was a night where a lot of things went wrong, but a few surprises
made things right. There was the extra ticket that four different
people claimed as their own and then passed on. There was the pre-show
fried chicken dinner that arrived as a fried chicken sandwich and
the ensuing tension with the, at fault but refusing to accept it,
waitstaff. There was the fact that our seats were way in the back,
and there was the fact that the band we thought was going on 2nd
(Lacuna Coil) went on 1st and we missed most of their set waiting
in line for ten dollar beers and looking at forty dollar t-shirts.
hearing Lacuna Coil play two songs, which were decent enough but
not enough to really judge by, they split and the house lights came
up. I looked at Facebook on my phone and found out the guy I was
supposed to be at the show with had just gotten engaged (a decent
excuse I suppose) and another guy who had been offered the ticket
was having a baby...I texted my wife and told her to buy us a house
so we could keep up with the life changing news. Needless to say,
was in good spirits when Volbeat took the stage.
band, who I know nothing about....sure I could go to Wikipedia and
pretend to know all about them...but then, so can you...took the
stage by storm and played a great bunch of songs by Dusty Springfield,
Johnny Cash and presumably (again, I'm ignorant) by Volbeat. My
partner in crime for the evening declared that they sounded like
Metallica. I said I thought they sounded more like The Misfits but
with a heavy metal slant...then I realized that more or less, that's
what Metallica sound like. The crowd loved them, as did I, and (this
is important) they sounded fantastic.
next came the legendary Motörhead and they did what they do.
They played about 15 songs that all sounded exactly the same and
were all awesome. True to their mantra..."Everything louder
than everything else"...they played really loud and (this is
important) they sounded fantastic! Lemmy, the true Godfather of
Heavy Metal (sorry Ozzy) said some stuff between songs which no
one could understand yet everyone cheered for, and then the band
was gone leaving only the feedback ringing over the p.a. as evidence
that they were ever there at all.
far it had been a great night and now that all the lights, and fog
machines, and giant monster bearing banners had been set up, it
was time for the main event....Megadeth...and oddly enough, everything
went to hell.
way I really want to recount the events of the evening is to say
that when the black curtain that had been hiding the stage dropped,
the band roared to life....unfortunately, what actually happened
was more a whimper than it was a roar. No seriously, we couldn't
hear the band.
could hear the drums, but not the bass. We could tell that someone
was playing guitar, but couldn't really figure out what they were
playing. Worse still, with two guitar players on stage (one a legend,
and the other the latest in a loooooong line of guys filling in
as "the other guitar player") we couldn't tell which one
we could actually hear. Finally, adding insult to injury, when Dave
Mustaine stepped to the mic we couldn't make out a damn word he
last thing I ever expected to hear at the Megadeth headlined "Gigantour"
was half the crowd chanting "We can't hear you!" over
and over again at the top of their lungs...but after the first song
that's exactly what happened. It happened after the second song
too, and then after the third.
that point it became clear that this was not going to be fixed,
and I decided to try to do something about it. Long story short,
after speaking to three or four different staff members, I was directed
to the "event manager's" office. The event manager was
a woman who wouldn't give me her name, and insisted she did not
have a business card. I know, I know...I didn't believe her either....this
is a venue that makes the popcorn guy wear a suit jacket, but the
event manager doesn't have a business card?
the mystery manager couldn't or wouldn't help me, and refused to
even acknowledge that there was an issue with the sound even as
ten other people came in to complain about the exact same thing!
Finally, after giving me a phone number to call once the weekend
was over (come Monday, the people on the phone were equally unhelpful)
she shooed me out of her office and slammed the door. Needless to
say, I was annoyed....but not so annoyed that I didn't notice that
upon leaving the manager's office I found myself unsupervised.....and
I did the only logical thing....stayed put, watched the show from
behind the band's road cases and waited for someone to catch on
and throw me out...which never happened. From that much better vantage
point, I saw the band play Peace Sells, Holy Wars, A Tout Le Monde
(with the chick from Lacuna Coil) and a very fast version of Happy
Birthday which was dedicated to Dave's daughter. The sound was louder
though still poorly mixed, and while I did enjoy my illicit viewpoint,
I couldn't help but feel disappointed that I was watching a band
that should have been so loud I needed ear protection, and at times
the only way to hear the vocals was to listen to the crowd singing
Courtesy of Tom Collings
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