Last week I was really lucky in that I was able to go see Metallica live in concert! In case you don’t know, they are a heavy metal band, active since 1981 and have won nine Grammy Awards (although I only see eight on their Wikipedia page). Metallica was amazing but the concert organisation left something to be desired.
I first heard Metallica back in High School. At that time I didn’t have much exposure to different music styles other than pop but I was into anime and had started looking for anime music videos (AMVs). AMVs are when a fan takes clips from their favourite anime and combines it with music of their choice.
Amongst the Dragonball AMVs I found one with Metallica; Dragonball mixed with Hero of the Day. That was my first experience with metal. Dragonball Z had also been my first experience with anime (at least that I remember) and I still like metal and anime and even started learning Japanese. おもしろいですね。
I was quite excited when I heard Metallica were coming to South Africa. They aren’t my favourite band (that’s pretty much a toss-up between Sonata Arctica and Cradle of Filth, with the Finns having the upper hand) but they are hugely influential and responsible for my interest in metal. After some deliberation I got a ticket but then began hitting the organisational failings.
Just three weeks before the concert date the venue was changed and split over two nights. The news article said that Computicket tickets would be fine for general standing but an SMS from Computicket said to exchange them. Trusting the company more than the news, I went to exchange the tickets only to be told that I didn’t need to and they didn’t know why that was left out of the SMS! Although annoying it was certainly better than what a friend of mine experienced. She bought through Big Concerts themselves and only received new tickets just over a week before the concert (and in a worse position).
On the day as well things seemed to go awry. Big Concerts said that the gates would open at 18:00. I joined the queue shortly after six and it was at least an hour before the queue moved at all. Relatively speaking I was close to the front but I didn’t get into the venue until just after 20:00, after Van Coke Kartel had begun. I didn’t mind that so much because I was only there to see Metallica but I do have sympathy for those at the back of the line.
There was only one deviation from plan that I enjoyed. Rather than the advertised 90 minutes, Metallica played for almost two-and-a-half hours! I don’t know if they’ve just got better over the years or whether it was the atmosphere but listening to some of the songs at home I feel that the concert sounded far better. You can see pictures on Metallica’s own website.
Before I went I had thought of ten songs I wanted to hear live and they played three of those (Enter Sandman, One and Nothing Else Matters). There was only one I didn’t know but there others I really enjoyed. I think my choice of favourite songs might have been biased to the slower, more power metally ones. In the end though I was enjoyed myself and Metallica is definitely ranked higher in my mind now!