Metallica + Avenged Sevenfold + Volbeat @ Parc Jean Drapeau – 19th July 2017

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You know it’s going to be an interesting day when you wake up on your day off, thinking you are missing the concert of the summer, and you get a text from your friend telling you to come to Montreal because tonight you are going to see Metallica. An hour later I was on the road, for a two hour drive to get to Montreal from Gatineau, slowly realizing what was happening.

Arriving in Montreal early afternoon, I could tell the city was ready to greet Metallica. Everywhere in the metro I could already spot many Avenged Sevenfold and Metallica shirts. Although this was my first time at Parc Jean Drapeau for a concert, not knowing where I was going wasn’t a problem. Not only was it well indicated how to get there, following the Metallica fans was as easy as following the yellow brick road.

After a thirty-five minute walk to the site, the place was already getting crowded. Fans buying their favorite band tee shirts, drinking beer, and getting in line excited for the gates to finally open. Thirty-five thousand people waited in line for hours, but no one can beat the guy that had been there since six o’clock in the morning. I found a spot in line and conversation was easy with everyone being overly friendly, excited to be part of this experience. It was my first time at a Metallica concert, as it was for a lot of people. There were even a few kids around ten years old who were there for their first concert ever. I guess Metallica isn’t a band you see only once. A few people had seen Metallica a few days before in Quebec City, at the Festival d’Ete de Quebec, and many of them were at their fourth or fifth or sixth Metallica show. After thirty-six years of rocking the stages, they aren’t ready to quit any time soon.

At four o’clock, the doors finally opened and we all ran towards our zones, to get as close as possible to the action. The party had already started with friendly shooter girls and DJ Mix Master Mike of the legenday Beastie Boys up on stage. It was easy to get the party mode started, with two hours to kill before the show officially started.

Six o’clock came fast enough, as Volbeat took the stage. I had heard their hit song, “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown”, and very much enjoyed their song and singer Michael Poulsens voice, which put me in an upbeat mood. Seeing them live was a great way of discovering them and a pleasing way to start off the evening.

Avenged Sevenfold had been on my concert bucket list since I saw the music video for “Seize The Day” back in 2005. I could tell I was not the only one who was there for Avenged Sevenfold, either, with many people rocking the death bat tattoo. As rain began to poor, singer M. Shadows mentioned how every time they’ve performed outdoors in Montreal, it had rained, but was quick to add “if you’re OK with the rain, then I’m OK with the rain” and kept the show going. We sang every word to every song and my heart couldn’t have been happier. I had waited twelve years for this moment, and it was worth the wait.

There were all kinds of fans at the show; young in age and young at heart. I even had Quebec rocker, Eric Lapointe, and Travis, from TV show La Voix, walk right passed me to get to the VIP area. Everyone was getting ready for THE show to start. It’s tradition in Montreal to sing our hearts out to “Oh lay” to get ourselves pumped.

The moment we had all been waiting for; some of us for weeks – some of for us a lifetime. I have never seen an entrance quite like Metallica’s. With the giant screens with an M and A at each end, balloons, explosions and lighting, they were nothing less of impressive. There’s so much to say yet so little ways to describe the awesomeness of the show. I had always been a fan of Metallica, and now have a new appreciation for them. They made sure to let us know their appreciation for us, also, all throughout the show. Even after the show came to an end, and we walked out of Parc Jean Drapeau, we could still hear James Hetfield over the loudspeakers, talking to the fans. I, for one, very much appreciated that he took the time to tell us.

Like James said, “We don’t give a shit, all that matters is that we’re all here tonight”, and he was right. For that moment, nothing else mattered. And for those of us who were first timers; “What took you so long!?”… well I was wondering the same thing. With beer, sweat, and rain covered hair it was hard not to feel alive.

Random fact:
Something I had been curious about was if French speakers had learned the lyrics to “The Unforgiven”, or if they went with singing the misheard lyrics at the concert (“Nous mangeons des oeufs, et Kwik Kwik il son doux”) . ANSWER: they sang the misheard lyrics.

The Ecstasy of Gold
(Ennio Morricone song)
Hardwired Intro
Atlas, Rise!
For Whom the Bell Tolls
The Memory Remainso
The Unforgiven
Now That We’re Dead
Moth Into Flame
Wherever I May Roam
Halo on Fire
Sad but True
Master of Puppets
Fade to Black
Seek & Destroy
Fight Fire With Fire
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman
(with ‘The Frayed Ends of Sanity’ outro)

Written by Jenny Watson (Cell phones snaps, also courtesy of Madame Watson)

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