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
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
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
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.