So I just got back from London today after seeing Metallica at their launch party for new album Death Magnetic (which was why there was no entry yesterday). The gig was pretty good, and while I’m not a huge Metallica fan, I did enjoy it more than I was expecting to, especially some of the new stuff, which is surprisingly good for an aging band which was coming after St.Anger, which was god awful.
Anyway, this isn’t about Metallica very much. It’s about the Indigo club in the O2 Arena where the pre and after parties were held. Now, this all sounds very glam and awesome, but I’m talking about the parties for VIPs (not celebrities) and fanclub members. That means it’s a bunch of businessmen, businessmen’s sons and die hard Metallica fans. Sounds like comedy genius, right? Well only if awkward comedy is your thing.
Guitar Hero was sponsoring the event, no doubt in a bid to peddle as many people with the inevitable Metallica downloadable content that must be imminent (they had all the tracks from the new album playable there). Before the gig started they had some tit of a DJ playing tracks over a startlingly load speaker system, so the various setups of Xboxs and guitars was uttery useless, unless, yaknow, you fancied playing Guitar Hero without hearing it. Which I’m sure can be fun. If you don’t like music. Or winning.
However, it wasn’t until after the gig that things got really bad. We had to rush in there to get our bags, which we’d left behind the counter, and my friends, through some misguided sense of PARTY thought we should hang around. Cheesy rock songs were played, and then something extraordinary happened.
There were a pair of the biggest plasma screens I’ve ever seen hovering above the stage, and until that point I had dismissed them as merely something more to advertise Guitar Hero on. But no, we were not that lucky. What happened was at around half 11pm, they dragged on the smuggest pair of Metallica fans they could find, gave them a pair of Guitar Hero guitars, and made them play a song. I say ‘made’, but these guys were loving it way to much to look like it was anything but volunteered. There must have been 200 people there all watching them play an instrumental Metallica song, and I’ve never seen anything so ridiculously tragic. The farce of the thing was astonishing. Really, I still can’t really comprehend it.
And so, what must have been 8 minutes later they stopped, the smugger of the pair slung his controller over his shoulder and they exited. I’m not really sure what else to say apart from what on earth were the organisers thinking. These two were playing what is really a glorified ego masturbator on stage, in front of a few hundred people. And these people looked almost like they were enjoying it. Wow.