I was so close I could see the sweat. Feel the flames. The air was pungent with beer, cigarette smoke, bourbon, perspiration. Underfoot, the crunch of broken cups.
Yes, I have seen Kirk Hammett live, in the flesh, making his eleventy million guitars sing, just a couple of metres away. And I possess a pick distributed by Hetfield’s own hands (not by my own diving and subsequent trampling on the floor, but a generous colleague I ran into outside who had a prime spot).
How much more inspiring can it get?
My legs were still killing me from all the jumping two days later… my calves hadn’t been that tight since the first time I went for a run this year. But, I think I emerged unbruised, which is good enough for me.
The closest I got to the stage was one back from the barrier, behind a girl with dreads (I greatly detest dreads on chicks, heck on guys, either. On human beings, full stop) who annoyed the hell out of me by turning around every ten seconds to look at someone behind us. But it wasn’t as crazy as I thought; Vector are pretty strict on crowd behaviour and didn’t hesitate to kick out people. I did at one point punch a shirtless guy who slammed into me too many times while moshing, though I’m not sure he even noticed.
On the set list: Tons of classics including For Whom the Bell Tolls, One, Fade to Black, Enter Sandman, Sad but True, and more (T was especially stoked by the inclusion of Seek and Destroy). I reckon it would have been perfect if they’d played Unforgiven (either 1 or 2), and I’m quite partial to their cover of Die Die My Darling. Apparently they did play Unforgiven the second night; I almost wish I’d thought of trying to buy tickets to both shows! When you live in NZ, seeing Metallica live is kind of a once in a lifetime thing.
Paramore, while an entirely different beast, was also off the hook. There’s nothing like a packed stadium all singing along to the same song, or the crowd waving lighters and cellphones in unison to an acoustic ballad.
There is something about the buzz of performing that I love. I am not a performer, but a little part of me wishes that I was.
It made me realise that two things I love – behind food and travel – are things I spend hardly anything on. Namely, books and music.
What am I doing about it? Well, obviously I’ve just been to (and paid for) two concerts. There’s nothing like the atmosphere of a live show. I want more of that. And next time a band I love comes to town, I won’t hesitate.
I’m also clearing out my book collection, which consists entirely of freebies and donations. Consequently there are very few items in there that I love. I’m tossing the chaff and clearing out my shelves. I might even buy a few reads that I know I’ll return to over and over again.
One thing I do feel bad about is the fact that T wanted to buy a band t-shirt; I told him to wait until after the show because he’d be too hot to wear an extra layer, but the line for the merchandise stall at the end of it was plain ridiculous. Or should I just be grateful we didn’t spend the $45?