This has been a painful article to read. Denver Westword author Kyle Harris attended Birthday Bash the other night and apparently felt like Metallica is the soundtrack for violence. In this article the author also subtly compared a Metallica show to a Nazi rally and took shots at how creepy it was to chant "Master" when "Master of Puppets" was being performed. Here's some of the quotes pulled directly from the article...
"In a stadium so vast, the whole thing felt like a rally concocted by Leni Riefenstahl in Triumph of the Will. Being there helped me imagine how thousands gathered after Hitler came to power, wowed by a daddy figure who offered up nothing but charisma, hate and brutality."
"The band’s vision of the world is introspective and couched in mass violence — the sort of horror perpetrated by big bombs, big armies and big nations. It’s the music of post-traumatic stress disorder.
It’s wholly American, for better or for worse, in its power and in its rage."
You can read it for yourself below but here's my opinion on it...
Metallica might be the only rock band I've ever seen that didn't get up there and make a massive political statement. They could have taken the time to do so, but they were so anti-political in their show that James Hetfield took time to stop the show and tell us he didn't care about your religion, ethnicity, your political spectrum, sexual orientation, NONE OF IT (See the clip below). All they cared about was putting on a good show for their fans. This wasn't a show where the audience carried signs protesting our government. This wasn't a show where half the audience (or even a single audience member) wore "Make American Great Again" hats. This was a show to bring people together, and over 52,000 people of different religions, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and political backgrounds came together to celebrate music they've been listening to for 35 years. This was a show that was truly about the show, and the music. Kyle Harris is entitled to his opinion, and the beauty is that Metallica celebrates that right because that's truly American, unlike the violence and division that Kyle Harris is trying to perpetuate in this article. My thoughts are that he either went into this show with a preconceived notion and decided to vent, or he just trolled us Metallica fans in the biggest way.
I'd like to extend on invitation to Kyle Harris to come hangout at more of these shows. Come see that the fans of music like Metallica's are actually the nicest group of people I've ever met. You'll see that these fans are scholars, pro athletes, doctors, Muslims, Christians, Jews, black, white, red, gay, straight and bisexual. Come see that we're not a violent crowd instead of hiding behind your own fears and keyboard.
Personally, I'm pretty stoked that I finally got to see Metallica perform. I'm stoked that they didn't make any political statements. I'm stoked that thousands of people left that show with a concert they'll never forget, and no silly Westword article will change that. If you need further proof that Metallica didn't provide a soundtrack for violence, but actually brought everyone together check out my buddy Miles' photos for Denver Westword that captured how happy people were to be at the show.