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concert diaries

Metallica: August 20th, 2016

Do you feel alive? How does it feel to be alive?!

– James Hetfield, from the S&M live concert

August 20th, 2016

My first-ever concert was at the U.S. Bank Stadium. The wickedly talented and very badass heavy metal rock band Metallica was playing. It was incredible.

We were excited. Once I got off work that day, it was go time.

Dad, Abbie (my sister) and I got in the car, playing the Boneyard–Dad’s favorite rock ‘n roll station–all the way down to the U.S. Bank Stadium. We were ready: Dad was driving. He knew where we were heading (obviously). We had supper already waiting for us in our respective seats: Jimmy John’s sandwiches.

We were easily a couple of hours early getting to Minneapolis. When we got to the stadium, the place was packed with rockers. The music could be heard easily from the street as we joined the steady throng of men, women, and even kids . My dad–who loves the band–lead the way to the rows of metal detectors. We passed through without any incident. We had printed our tickets, gave them to the guys manning the door, and we were in!

Dad wore a red shirt, or something like it. In any case, I was glad, because he was easy to spot amid the sea of black t-shirts. Hard-core fans were sporting their Metallica pride, while others had some cool rock shirts. Dad got in line and, after patiently waiting, got all three of us t-shirts. Abbie and I picked shirts that had the Minnesota Viking logo, and the date printed underneath. We took our seats shortly afterwards.

Although we were far from the stage itself, there were several large screens set up so everyone in the audience–there were about 50,000 fans, according to the StarTribune–could see James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo rock out.

When the house lights went down, all 50,000 of us cheered. It was a roar. Phones lit up the mosh pit, and some of the best two and a half hours of our lives happened. I screamed, whooped, and took tons of photos and videos.

I’d always dreamed of going to a concert some day–my dream concert was to see Blue October–and now I could happily say I had been to one. I watched in awe of the lighting, the talented drumming and the fancy finger-work on the guitar frets. I felt drawn to James, held captivated by his voice and his music. The theatrics were wonderful: We had a display of fireworks, jets of flame, balloons, and even a laser show during the song “One”, which acted as a conduit for the line of sight, like you were being trained on by a solider boy who just as scared and determined as you.

I was so glad I saw Metallica live. They opened my eyes to an entirely new interest: going to concerts. From Metallica, I learned that live performances not only showcase the band’s talents, but fulfilled a personal and realness that James, Lars, Kirk, and Robert possess as people.

Thanks for the memories, guys!

Meghan

P.S. The full concert is also on YouTube.