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Date: 1998-07-07
Location: Cincinnati, OH - United States [13 shows here]
Venue: Riverbend Music Center [5 shows here]
Fan reviews: 1 - Add yours!
Setlist: Yes
I went up there with my good friend Kate... arrived, picked up tix at the will-call and headed over to the MetClub booth. There was Dan -- Jaymz666 -- really nice (and fyi, really cute). He was a bit preoccupied with his duties at the booth so we didn't talk much.

We were too late to get passes to the pre-show (it was 620 pm now) but were granted passes to the After-Show. We met Niclas (MetonTour guy!), hung around and talked for just a few moments - I asked if he used a digital camera for the site (yes) and complimented him on the rapid updating (you've seen the site right?) He was frequently interrupted by calls on his radio. We decided to head to the ladies room and soft drink line, then go see where our seats were.

In the bathroom, my friend said "What does Niclas do?" And I tried to explain, as far as I knew. When we emerged from our stalls there was a girl we had seen standing with Niclas. She said "He does a lot more than that!" I said, "Oh well, I didn't know everything but it sure seems like it." We introduced ourselves.

Turns out she was one of the people who won a spot on the "Win a Week with Metallica" contest. She had won her spot through a drawing held by a Knoxville radio station! She was very nice and said she was having a blast... hadn't met the band yet, but was supposed to attend the pre-show and after-show, and spend a day with the band Thursday. "We might get to meet the baby," (James') she said. "Francesca is near." Cool! Nice chatting with her, then she had to get going to the pre-show. (and cool about the family visit during tour!) (fyi she is the girl with darker red hair, first row, near left, pictured on the metontour site)

We walked around at the top of the lawn area observing the incredible collection of Metallica Tshirts. I had never been to an outdoor concert when it was light outside. We found our seats, sat down for a few watching Days of the New. Got up again, walked more, back to the booth area and sat down at a table.

Four guys sat down - one of them with 4 tattoos including Scary Guy and the Ninja Star. Turns out this guy - fanatical enough to be marked for life - had never seen Metallica perform live! Wow - I told him how awesome their live performances are -- that's what had made me a fan - he'll love it, and I'd be thinking of him. He was really excited to be there. They were a Metallica cover band yet none of them knew what MetClub was - well, we sang its praises and before we left, they were headed over to the booth to sign up! Good for them!

One more visit to the ladies room and it was now about 15 minutes before Metallica were scheduled to begin. We saw a mom and her 4-year-old ADORABLE little boy. Mom said he loves Metallica - gets up on the coffee table and sings their songs. CUTE (Notice I've mentioned two trips to the bathroom already? Ahhh, pregnancy).

OK!!!! Soooo we head to our seats again...

Before long a lot of commotion was coming from the lawn area. People in the Pavilion stood and looked back. What's going on??? I thought I saw a guy being passed over the heads of the crowd -- bodysurfing. And guess what? I didn't see any clothes on the guy!!!! Someone near us walked up to see and came back saying - "yep... they're naked and rolling around in the mud up there!" Ha ha ha!!! (Wonder if this would cause higher t-shirt sales?)

The lights soon dimmed and a cheer arose from the crowd. I was getting excited. I wish I was better at song titles because I cannot tell you what the opener was but it was the song that has the beautiful orchestral opening. Then they appeared to wild cheering!!!!

Well, here where I learned a bit about myself.... the last 2 shows I attended were in the front row. Now I was in Row U... (That's 22 if you do the math)(and PS these were not club tix) I couldn't tell Jason from James at some points (lighting, and my vision in dark settings is not the greatest). I realized (write me if you understand this) that I just LOVE to watch the guitar players PLAY. Fingers on strings. I get lost watching what they do and figuring out who's playing which part. Hey, I'm a guitar player's wife, what can I say. But from this distance... I couldn't see much of that - I did notice that Kirk was a much more energetic picker (strummer? whatever) than I had previously observed... cause I could see him playing. But... I'm an optimist so I looked for ways to enjoy other elements in spite of this.

It was fun being more a part of the audience than you can sense when you're in the front row. The community of it all... it was just a different experience than getting lost in the performance itself. I did OF COURSE totally enjoy the music I could hear from those 30-foot speakers, but not see too well! I guess I tried to also be grateful that there was no distortion at this distance. (In front row it takes a couple songs to get used to the slightly different sound of being so close)

OK so then! I had to go to the bathroom after the 3rd song!!!! LAME huh? And they were SO far away! Ah well. Returned, watched some more, and again, had to leave and go. LOL I had to laugh at myself and my little impairment.

I enjoyed very much that they played a lot of older songs. There was one period though that made me worry for my baby - sounded like Armageddon and I could feel it all through my body!! LOLL I patted my belly and assured her (? that's how I felt yesterday, that she's a she, won't know for another month) that is was ok, it was Metallica! hee hee. Oh that reminds me, in the bathroom the 3rd time (yes third during the show!), a woman said "how's your baby enjoying the show?" LOL she could tell!

The acoustic set... interesting to hear Four Horsemen that way - sounded like a totally different song. On one song here, Kirk used something (my husband said "maybe an E-bow?" but I couldn't see what) that made his guitar sound like a violin. I walked up to Dan 5 rows ahead and asked him who was making that sound - Kirk he said. "I knew you'd know, thanks!" and returned to my seat (Did I mention they had like 1005 security people and it was very tight!)

Well after the show, people with passes were rounded up, then led to a patio area behind the stage with tables and chairs. It seemed kind of more crowded than I expected. It seemed like about 20 minutes and then, hey, is that Jason was talking to people? LOL I don't think people immediately noticed his arrival! It was more laid back than I imagined. People lined up to get autographs.

I was excited to meet him, mainly due to the stories I've heard about how nice he was! I planned to tell him that my best concert memories were of him playing Bells right in front of me in the front row - twice!! Thank him, and also tell him how cool it was that he remembered Sarah in Chicago (another onliner). When I told him he smiled and said "cool!" - seemed nice but very tired (a bit pale). Then someone else interrupted us! :( I was wanting to shake that talented hand but he was holding his own Sharpie marker and was busy signing away for others by now...

Lars was now out. I got in line to see him but then we were called to the 'real' backstage. Went to the crew room and met Tony Smith. The backstage area was more quiet than I would have thought and there were several rooms. The crew room had a collection of large comfortable couches with pillows all over. We met a really funny/nice guy who emerged from the shower in a towel (oops!) and also had an English (or Irish?) accent (many are from GB) On the way out I spotted a "Food & Booze" sign and asked if I could have that for my brother - sure, here -- cool! We didn't see James anywhere - but then, weren't really looking around (loll). While making our exit, we passed Jason walking upstairs (smiled, continued on). We reached the door downstairs to leave, and saw Kirk (!!!) down the hall -- uh, we definitely hesitated for a second. He looked at us for a brief moment but stepped into some room down there.

We returned to the after-show and I got Lars to sign the "Food & Booze sign". Barely got to even say "you're awesome" to him - you could tell he was ready to go and was practically signing anything placed before him without really looking!! (LOL poor thing - go get some rest!)

Someone then said "OK Folks Thanks for coming." and everyone started to leave. On the way to the car, Dan caught up with us and we chatted with him a bit.

So??? All in all... a different show experience and some very cool times, hope you enjoyed my account!

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