So close . . . no matter how far

This story begins in high school. When I was a junior at Bonita High School I had Advanced Chemistry class and in our class there was a senior girl (whose name escapes me right now) who for some reason was taking chemistry with all the nerdy juniors. She was a big big metal listener, and this was back in the day when all I listened to was KROQ/Modern Rock along with hip hop (Public Enemy, Tribe Called Quest, Beastie Boys mainly). So metal and its fans scared me. I distinctly remember one Spring day when my classmate came into class, wearing sunglasses the entire time and asking people not to be so loud. She had been at the Metallica concert the night before and was clearly still feeling the pain. That was basically my introduction to Metallica.

Fast forward a year and the black album comes out and Metallica is suddenly everywhere and has crossed over into the mainstream. You would even hear “Unforgiven” on KROQ. So, I bought the black album and became a little bit familiar with Metallica.

If you asked me, when I moved to Shanghai what large bands would I assume would never come to Shanghai – Metallica would be on that list. I mean .. . Chinese metalheads? Nah. Don’t exist.

WRONG.

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That’s 13,000+ fans at Shanghai’s Mercedes Benz Arena last night for Metallica’s show. They came early. Chanted. Cheered. knew every word of every song. Sang along with the guitar solos. It was pretty awesome. Metallica put on a really good show too – they interacted with the audience. My one gripe is they failed to play my favorite Metallica song (Master of Puppets)

Outside Mercedes Benz Arena
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Inside
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Nothing Else Matters
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Another take away from this is that the US is still the king when it comes to soft power. I can’t think of another cultural exporting country that could consistently bring such varied cultural acts (Beyonce! Pitbull! Metallica! Usher!) who could fill up arenas globally.

Metallica plays again tonight in Shanghai and Beijing later this week.

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4 Responses to So close . . . no matter how far

  1. Monica says:

    Hey, while you were rocking with Metallica, we had The Smashing Pumpkins in Hong Kong!! It was a great show too but not as big a crowd.

  2. Terence says:

    @Monica – The Pumpkins are my all time favorite band . . . but as they are currently consitituted that is 1/4 of the Pumpkins (granted the most important part) – and to be honest, I am not really interested in hearing anything after Machina. (Although if it had been the weekend, I would’ve flown down for it)

  3. Monica says:

    Yeah. Totally agree with you. It’s a different band now… And I think the majority of the crowd that night felt the same too.

  4. Terence says:

    @Monica – I haven’t even downloaded or listened to anything Billy’s put out since Zwan. Oh wait, I got Zeitgeist, but I never listen to it. So sad – two of the best albums ever plus two more (Gish, Machina) that are criminally underrated.

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