Sunday, August 10, 2008
As someone who has spent the majority of his teen and adult years defending his questionable tastes, the very presence of that "Ride the Lightning" tape in my collection was a massive validator....even if it did appear along side of various duds by Tesla, Whitesnake, and that preposterous second album by Danzig.
Even with all the smart kids scoffing at metal, I knew that Metallica was quality, and that they were doing sometime pretty damned amazing that everyone else was missing out on. (I'd like to think they all caught on sometime in college -- the same way that I finally begrudgingly accepted the awesomeness of Morrisey -- but who the hell knows....Metallica crapped out "Enter Sandman" about a week before I touched down at college, and maybe that silly, toothless Metallica is the the only Metallica they know).
I guess the point I'm getting at is that this was kind of the beginning of the end of me and Metallica.
Now, this was supposed to be a triple bill with Suicidal Tendencies and Alice in Chains.
Well, no one knew that Layne would get himself a case of the heroin and not be able to make it. So, Candlebox took over the tour.
Yes, Candlebox. Lars must have had his face in a Tony-Montana-sized mountain of cocaine when this decision was made.
(Gah...Fuckin' Candlebox!?!??!? This decision irks me to this day.)
To be fair, Suicidal was pretty terrific. It was a rainy summer day, and a handful of very excited people on the lawn went nuts, turning the slope on the lawn into a giant mud slide.
Then, there was Candlebox. Candlebox was...boring.
Not that it mattered to the crowd. This was not a metal crowd.
The ST guys were legit hardcore nut cases But 80 percent of the rest of the crowd seemed to be made up of Marines, blonde chicks and frat boys who would be just as happy at a John Cougar Melloncamp concert as long as they served beer, and lots of it.
On to Metallica's set...
Metallica, unfortunately, was also forgettable. The highlight, without a doubt, was the performance of "So What?" during the encore.
The Lowlight? Cramming all the "Ride the Lightning" and "Kill 'Em All" songs into a Vegas-style medley. (Newsflash: your old fans want to hear more than 75 seconds of "Whiplash").
You used to go to a Metallica show expecting to be knocked on your butt. Nothing of the sort happened this night.
On top of it all, Hetfield was still refusing to chop off that fucking mullet. And I could be wrong about it, but I seem to remember that Lars had those goddamned stretch pant-shorts on. It was arguably the peak of Metallica's irrelevance.
Like I said, me and Metallica weren't really ever straight with one another again after that show. No doubt, they have done a handful of things I've enjoyed in the past 15 years. But it's pretty fucking hard to forgive them for boring the shit out of me that night.