In this First Concert Ever segment, the rock artist, Dan Arsenault, talks about the story of his first experience with live music. You can check out the story, after the break.
The first notable concert I attended was Metallica back in 1993, at the Moncton Coliseum during the Wherever We May Roam tour (Black album). When I rethink about that today, I still can’t wrap my head around how the world biggest rock band, in their prime, ended up playing an almost three-hour straight gig into this small area in eastern Canada. I am grateful as hell they did! Still to this day, it is still in my top 3 concerts close to Rush and Roger Waters.
I was 15, attending middle school, when one of my best friends Patrick snatched us tickets, via a solid line phone, for the show and his mom took us there ($25 a ticket, what a treat!). The cool thing is that it was a 3-hour trip to the venue, so we had plenty of time to listen to Metallica tapes on the way up, we all dressed up in our black metal shirts and got super excited! We even ended up missing school to attend the concert, that was the best class I ever attended, believe me! Metallica was the reason I picked up an electric guitar in the beginning, when I listened to Master of Puppets for the first time, it just felt so dark, energetic, and strange. Almost everybody embraced Metallica back then, you weren’t cool if you didn’t.
So, I vaguely recall standing in an endless line-up outside the venue freezing our a… off in early February at -13F surrounded by girls screaming as loud as they could METALLICA in their metal t-shirts, we were thrilled! At the venue entrance, there was a security guy randomly selecting fans that wore vintage Metallica shirts and handing them passes to the center stage snake pit! That pit was literally in the middle of the band, the stage was in the shape of a ring, even the drums were moving on a sort of railroad track. The stage was so huge, it took like a third of the venue. Our seats were perfect, we could see the light show, the whole stage, and still be close to the band with the mega PA’s right into our face!
When the intro video stopped, it went pitch black, they started with Enter Sandman, we instantly recognized the first 3 guitar notes. Well the whole venue did, in a swarm of screams, everybody was on their toes and then POW, it sounded like some dynamite blew off, we could instantly feel the sudden heat flash from the pyros on our faces, I remember looking at my buddies with a smile so stretched you could see my back teeth. I also recall the bass drum’s low frequency pumping on my chest every time Lars would kick it, insane!
One other memory I have is the difficulty breathing with all the excitement, the screaming, and the thickness of the smoke cloud floating in the venue, it felt funny after a while! When things calmed down at the start of the first ballad, I pulled out a large lighter I had purchased for the special moment, literally thousands of fans did the same. It was the most beautiful experience until my fingers starting to burn from the heat!
I feel bad for the kids today that won’t have the chance to appreciate music in the same manner as I did that day. My parents had the Beatles and Elvis, I had Metallica and Iron Maiden, my kids will have something else I hope! Out of nostalgia, I went on that popular video site and searched for Metallica, Moncton, 1993, and there it is full concert …. So long :)
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