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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Billy Joel 5/14/16

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Billy Joel? The Piano Man? Yep. I am a super casual Billy Joel fan and did not plan on going but got married 3 weeks ago and received tickets as a wedding gift from my wife’s aunt. We made the ill decision of taking the trolley into downtown which in and of itself is fine, but we always forget that it takes almost an hour because of all the stops in between. We got into downtown and had a little time to grab a drink so we went into the Old Spaghetti Factory thinking that the bar area would be relatively empty compared to a traditional bar. Wrong. That place was popping but we managed to get a large beer in us before heading over to Petco Park, which is surprisingly a pretty cool place to see a concert with the beautiful skyline as a backdrop. I had previously seen DeadMau5 and Paul McCartney there. Our seats were nearly as far away as they could possibly be but we did not care. Just being there was cool. Billy Joel came out and started about 8:30. He said he had not been in San Diego “since I was here with that other guy about 15 years ago.” Then he started singing “I don’t have much money” referencing Elton John’s “Your Song” and said “you have plenty of money motherfucker.” He seemed to be genuinely enjoying himself. I can always respect that out of a performer that has had to play the same songs literally thousands of times. The first hour of the show started out a little slow and as a casual fan the only song I really knew in that first hour was “The Longest Time.”Then he kicked it into high gear and killed it for the final hour starting with my personal favorite “Movin’ Out.” Then he played “She’s Always a Woman” and “My Life” before doing an electrifying cover of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” with one of his roadies singing. Billy Joel doing a cover of AC/DC??? Awesome. Then he played “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” “The River of Dreams,” and a cover of the Eagles’ “Take it Easy” before playing the crowd favorite “Piano Man.” The place just erupted with everyone going nuts. He finished up with “Uptown Girl,” “Still Rock And Roll To Me,” Big Shot,” “You May Be Right” with a little Led Zeppelin tacked on to the end and closed with “Only the Good Die Young.” So happy I got to see this guy!