The Metallica Question

So Metallica will once again make their way over to our shores in the summer of 2015.  This time they will grace Reading with their presence and as usual there is a lot of people very happy about it, but a more vocal group of people pissed off.  Why?  Because of the feeling that Metallica have over saturated the UK with festival headline slots.  In the last four years they have played Download, Sonisphere and Glastonbury, all with only one new song and the pile of steaming shite that was Lulu.  People are apparently fed up of Metallica and want someone new to take the spot.

Now there was an incredibly good blog up on Team Rock yesterday about this very issue, I’m posting it here because it gives a very good argument for why Metallica don’t give a shit what you think.  Something that in all honesty is true, however, if there is one thing we have consistently learnt from the internet, it’s that no matter how much we don’t give a shit about its opinion, it will continue to supply it.  Therefore, it is absolutely no surprise that the Metallica announcement led to such an incredible amount of faux anger, generally from people who have no intention of attending Reading anyway.  I discussed recently how festival announcements seemed to have become a bigger deal than the festival themselves and that those proclaiming you can’t complain about the bands because you just go for a good time are almost as annoying as those complaining, but, as a complete hypocrite, I still feel the need to butt in with my opinion.

I would watch Metallica everyday of the weekend if I could.  They are probably the band that got me into heavy metal and it doesn’t matter how often they hurt me, I will continually come back for more.  Therefore, the more Metallica shows the better.  If you disagree then fuck you, because you are wrong.  However, I won’t go to Reading just to see Metallica.  In fact, the band on that line up that makes me consider going is Refused, not Metallica.  Why?  Because for me Refused feels like an occasion.  Watching Refused at Download back in 2012 was one of the musical moments of my life, it was genuinely astounding.  Having now seen Metallica multiple times, I don’t feel the same way about them.  I love them, but I don’t hunger for them.  Which, I believe, is why they are playing Reading and not Sonisphere or Download.  The heavy metal and rock crowd who attend the big rock and metal festivals and who like Metallica, have had their Metallica pie in recent years.  The slightly indie crowd, which let’s not forget, Metallica do have a fan base in, haven’t had that joy yet.

This kind of leads me to my point.  The reason I am personally not excited for a Metallica festival headline slot, is because it doesn’t feel like an occasion.  However, it’s still fucking Metallica.  If the rest of the Reading line up is good enough, I may well go, although it’s unlikely as I imagine Soni or Download will cater to me better and I can only afford to go to one, but if that situation comes about, watching Metallica would no doubt be a highlight of my weekend, they usually are.  However, I can’t see them sending shivers down my spine or truly blowing my mind.  But that doesn’t matter.  Because there will no doubt be a kid in the crowd who has never seen Metallica before and for whom that will be one of the greatest moments of their life and at the end of the day, that is all that actually matters.

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