Blood, sweat and bone crushing squeals dissipated as Twenty Thousand demonic horns raised their heads to the sky. They call them the Gods of Heavy Metal, gleaming like golden statues under the eternal sky. We stood and cheered and jumped and sang and celebrated them, their music and an ode to the music that we grew up with.
I was never a METALLICA fan, One being their only song that I truly liked. Something about the band being too main stream in high school and being in a phase where everything remotely mainstream is uncool, just stuck. When the news that Metallica was coming to Bangalore did hit the airwaves however, I knew deep inside that this was something that should not be missed. Definitely! Totally!! Should not be missed!!! Fast forward to 2 days before the event and I still did not have tickets, both to the concert or to Bangalore. You’d be right in thinking I’m a little off center here but plans came and went but at the end of the day, I still wanted to go. And then it happened. A friend called and asked if I wanted a free ticket to the concert! A hour or so later, another called with a bus ticket to Bangalore!! The fug was going on here??? A few hours later I was on the Hyderabad Bangalore highway bound to meet another friend at the event. A miracle? Is there a purpose to us all??
The news about the cancellation of the Delhi show was on the lips of everyone waiting in line outside the event. Whispers of the show being cancelled in Bangalore as well, was always within earshot. We waited, for hours under the scorching sun and sudden torrents of rain. I was really blessed to meet two twin Punjabi brothers, who carried their share of food and water. True camping veterans these.
The sun finally set to the sound of “The Ecstasy of Gold” as the gates were opened to the horde of black and weary. We ran, from puddle to carpet to barricade, hearts pounding and thoughts racing. And then we waited. Again.
The show finally started with INNER SANCTUM from Bangalore. Heavy to the core and a great way to start the show. Fabulous guitar sound. I’m sorry but there are no high quality videos of them playing live.
Next came GUILLOTINE, the lowest point of the entire show. It’s no surprise that there is no mention of them in any of the reviews.
The official opening act was by a Scottish band that I had never heard of BIFFY CLYRO. To be completely honest, had I known who they were and if they were the main act, I would have traveled the same journey to see them live. In a way it felt like watching “A band that has made it” live, only with a different kind of energy and under gentle pouring rain, a stark contrast to the performance on stage. They made me think of The Foo Fighters and I would see them again.
Nothing and I repeat nothing had prepared me for the show that followed. We were all tired, half soaked in mud and inexplicably dehydrated. After waiting the entire day and then being told that the show could not start until we stopped crowding in front of the stage did not help either. Repeated chants of “Safety First” and police threateningly waving their batons at us did not help either.
Night fell on us, an endless veil of distant stars and the stage went black. Hushed silences crept from every bated breath as a lone whistle drove us to attention. The crowd roared the timeless chant and tear filled smiles gleamed on every face with defiant horns raised to the sky.
We stood and cheered and jumped and sang and celebrated them, their music and an ode to the music that we grew up with. This was how it began and this was how it stayed from song to song till we could stand no more and still they played and we rejoiced from Creeping Death to Enter Sandman, The Memory Remains.
I’ll leave you now with a video of what still is my favourite Metallica song and for those who weren’t there, you haven’t seen Metallica live if you haven’t seen Metallica live.