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Old 01-23-2011, 09:52 AM
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Talking Metallica -- Park City, UT -- January 25th, 2006

Since everyone is posting their first Metallica shows, I thought I would jump on the bandwagon. Well, the story of my first Metallica show is boring, so I thought I would write about this show instead, which was my 10th Metallica show.

First, some background. Metallica had a cameo in the movie The Darwin Awards which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2006. After the movie premiere, Metallica played a private concert for people involved with the movie. The concert was at a bar in Park City, Utah called Harry O's. Since it was a private show, no tickets were sold to the public. However, they did have a contest through their fan club to give some fans free passes to the show. One of my friends won the contest, and invited me to be her guest. So I hopped on a flight from Philly to Salt Lake City and here's what happened.

We did all of our traveling the night before the show. So we woke up on the day of the show and had nothing to do. So we just drove up to Park City and hung out on Main Street all day, finding various ways to kill the time. Around 6:00pm we decided to check out some place called the Airbourne Lounge, which was actually right next door to Harry O's (in the same building, on the lower level). Once we entered the Airbourne Lounge, we noticed a set of double doors that connected the Airbourne Lounge to the basement of Harry O's. The doors were WIDE open and there was no one standing there. So we just walked in. We found the stairs and walked up to the main floor of Harry O's. We paused at the top of the stairs, as there was a security guard sitting there. But he got up and walked away. So we went straight into the main floor of Harry O's. As we entered the venue, Metallica were already on stage. They started playing their soundcheck almost as soon as we walked in! We sat down on a bench off to the side to watch. The setlist for the soundcheck was:

* Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
* For Whom the Bell Tolls
* Fuel
* Master of Puppets [2nd half only]
* Creeping Death

They also jammed on some riffs in between songs, including:

* Sabbra Cadabra (Black Sabbath)
* Rock 'n' Roll Ain't Noise Pollution (AC/DC)

The soundcheck ended around 6:45pm, and not wanting to get thrown out of the venue when someone discovered we weren't supposed to be there, we decided to leave the venue and go to a bar. We returned to the venue sometime around 9:30pm when the doors opened, and managed to secure 2nd row spots right behind the rail. Just after 11:45pm, Ecstasy of Gold finally started playing over the PA. Metallica appeared on stage and launched right into Creeping Death. The crowd (near the stage anyway) went nuts! This was definitely one of the top 3 tightest crowds I have been in, and we were fucking close to the stage too. After Wherever I May Roam, they paused to address the crowd. James had a GIANT smile on his face, you could tell he was having a lot of fun at this gig. He welcomed everyone to the Darwins Awards after-party, and asked how so many Metallica fans snuck in. Without any further hesitation, they launched right into Fuel. The boys were really on fire and James' voice sounded fantastic. They seemed to really be thriving from the close crowd interaction as well. The rest of the show went by way too quickly, and before I knew it they had finished playing Seek & Destroy. By the end of the show, I had gotten high-fives from James, Kirk, and two from Rob. It was really amazing how close we were to the action. The full setlist was:

The Ecstasy Of Gold
Creeping Death
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Wherever I May Roam
Fuel
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
Sad But True
Fade To Black
Master Of Puppets
One
Enter Sandman
Last Caress
Battery
Seek & Destroy

The setlist itself wasn't really anything special, but the experience of seeing Metallica in a small venue (and sneaking into the soundcheck) totally negates any complaints about the setlist. Plus, it was a private party for movie insiders who probably weren't Metallica fans, so it's not like they were gonna do anything crazy with the setlist.
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