This past week the Weekend Warrior (WW) went to see the ultimate Hokie band – Metallica!Â Tell us Enter Sandman doesn’t make your hair stand up any time you hear it, whether it be as the Hokies charge out of the tunnel at Lane, in your car, or before you arm curl somebody.Â Well our own WW went to try and see it live…
Click ‘Read more’ to hear the blow-by-blow details of his adventure…
5:18 PM: Headed out the door and ready to rock and/or roll!Â DuffHokie, as usual, is my partner in crime tonight.Â Just a short Metro ride away from the Verizon Center and my first ever Metallica concert!Â I should note a few things: my ticket clearly states “no cameras, video, cartoonists, artists, stenographers”, so I will not have any photos from the night.Â I am in a Metallica t-shirt with 8-inch long Metallica wristbands.Â DuffHokie looks like Slash.
5:21 PM: Hit the ATM to get some cash.Â The person in front of me has made 12 key strokes already and nothing has come out or gone into the machine.Â Not really sure what is going on.
5:24 PM: We are now up to 46 key strokes.Â Seriously, what are they doing?Â How many does it take to get cash out?Â Enter pin (4), say withdrawal (1), checking (1), X amount of money (1), receipt yes/no (1)… that’s 8!Â We are at 46!
5:27 PM:Â I’m pretty sure now that this person in front of me is executing a merger between the bank I’m at and some other bank.Â Somehow you can do this at the ATM.Â I mean, seriously, what else could they be doing?Â How does it take 6 minutes to use an ATM?
5:28 PM: Finally getting cash.Â The ATM is still smoking from the activity of the person in front of me.
5:31 PM: My winter socks fall down, not sure what the deal with that is.
5:32-6:03 PM: Metroing downtown!
6:04: Walking to a watering hole near the Verizon Center to get some food before the concert.Â Socks fall down again.Â Still perplexed by this.
6:10: Seated at the bar.Â Just saw my first “true” Metallica fan.Â This guy has a Metallica shirt on and the sweetest cop mustache I’ve ever seen.Â I’ve seen brooms with shorter, less thinner bristles than this.Â He is my new hero.
6:22: Really enjoying the people watching at this place.Â Because it is a fairly uppity bar in the heart of the city, it is a mix of well-dressed professionals and people who look like they were either pumping gas or laying carpet for money earlier in the day.Â You could not have a more odd mix.
6:48: Just finished my meal.Â Now, one of my New Year’s things is I’m only eating one burger a week to cut down on my red meat intake.Â My burger for this week was the Big Louie, which I just ate.Â It is a 1/2 pounder with a fried egg and bacon on it, and I chased all that down with spicy tater tots.Â I feel like I’m going to be sick.Â I’m warning DuffHokie he may have to go it alone.
6:51: Sweet Mustache Guy, sensing my agony, has offered me a “mustache ride” to the concern.Â I’m not sure what this is, but I’m pretty sure I don’t want it.Â This has rejuvenated me to a point since I clearly want to get away from this guy.
7:14: Walking into the arena and my socks fall again.Â It finally hits me why this is happening – normally I’m packing airplane bottles in my socks to cut down on those hefty alcohol prices.Â But since the WW gave up liquor, my socks are empty.Â Hence, they are all stretched out and keep falling.Â Hmm, very weird.Â I guess I need to start sneaking mini-waters in.
7:44: The first band has finished.Â Didn’t hear any of their stuff.Â Don’t really care.Â The real show is the people filing in.Â I have now realized that the guys at this concert have one of three types of haircuts:
- really long
- really bushy
- really long and bushy
Seriously, where did these people come from?Â Where do they hide out all week?Â This isn’t a temporary thing, this is their style every day.Â Did the City of Manassas clear out for the night?Â (sorry about that one, people of Manassas!)Â This is their Super Bowl, the one day they can gather with others and fit in!Â I feel like I’ve been sent back in time to the 1980s when hair bands ruled the world.Â Somehow, here, I’m the outcast, the odd-ball.
7:52: Pretty sure people are pegging me as a NARC or undercover cop.Â With my hair style, and the fact I’m eyeballing all the sweet people walking by, I’m getting funny looks.Â Here’s my goals at this point:
- see a true mullet
- see a jean jacket
- not get the crap beat out of me for staring at people
- not go on a mustache ride (pretty sure I’d rather get beat up than go on a mustache ride)
- hear Enter Sandman
8:05: In my seats.Â Let’s put this in perspective – we are in the LAST row of the UPPER deck in the CORNER.Â If our seats were any higher, we’d be in the catwalk over the arena.Â I instantly start yelling, “Play Enter Sandman!”Â The mom in front of me seems annoyed by me already.
After several minutes of this, the annoyed mom in front of me leans back and says, “This isn’t Metallica!”Â First thing I notice is that it wasn’t a mom, it was some teenager with long hair (see hair style #1).Â Not wanted to give this person the satisfaction, I say, “So?Â They could do a cover of it!”
8:08: The lead singer for this band dips their really long hair in water and then starts slinging it all over the people by the stage.Â Pretty cool, I must admit.Â I’m now debating about growing my hair out!Â Think how awesome this would be in board meetings!
8:12: This band stinks.Â Only two words I’ve understood so far start with “F” and “D”.Â Time to go back out to the concourse and people watch.
8:24: Just came really close to accomplishing goal number 2 of seeing a jean jacket – this person actually had a jean jacket, but cut the arms off!Â A jean vest!Â Why didn’t I think of that?!Â The comfort of denim, yet able to air out the Gun Show at the same time!
8:41: Seriously, I’m pretty sure I’m the only person here with no tattoos.Â I understand wanting tattoos, but everyone has found a way to make sure you can see them, also.Â I’ve lost count of the number of tramp stamps I’ve seen on ladies here.Â It is like 15 degrees outside, do you really need to show off your tattoo that badly?Â And what do you call a “tramp stamp” that takes up a “lady’s” entire back?Â A tramp envelope?Â A tramp package?
8:50: Just saw my fifth do-rag of the night.Â This is more do-rags than I’ve seen in the past 10 years… actually, if I had seen two do-rags that would have been more than I saw in the last 10 years.Â Is there a Do-Rags-R-Us I don’t know about?
8:51: Repeat above but substitute “mustache” for do-rag.Â Feel like I’m either at a cop convention or in Pittsburgh, the mustache capital of the world.Â I get rock band women love the mustache rides!
8:55:Â Back in the seats.Â Excitement is rising!Â People are playing the instruments!Â I start yelling, “Play Enter Sandman” again.Â I am informed these are the roadies testing the equipment.Â Oh.
8:57: The roadies have finished up their tests of the instruments and equipment.Â Just a few more moments!
9:01: And here we go!Â Metallica comes out to L’Estasi Dell’ Oro.Â It is originally from a Clint Eastwood western, I believe the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.Â But was later turned into a techno song.Â It was featured in a Nike commercial this Fall with LT and Troy Polamalu.Â Pretty sweet entrance… but not “Enter Sandman” sweet.
9:05: The band opens with a song off their new album.Â I’m not happy.Â I’m letting them know this, from about a mile and a half away in the last row of the arena.Â I start yelling… well, you can probably guess.Â Starting to lose my voice at this point.
9:08: Start texting my Hokie buddies to rub it in that I’m at the concert.Â I get this back from one of them, “I’m in the owner’s box, [female dog].”Â Jerk.Â Always has to show me up and rain on my parade.Â And thanks for inviting the WW to be in the box with you!
9:14: Metallica starts talking to us.Â They are informing us they will be playing mostly new stuff.Â I am not amused.Â I start yelling… yeah, you get the idea.
9:15 – 10:30: All in all, this is pretty darn good concert.Â These guys are great, even live.Â And they have so many hits, at least in my eyes.Â They have sprinkled in some old stuff with the new, and that sends the crowd into wild fits of excitement.Â Take the hint!Â We want the old stuff.
9:38: The guy in front of me is playing air guitarÂ – for every song!Â I think he really thinks he is in the band!Â FYI: People singing along with songs is a big pet peeve of mine.Â I didn’t throw down $70 to sit in the last row of the upper deck to listen to you sing!
9:55: Having lost my voice and unable to yell “Play Enter Sandman” anymore, I have resorted to Plan B.Â I don’t want Metallica to have any doubt what I want.Â I go and pay some outrageous price for a slice of Papa John’s pizza, that they claim as a whole pizza even though it doesn’t have crust on all sides.Â I quickly down that, rip the box up, and scribble “PLAY ENTER SANDMAN!” on the box.Â I begin holding this up, not caring that even if Metallica had a telescope on stage with them, they wouldn’t be able to see my sign.Â Oh well, I tried.
10:19: I think I’m the only person in our section not: playing air guitar, head banging, or singing along.Â How do these people memorize all these words?Â You would think the bong resin would have eaten up all that space.
10:34: I have now pretty much given up hope and nature has come a’ calling.Â I head to the men’s room.Â While finishing up… can that be?Â “NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!”Â Whatever bout with laryngitis I had has been overcome by my excitement and frustration.Â They are playing Enter Sandman!Â I sprint out of the bathroom, through the curtain, up the stairs, and into my seat.Â DuffHokie and I are jumping up and down (apparently only VT people do that because no one else is doing it).Â The whole crowd is clapping along and in a frenzy.Â It is amazing.Â I have to admit, it sounds great in Lane, but live, it is incredible.Â It was everything I imaginedÂ and more.
10:48: At this point, I’m complete.Â While I didn’t see a mullet, I got the main thing I wanted.Â We decide to leave but quickly stumble into a 10-person fight in the concourse area.Â Seeing as how one of my goals was to avoid getting beat up, I try to step around it.Â But DuffHokie, being the good samaritan he is, has jumped into the pile to try and pull one of the guys off another.Â Great.Â This guy, according to one of the women in the fight, has just punched her, and my buddy is trying to calm him down.Â So I do the only thing I can do, grab DuffHokie, pull him away, and get us the heck out of dodge before we get caught in the middle.
I have to admit, though, I would have been pretty disappointed if I hadn’t seen a fight.Â The two mosh pits by the stage were pretty fun to watch, but this is what rednecks are all about – scrappin’!
We got out of there without any other incidents.Â Pretty awesome night.Â Though I may have fit in about as well as a red sox fan in Yankee Stadium, I still had a great time.Â And to all those of you that are still part of the hair bandÂ nation – don’t go changing.Â Don’t let a little thing like 20 years change who you are! Â You have given me enough entertainment and stories for weeks to come.Â Thank you!