Wednesday, July 30, 2008

guns n'roses with metallica and faith no more

First night of the doomed metallica/guns tour.

It was damned hot that day, and Metallica started their set well before the sun went down. They opened with "Creeping Death", and over the course of the evening, they made Guns look foolish.

To be fair, Guns was fine. But it was a big, bloated arena rock set, with a crazy big band (horns, backup singers, keys) and lots of stupid extended solos. Meanwhile, Metallica just did their thing and did it better.

This was a few weeks after Axl had been arrested after the riot in St. Louis, so there was a lot of speculation as to if the concert would even happen. For a lot of the early summer, my friends and I held our breath, waiting to see if Axl would spend the summer in jail, and if the tour would be canceled.

Well, the tour went on, but Axl did his trademark bullshit of making the audience wait 2 hours before going on.

After a bit, things got rowdy in a way that things seldom do with Washington, D.C. crowds. And by "got rowdy" I mean that people started throwing things. At first it was paper cups. Then it was hot dog wrappers. Then refreshment cartons. Then food. Than anything people could get their hands on.

At one point, there was just a STORM of littler flying around RFK stadium. As things became rowdier, they had to turn on the "boobie cam" to get everyone to settle down.

Eventually Guns took the stage, but I don't even recall what the hell they opened with.

Slash played his Godfather solo, and I remember that "You Could Be Mine" and "Estranged" in particular sounded good that night.

I also remember that Axl started the show so damned late that we missed the last Metro home and ended up taking a $40 cab home to Rockville in the middle of the night. (The jumbotron at RFK Stadium warned us about this several times, but amazingly, not one person in the huge group of friends I was with that night even considered skipping out before the show was over. Not my little brother, Kevin, who is admittedly smarter than I am. Not the normally level-headed Fran the Man. Not Andy Raptakis - but then again, Andy was Greek and all, and they don't even eat dinner until something like two o'clock in the morning over there).

I played a really terrible practical joke on Kevin the afternoon of this show. Just before we took off for the concert, I looked at him, smiled, and said "Make sure you've got your ticket before we leave!"

White-faced, he looked at me and said "I thought you were holding the tickets!"

"No," I responded, "you wanted to hold onto your own. Remember? You insisted on it."

"No way - YOU said YOU'D hang onto the tickets!!!!"

"No I didn't."

"YES YOU DID!!!!!!"

I think I gave up the joke before much longer, because I could tell it was really tormenting him.

That was a pretty shitty thing to do. But I'd bet Axl would think it was funny.

Note: I was thrilled to learn this week that a few chunks of this concert are featured in the generally tiresome documentary "A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica."

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