Riding the Lightning

After a wait of seven long years. Seven years after I started listening to the genre of music called Metal. I can finally say that I was there. I was there when one of the greatest bands in history played for the first time in my country. And they made up for the wait that has been endured by other metal heads in the country. Some who were older than my parents. Picture this, my most favourite album has been in existence longer than I have been. That’s three generations of fans rocking out to them when they did put out a night that every one will remember.

The wait started for me with a flight trip from the Capital City Region(whose show got cancelled and I don’t want to talk about that because there has been too much negativity in here for quite some time now). Bangalore gave me a warm welcome. The friends there, @zennmaster, @notfartingpen, @barkingbegum were very generous and kind hosts. A night of expectation later, we were up and ready to head to the venue.

If there was something called waiting, this is it. Don’t tell us about how you waited to get into a movie hall for 15 minutes. Or getting stuck in a traffic jam for 30 minutes. We waited 4 hours to get in. There was an ocean of people. Some camping outside the venue since the previous night. There couldn’t be a better definition for Pilgrimage. They were the Gods and we were the devotees trying to get a glimpse.

It started, as usual, with Ecstasy of Gold. That’s the part where 90% of the crowd lost their original voices. I was lucky enough to be in a noisier section of the crowd. The rituals that were to be done during Creeping Death were done religiously. There couldn’t have been a better opening to the show. Once it got over, the remaining 10% lost their voices. Creeping Death gave way to For Whom the Bell Tolls. Rob absolutely nailed the intro bass solo. They did mess up the timing a bit, but that was one of the few occasions when we felt they were human beings after all. The lights went off. The metal heads went wild for the next one because James screamed “Give Me Fuel, Give Me Fire..” and there were 10 feet high flames on the stage as part of the pyro. If the first two songs didn’t get the crowd wild, this one definitely did. This was the part where the fans got into that zone where they were extracting every last ounce of energy left.

Then they played Ride the Lightning. We knew the night was going to be a special one, if we didn’t already. The lights went out again. James was on the elevated section of the stage with an acoustic guitar on the stand. I choked on this one because this was a song that got me hooked on the very first listen that I listened to it 50 times on loop before moving on to other tracks on the album.

Cyanide was up next. The response wasn’t much to talk about. I would’ve been happier if they played Day that Never Comes instead of this one. I was complaining before the gig about this track featuring, but once they started, I didn’t. It sounded just like on the album.

Memory Remains was a track to remember. The crowd sang along during the whole track. The “Nananana” part at the end of the song had James smiling and just look at us in wonder. That was the high point of the night for me. We just didn’t stop singing.

Sanitarium followed. They were on a classics trip and we weren’t complaining. James asked us if we wanted a heavy number and proceeded to play Sad But True.

The next four tracks proved that we were watching four youngsters on stage instead of 50-somethings. The energy that they put into it was unbelievable. All Nightmare Long is one of the best Metallica tracks in my opinion. I was grossly disappointed, however, by the response it got. They absolutely nailed it, but all the crowd did was applaud in the end. We could have put in a lot more during the song.

Pyros were expected during the intro to One, which never happened. The explosion sounds were played over the PA however. It was an absolute delight to listen the double bass from Lars and Kirk do THAT solo live. One was followed by the track which is the most special track to most Metallica fans. I had trouble controlling tears and didn’t head bang to Master of Puppets. The song means something else to me.

Blackened followed, although James started out with the riff for Battery. How much energy does James have?! And like my friend @OldmonkMGM keeps asking, is there a way to clone that right hand? The downpicking on Master and Blackened was spot on.

The song that followed was the one which was the “Worth the Money” track(mind the sarcasm). Kirk started out with a clean guitar solo before hitting the 6th string. We knew what was coming and it was their most popular track. If I remember correctly, James did the solo and it was wonderful.

Enter Sandman was the last on the set list before the encore. The fireworks that went up from the roof of the stage can be described in only one word. EPIC!

The encore started out with Am I Evil?, the Diamond Head Cover. However, the next track was something that I never expected and perhaps, none of them expected it except this one guy in front of me. Battery! They played Battery live for us!

To top it off, they scanned the scene in Bangalore that night. Three simple words. Seek and Destroy. Boy, what a night. It was worth all the pain I had to go through in the recent weeks to make it to the show. The wait, a sprained neck, numb feet, a voice which bordered on the edge of a whisper, the money spent. It was all worth it. I hope Lars keeps his promise and they tour India again pretty soon.

PS : There are a lot more people to thank for making this an absolutely brilliant trip. I am not taking names because I don’t want it to look like a mass tweet that some of the folks do in the mornings.

PPS : Biffy Clyro were good too, but this trip was all about Metallica, so I skipped that part.


About V
A software developer by profession, Milcom is a football lover and considers music as his religion. While he is not working, he likes reading blogs, listening to music, reading novels or simply sitting idle, in which he is a world champion.

4 Responses to Riding the Lightning

  1. shrecks says:

    i cant even begin to describe how much i missed this concert..it wud have been special had i the opportunity to enjoy it along with the guys i started this journey out with..will really miss it. will catch them..may be sometime sooner than later.. 😦 .

  2. Asfaq says:

    I have the nananana part recorded on video on my YouTube channel 🙂

    It was truly as epic as you make it out to be. Probably even more so.

  3. Rashmi Nair says:

    And I MISSED the Concert. Sigh. 😦 Is it just me .. or its really snowing in your blog? 😛

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