It was heartening to see people turn up in huge numbers for the Rock N India Metallica concert in Bangalore on the 3oth of October. It was a sea of black at Palace Grounds as fellow fans started trickling past the gates from noon itself.
After wading through slush and fan fury, I managed to get within 40 feet of the stage, or so I claim. A couple of Indian bands played initially and one of them was booed off the stage, providing wholesome entertainment to the audience! Biffy Clyro, a good ol’ Scottish rock band opened for Metallica with an hour’s performance and that got us into groove.
Another highlight of the evening was the band’s security guy who looked like a smaller version of Hugo from LOST. His constant refrain was “Safety First”, a phrase that would eventually become the evening’s tagline! After a lot of attempts, he managed to herd the pumped up fans away from the barricades but the whole exercise was downright hilarious.
When Metallica finally appeared on stage, they were met with a thundering response from the crowd and they opened with Creeping Death from Ride the Lightning. The fever and the frenzy of the fans translated into poor audio and video quality of the recordings done using a mobile phone. Anyone who watched the Sofia Big 4 Metallica concert would have been able to predict the order of songs and For Whom the Bell Tolls followed Creeping Death and it was a simply splendid bass opening from Rob Trujillo.
The pyro work on stage was magnificent, especially for Fuel. All the pictures and videos posted here were taken on my 5 megapixel mobile phone camera, so the quality speaks for itself. 😛
James and the gang made sure all the popular numbers were played and as usual Rob came up with a scintillating display of acrobatics. Two spells of rain during the pre-show didn’t deter anyone there and vendors selling beverages outside the venue had a field day after the show. Kirk performed a solo as a prelude to Nothing Else Matters and predictably, that was the song that evoked the maximum response from the crowd.
As far as I could see, most of the people who were a pick’s throw away from the stage, were engineers or engineers-to-be. Could it be the word metal? 😛 The band performed a cover of Diamond Head’s Am I Evil, albeit alone, as opposed to the Big 4 performance in Sofia alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Man what a moment that was!
When I walked out of the arena after the show, I actually pinched myself to check if the concert really happened because this is the first time in India for Metallica and considering what happened in Delhi, we had our fingers crossed! (A French couple was actually pleading with the people to comply with Mr Safety First’s instructions to make sure that Bangalore didn’t turn out to be an encore of Delhi!) That I didn’t find any mode of transportation at 2300 hrs is a different issue but somehow I made it back to my room in Hosur at half past midnight, muddy footprints in tow.