Glam rock is NOT dead. It just got REAL ugly.
written 2000-07-17 16:30:57

(Rest of the New York details are forthcoming, I swear. --Ed.)

There's no nice way to say this: I went to a Metallica concert.

Jim, the disgrunted Yankee that sat next to me, just moved on to a new
job. On his last day of work, around four in the afternoon, he loaded his
fiancee and cat into his stylish black VW bug, and started a trek across
the country.

As he walked across the business quad for the last time, I waved goodbye
from his office window. He waved back. I glanced quickly around at all his
possessions, most of which he left behind. On the wall were his two
tickets to the concert, which he had forgotten.

I continued to wave until he was out of sight. Once Jim was gone, the
looting began.

Andrew, one of Loki's programmers, hung a sign that said, "Oooh, AUCTION!"
over Jim's desk. Like vultures, we swooped in to feast on the corpse of
Jim's workspace. Little toy penguins, computer speakers, an OpenGL
reference, and that really cool USB mouse: all gone in a matter of
minutes. I vocally shunned this horrible display of savageness as I
pocketed the tickets.

I didn't really want to see a Metallica concert. In fact, I considered
hocking the tickets on eBay. But Scott had a plan.

Metallica has been getting a lot of press recently for taking action
against Napster, a company (and technology) that allows people to
effectively pirate music over the internet. If you haven't heard of
Napster, get your head out of the sand. If you don't know what an
"MP3" is...don't worry, you will.

Scott and a couple other Loki guys were going to the show, too. So we all
went together, dressed appropriately. Take a look at for pictures. Doesn't Scott
remind you of Hannibal from the A-Team with that cigar?  :)

The concert itself wasn't too great. Vogel (who got Jim's other
ticket) and myself were planning to show up for Korn, and leave. Since we
all ended up piled in one car, that didn't happen. We missed the pissant
opening bands, and showed up JUST IN TIME for (ahem) Kid Rock. What joy.

Ron Jeremy (the porn star) announcing the Kid Rock was probably the
highlight of the hour. There was a three-year old up on stage rapping with
Kid. Maybe it was a midget. I hear they hang out with porn stars sometimes.

Don't get me wrong; I don't want to bash on Kid Rock too much...his music
isn't very good, and he sounds VERY market-engineered, much like Vanilla
Ice, Britney Spears, or any random Boy Band. What this means is that he's
the music industry's whore, and in every industry whore there's an
individual, a sincere artist, struggling to surface. Which is fine; I wish
him all the best. Unfortunately, in five years, when he's releasing an
all-acoustic guitar album with no rap, he's still gonna just be Kid
Rock. Go and ask Everlast how that all went for him.

The girl sitting next to me spent most of the Kid Rock's set guzzling
beer. For someone that looks like White Trash, she MUST have been
rich; the beer was five bucks per paper cupfull in the stadium, and she
surely emptied a keg by herself. She was good and sloshed by the time Kid
Rock finished his schtick. By the time the crew had loaded his equipment
offstage, she was litterally falling over on me.

I had stood up to watch the boobs. More on this in a moment. This girl
next to me stood up on her chair to get a better view herself, and put her
hand on my shoulder to steady herself. This is fine. Within a few minutes,
her arm was around me, and she was telling me that we (not editorial, as
in "she and I") were going to have a really good time tonight. You
betcha. I responded with something along the lines of "Please don't touch
me," and she took the hint.

A few minutes later she was passed out, and I was holding her head up so
that she wouldn't smack it against the back of the chair. I was reminded
fondly of my college days.

Now, about those boobs.

It took a good half hour between bands for the crew to set up for the next
one. The crowd got restless, and out of nowhere, some girl stood up and
flashed everyone. The mob went wild. Soon other girls joined in. You could
get a sense of where a tit-showing was going to occur, since the girl
would stand up and get everyone's attention, and then, like human
personifications of their genitalia, all the men around her would rise to
attention. It wasn't long before we were scanning the throng of 50,000
horny voyeurs to find groups of men standing up to get a better view. As
the girl lifted her shirt, everyone would go nuts for a second, cheering
wildly. If the girl chickened out at the last moment, the crowd would boo
until she was pressured into it. It was a fascinating study in social
science. At one point, a girl a few rows from me stood up (I think
probably to go to the bathroom, not so much to show her breasts), and
everyone around her circled like wolves. She sat right back down
when she realized what was occuring, and the mob booed and hissed. I
yelled something to the extent of "She's just a girl, leave her alone you
pricks!" and was amazed to find that everyone else from Loki had abandoned

One girl was going up and down the stairs of my section flashing the
audience and playing with her nipples. Every now and then, she'd collect
tips. It was a true exploitation of exploitation. It was Capitalism at its

Korn played next. Korn's fucked up. I appreciate a band that'll produce
songs like "Dead Bodies Everywhere."  The lead singer was wearing a black
kilt, and played the bagpipes at one point. I enjoyed the set thoroughly.

Right after Korn started, the passed-out chick in the seat next to me shot
up to attention, hopped over the back of her seat, and wanderer off. Her
sister, two seats down from me, either didn't notice or didn't care. I
suspected I wouldn't be seeing that girl again, and sure enough, she
didn't return for more than two hours.

After Korn, there were more strip shows in various pockets throughout the
arena, followed by a food fight that engulfed the entire Los Angeles
Memorial Colliseum. I found it was better to watch the rows above me for
incoming Cokes and hot dogs than it was to watch the attention-starved and
peered-pressured that were distributing cheap thrills.

Eventually, Metallica started.

I approached this portion of the night much like I approach car races; I
imagined that even if the music sucked, if I was really lucky, I might see
James Hetfield accidentally set himself on fire again.

I don't have much to say about Metallica. I don't like most of their songs.
They have a good stage presence that masked the fact that the technical
system in the colliseum sucked. Lars Ulrich still wants to be Ozzy
Osborne, and he still isn't.

They played THREE encores. I think this is what Hell must be like.

The best part of the Metallica set was the group of people that broke
through a gate to get to the ground level. Ten or fifteen people spilled
out and made a mad dash towards the stage. They disappeared as they
entered the crowd, and thereby technically upgraded their seats. As the
sixteenth person attempted the dash he learned the hard way that the old
maxim is true: he who hesitates is lost. Without the chaotic safety of
numbers, the security guards tackled him, and wrestled him to the
ground. No one else tried to go through after that.

>From my view hundreds of feet above, it seemed very obvious that if they
all just streamed out at this point, security, three of which were
occupied holding that guy down, wouldn't be able to stop them. Maybe one
of them would get caught out of 100 more. I imagine this is how
revolutions die before they start; sure, the military can't possibly shoot
ALL the revolutionaries...but someone's gonna get shot. A false belief in
the comfort of the current situation is a phenominal demotivator.

Hhm. What a metaphor. Someone email me back that last paragraph next time
I say something quaint about my life.


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