THE METALLICA EXPERIENCE
WHEN: 30TH OCT 2011
WHERE: BANGALORE PALACE GROUNDS
WITH: PRIYANK, RICHI, SHAWN, DAHIYA AND PALASH
When I was depressed and suicidal in Delhi, during my unemployment period, I sat down one day in my dingy Malviya Nagar garage home and wrote down my bucket list to give me strength to get through that period. And one of the items on that list was to watch Metallica- Live in concert!
Almost 2 years down the line, I’m out of the most shitty period of my life and everything seems to be going smooth in my life for a change (except for this strange problem where I need to rush to the loo very often), that this chance finally came! And what do you know, we didn’t even have to plan or save enough money to go outside the country like we had expected, but the Gods came down right next door to our City!! India and that too Bangalore!! It was as if my dreams were going to be realized any time now, but the pessimist in me didn’t want to believe in anything good until it really happened.
So as expected, until the last minute, I was unsure if I’d actually get to see them sing for me…in front of me. It started with a delay in the tickets first, when we finally got it, we heard the awful news about how the crowd went berserk in Delhi where Metallica was supposed to open their performance to the F1 race, following which, they cancelled their concert in Delhi in lieu of safety concerns! So Priyank and I, with heavy and hopeful hearts, piled onto our train to Bangalore. The train performed its share of mishaps by running over a bull at night and having a short circuit, but we managed to reach Bangalore safe and on time! J
The time for ‘THE METALLICA EXPERIENCE’ was nearing with each passing minute and as we went in our hired car to the destination, on every mode of transport you could see- bus, auto, cars, bikes- all we saw were young people in Black-also going to the concert. Thankfully, we had the insight to eat a heavy lunch and reached the grounds at 4:30 pm…Gosh…Just seeing the swarm of people buzzing like black bees in search for their honey gave me goose bumps! It was totally chaotic and the crowd was suffocating me with their sheer number and zombie behavior induced by all the weed…But somehow, we managed to squeeze in through this buzzing crowd and got a spot quite close to the stage. Obviously, all was not be to be well, knowing me and my tantrums-so I started feeling the crowd coming upon me from every side, my heart started constricting and I thought I was going to be suffocated to death before seeing Metallica! I was in such a dilemma, I’d come to a concert for God’s sakes! There were going to be people and this is not a private show that Metallica was going to do just for me! But no matter what my brain said, my chicken heart wasn’t able to cope up. And that’s when I realized I had two amazing people to take care of me J My husband and my little sister stood beside me like rocks and even agreed to go a little further behind, so I’d get some breathing space! And all this without any complain..Just love both of them for being there that evening…
So, on came a Scottish band ‘Biffy Clyro’ to open for the Gods and gosh, some energy they had! They sounded a lot like Greenday, but they were amazing! And to top their energy, the rain Gods decided to give us a visit as well…so all the animals in the animal farm were given a healthy dose of water to wash out their tiredness for around an hour. We were all drenched, but were enjoyed every minute of it. Rain, weed, muddy grounds to walk on and music- we had our own little India Woodstock happening that evening! But Biffy left the crowd a bit too soon, and the crowd was left to the sound of their own cacophony for a good hour. Thankfully, Richi, Priyank, me and Dahiya had our own dose of lame jokes and snide remarks to pass and kept ourselves entertained and alive until the Gods arrived. But our torture wasn’t to end so soon- On comes this big fat bald American with a goatee urging the crowd to move back and make more space. He kept repeating, ‘Tonight our motto is –Safety First’ and we thought he might just take out a large condom to explain what he meant. Gosh, I must say, the Delhi guys managed to scare the shit out of these guys- for all their songs on darkness, fear and faith-unfortunately, My Metal Gods seemed a bit too human to me in those minutes, with their desperate plea for security. So, after a traumatizing hour listening to Mr. Safety First’s monotone, crowd – who had been standing in the slosh without food or water (in fear of losing their spots) with aching muscles, decided they had had enough and made sure that they complied with what this guy wanted, so we could just get on with the bloody concert! Haha!
Finally, the clock struck and at 8 pm…THEY CAME!! METALLICA – James, Lars, Kirk and Rob- They came and we saw! I saw! Oh and what a sight it was! They sang – I heard, and Oh, what a sound it was! For a bunch of 50 year olds, I would salute their energy! They played and conquered and entertained the crazy crowd that we were for over 2 hours!!! They were relentless! Lars and Rob just stole the show with their antics…and I think I had a crush all over again on a 48 year old married man-James-Forgive me for my sins Oh God…but the way he sang, I just couldn’t take my eyes or ears off him. Kirk was the subdued chilled out guitarist who played like the Gods, but kept his feet and head on the ground..\m/..I had goose bumps the entire 2 hours and was so excited that I thought I peed in my pants, but I just wouldn’t want to move from there. They had me mesmerized and wanting for more-and by the looks of it, I wasn’t the only one who was cast under their spell! Lo and behold was a crowd of 50,000 high on weed and Metal, singing along with the Gods as if we were in an ashram and chanting our hymns together and asking for an encore so we don’t break the wall of surreal energy that has us in a trance…They played Creeping Death, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Fuel, Ride the Lightning, Fade to Black, Cyanide, The Memory Remains, Welcome Home (Sanitarium), Sad But True, All Nightmare Long, One, Master of Puppets, Blackened, Nothing Else Matters, Enter Sandman, Am I Evil, Battery, Seek and Destroy..Whew!!!
But like all great things, this had to come to an end as well-no matter how much we pleaded, we knew we were running out of energy and we definitely didn’t want our Gods to feel lousy after visiting us. We gave them a goodbye to remember and they gave us a show to remember…and as I walked out of that ground, in the darkness of the night, with an army of tired craving souls like me, each in his thoughts of the night- I couldn’t help thinking and smiling to myself- that I finally conquered and struck off one item from my bucket list- and Oh, what a feeling it was! J No regrets, no pain, just this strange sense of peace…
It’s been over 2 weeks since I’ve been back with Priyank, back to Pune and back to the grind..but we both seem to be living in that moment. I tried telling my friends what I felt that night-but words just weren’t enough, specially for the skeptics around me-but like Moulder, I know what I saw and what I experienced that night- the Truth and the Music! And I shall never forget that feeling…’ And the Memory Remains…..YEAH!!!! \m/’