Metallica, all of whom I had never seen. I am not really a Devo fan but it was comical to see them all dressed in yellow pleather with silly hats. I am also not a big Ramones fan but I do appreciate their place in Rock N’ Roll and feel lucky to have seen them one week before their last performance ever. The real draws for me were Soundgarden and Metallica. I became a Soundgarden fan after hearing “Outshined.” I borrowed the Badmotorfinger album from my friend Claude and must have played it about a thousand times. I remember they opened with “Spoonman.” They had just released Down on the Upside a couple months before this show but aside from “Pretty Noose” and “Ty Cobb” their setlist was compiled from Badmotorfinger and Superunknown, with the exception of a cover of “Waiting for the Sun” by the Doors as the sun was setting behind them. Amazing. Chris Cornell played “Black Hole Sun” by himself acoustically, which was also pretty amazing. Ben looked pretty pissed off the whole time. The set came to a close with a fierce version of “Jesus Christ Pose.” This is another band I feel very lucky to have seen because they broke up less than a year later. I was blown away and I still had Metallica to look forward to. I had been turned onto them with the album …And Justice for All by my friend John. That is still my favorite Metallica album. After getting into that one I bought every Metallica album in existence. On this tour they were promoting Load, which had just come out less than a few months prior. I don’t remember them playing much if anything from this album. I do remember them rocking my ass off for more than two hours with all the classics.