For anyone who’s known me for very long it’s admittedly probably odd for you that I went to a Metallica concert last night and even weirder that I had such a great time. I mean, I listen to ABC radio for heavens sake, 702, Radio National and Classic FM.
My interest in expanding my musical listening started when I met my partner 2 years ago. He also listens to Classic FM but has an eclectic taste in music that covers just about everything except country & western and possibly hip-hop/rap. I enjoy listening to his (extensive) collections of folk, celtic, prog rock and classical music, but drew the line at listening to much heavy metal. I did watch (and really enjoyed) a DVD called ‘Some kind of monster’ originally designed to be about the making of Metallica’s St Anger album. However, it wasn’t until I watched the Metallica: S&M DVD that I really understood that underneath all the noise, this is still music. In S&M, the band is backed by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and the reaction of the guys to the score that was written for the orchestra is amazing – they are in awe of how good their music sounds played by an 80 piece orchestra (and it does sound really, really good. The orchestra intro to No leaf clover is by far my favourite).
So, when my kids got Guitar Hero – Metallica I was interested in spite of myself. Young Gun in particular is really good at this game and Bookworm picked up almost immediately on the musical skills and abilities of the band members. They discovered my partners entire back catalogue of Metallica and have never looked back. The S&M video was a family hit and The General went on to watch Some kind of monster (it’s still on the ‘things to do’ list of the other two).
It’s been really good for me to challenge myself this way – to stretch my definition of what music is and to step outside my comfort zone. Yes, I was definitely overdressed last night (well, I did go straight from work) and once upon a time that would have made me uncomfortable – now I’m just happy I was able to go, enjoy the concert and enjoy watching my kids get a thrill from being there.
I think Young Gun just couldn’t believe he was really seeing them on stage, in the flesh. Not on a DVD, not on Guitar Hero – right there in front of him (and we had great seats, really great seats). Lars Ulrich does appear to be as mad in real life as he comes across in DVD’s. As I’ve written about before, I’m not immune to that kind of starstruck-ness, I thought it was pretty awesome too.