The method behind the madness: Why I love Wu-Tang and Metallica enough to see them both on the same nightDecember 1st, 2008 by travis hay
Fact: I was once a metalhead.
Fact: Any self-respecting metalhead likes Metallica.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the speed and thrash of “Kill ‘Em All” and “Ride The Lightning,” the classic metal of “Master of Puppets,” the cerebral concept metal of “… And Justice For All,” the shiny, overproduced mainstream metal of “Metallica,” the stuff that Metallica attempted to pass off as metal in the mid-90s and early ‘00s, or the current “return to form” Metallica of “Death Magnetic,” what version of Metallica, every metalhead likes Metallica.
Personally, I prefer “Master of Puppets” and “… And Justice For All” versions of Metallica. I even wrote an English paper in high school where I dissected the lyrics of “Eye of the Beholder” and explained the reasoning behind the song’s anti-Big Brother message. So it only makes sense that because I was a teenage metalhead and am now a music journalist that Metallica has a special place in my music-loving, high school-English-paper-writing heart.
I’ve seen every Metallica show in this state dating back to 1994 when a young 16-year-old me was blown away by the band’s marathon set at Memorial Stadium. Almost every detail of that show, right down to the disappointing cancellation of Alice In Chains as openers, is still vibrantly etched into my memory. After that show I promised myself I would never miss a Metallica show in my life and so far I’ve been able to keep that promise.
Wu-Tang Clan, on the other hand, is a band I have always wanted to see live but for one reason or another I have never been able see all the members of the Wu form like Voltron on the same stage.
I had a ticket to see the killer bill of Wu-Tang Clan and Rage Against the Machine at the Gorge in 1997. That show had plenty of controversy surrounding it. A quick Google search shows that MTV heavily covered the events leading up to the show (including the legal proceedings) as well as the show itself. Personally, I think the whole mess behind the 1997 concert is the reason RATM has yet to schedule a reunion tour date in Washington state.
Unfortunately, when Wu-Tang dropped out of that tour I sold my ticket. Nineteen-year-old me thought it wasn’t worth a trip to the Gorge just to see Rage since I saw them a few years prior at Mercer Arena. Today, 30-year-old me wants to slap 19-year-old me in the face for making that decision.
The other opportunity I had to worship at the altar of the Wu came in 2007 when they headlined a night of Bumbershoot. I try to never miss Bumbershoot and I did make it to a day of the 2007 festival, but it wasn’t the day Wu-Tang was headlining. You see, I was leaving to attend a wedding in Maui during Labor Day weekend and, well, I wasn’t going to abandon Maui just to see the Wu-Tang Clan. So sorry Wu-Tang, when it comes to you versus Maui, Maui wins.
Because I love Metallica so much I have made the decision to not leave their show early tonight in an attempt to see more Wu-Tang. So I’ve accepted that I will not be able to see both sets by Metallica and Wu-Tang in their entirety. But man, if Wu-Tang takes the stage late and I am able to see more than an hour, or hell I’d settle for a little under an hour, of the Rza, Gza, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, U-God, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon it will be well worth all the frantic fuss.