First it was The Prodigy, then Brian Adams...(followed by a ban on all music and dancing in the city)...and now Metallica!! Bangalore: “problem is there, only”!
After a long day at work, and a slightly weak voice, I can now tell you all about the Metallica concert last night. I have to start by saying that I was very impressed with the organisation, security and crowd there. Nothing was too out of order and I think Bangalore, being the calm city it is, respected the fact that Metallica actually performed here after cancelling their Delhi gig.
Over 35,000 people turned up last night, many diehard fans who waited around the Palace Grounds since the night before to enter, bearing in mind it had rained and was a little cold I was happy to wait the rain out at the Beer Club. Ticket in hand we got an auto to the main gate and oddly didn’t lose anyone on the way. It’s worth pointing out that though gates opened at 3pm no one knew when Metallica were performing so our guess of 7pm, plus the usually Indian five more minutes, was spot on. Approaching security this time round was the usually farce with literally hundreds of people queuing and me (the Brit from the land of queuing) walked right to the front and got straight in. There were seven security gates for males and only one for females; this is due to the classic assumption that only males attend concerts (not so odd for Metallica perhaps but it was the same situation at Brian Adams). Then security asked what was in my bag and I responded “phone, keys, lip balm” to which they accepted happily and let me walk through. Damn I should have brought a hip flask. No beer being sold inside, which helped avoid any stage ransacking, however they were selling ice creams and pop corn but what do I know about a rock n roll diet eh!?
Inside, and after the down pour, we slipped around the muddy field until we were happy with our viewing/listening/head banging spot and they started pretty much 15minutes later – enough time for a cheeky wee samosa. I have to admit that, enough though I only recognised two songs out of over two hours worth, it was a great concert and I am so glad I went. Metallica looked every part the (ageing) Rock stars but still cool and certainly loving the Indian love for Metallica. There were also entertaining people to observe from the Indian girl in front of us rocking in her Salwar Kameez to die hard rockster bloke wearing his Hitler t-shirt. The front few rows were filled with diehard fans who knew every word to every song and I am sure their faces are plastered on news papers today. Security looked very much in control at the front with guards passing water to people, or possibly it was a nice wee cup of Chai. And, of course, in field of people with dark hair and dark outfits I still spotted two people I knew.
So, Bangalore can rock, even if it was in a pretty chilled out way. No real drama, no guitars broken, no real rock n roll craziness. In fact I only saw one (small) fight and watched three people climb scaffolding only to be asked to come down – and they did exactly that. Metallica were great and I think they enjoyed it too, this was their first concert in India and, if Delhi gets its act together, they will be back.
After a rocking night we spent the next few hours trying to get home. 25,000 people leaving one event with no real public transport is not so fun at midnight. An auto and a car journey later, with a slop off for food, I got in pretty early and was back up and out the door in no time. Now for an early night, that’s Rock n Roll!