CONCERT REVIEW - METALLICA @ METRO: A week later, Evan J. Thomas reflects on the events that led up to epic night where Metallica played the 1100 capacity Metro Chicago - READ IT HERE
It has been just over a week now since that epic surprise show from the legendary Metallica at the 1100 capacity The Metro in Chicago that I was so lucky to attend. Metallica was using this show as a prep for their 2 night set coming up at the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville, KY. There were many circumstances that led up to me being able to go but it had all worked out and wow, I'm still reveling over the fact I was able to attend what would be the most talked about show of 2021.
It all started on Monday morning September 20 at approximately 8:43am when I was flipping through Facebook and saw a post saying "rumor has it Metallica is playing Metro tonight". A minute later I received a DM from buddy Dan Hardman stating the same thing and he shared an image of 2 semis outside of The Metro. I told him thank you but I wasn't really interested in going and I legit had zero intentions in making the trek out there but then things happened.
I finished my morning work shift at 10am and I took my usual after work nap for over an hour. Then I made some breakfast and after decided to do some Uber driving to make some extra cash. I had one pickup a few minutes from my house that put my destination about 1 1/2 miles from The Metro. I got down there just around 1pm and by that time the local radio station had announced the show and that a line has been forming since late morning. I thought to myself "WTF, why not take the chance and get in line". I put my destination on and arrived 7 minutes later and found some street parking. The line went down Clark Street and around the block down Racine spanning a full block. I realized that I had a slim chance of getting a ticket.
There were some rules though on attending, 1) you must be vaccinated AND have your Vax card on you and must show it, 2) Cash ONLY and holy shit it was only $20, lucky I had 6 $5 bills on me and 3) you MUST wear a mask in the venue at all times. I was 3 for 3 so now the wait. I stood in line chatting it up with a few people but mainly one guy behind me, we joked that if we did get close enough that we could potentially sell our spot for big money. The line would sporadically move and it was fun watching people get dropped off and run their ass off to get into line for this opportunity. I waited close to an hour and was getting closer to Clark St. That was the turning point, once we hit Clark Street we were about 20 people from the front door. There was a guy working at the Metro telling those in line "YOU MUST have your vaccination card out when I come up to you or I will send you to the back of the line". Well, I had mine ready and in a blink of an eye I was up to him and he was checking my card and stamping my hand to prove my vaccination. Moments later I was brought into the Metro and to the woman taking the $20 for the ticket. I paid my fee and when I turned around there were 3 guys who slapped the wristband on me then walked me out the side door. We were handed instructions on what would ensue that night. At that moment I realized and said "Holy Shit, I'm going".
It was now about 2:45pm and I had to run home and change since I was just wearing a workout hoodie and workout shorts, definitely not the best look for an epic concert like this. I arrived home just after 4 and got into my concert garb, grabbed a quick bite to eat and snagged a bottle of water and hopped in the car. I had found out that 3 other friends of mine had gobbled up a wrist band and were in route or already in line for the doors at 7pm.
It was time for the doors to open, we scrambled in and there were 3 check points for our wristband before we could get to the stairs. Once we made our way up and to the main floor we noticed there were 2-3 people deep almost all around the rail, except for a spot just to the left and by the speaker. This is where me being shorter worked out for me, that speaker was about 6 1/2 feet high so I was able to lean under and see the stage clearly and get some incredible video and photos. The buzz and anticipation grew as it got later, then the lights went dark and the guys made their way to the stage to kick off their set with "Whiplash" which they did back in 1983 when they first played The Metro. I sang, I screamed, I head bobbed and I watched in awe of the legends as they were mere feet away from me.
For about the next two hours those 1100 people witnessed a unique 16 song set from the mighty Metallica that we will never forget and will be talked about for generations. I was just glad things worked out for me being there. Rock On!
Check out my LIVE PERFORMANCE video of the finale.
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