AMSTERDAM: HIT THE LIGHTS!
Last Thursday I trained up to Amsterdam on one of my frequent cultural exchange missions. Not only did I get to hang with my friends Katy and Steve, but thanks to Steve’s network of rock crew buds, Marti and I wound up at the Stade de France two nights later for a spectacular Metallica concert.
After arriving in Amsterdam I visited a couple of favorite coffeeshops, including Hunter’s in the Warmoesstraat.
I also had a shopping list: new jeans for me, a birthday gift for Marti’s brother (both acquired at de Bijenkorf department store, pictured above), a pair of Steve Madden shoes and a small bay leaf (laurel) bush for my window box herb garden. I found the latter in the flower market.
Katy and me. We connected to each other via a mutual Amsterdam pal on the Book of Face. She’s an American expat from The Bronx U.S.A., married to a Dutch guy. We had animated conversations and laughs, but nothing compared to her delighted exchanges later, when I took her to meet fellow New Yorker Steve, an exile from Queens.
Steve. I simply put him and Katy together and let them go.
New Yawkers. They are featured below in the video montage
Amsterdam – May 10, 2012.
Before I departed Amsterdam on Thursday evening, Steve promised to put me in touch with his pal Big Mick, veteran front of house sound wizard for Metallica. On Saturday night Marti and I were invited to join Mick in his sound cage to watch the Metallica concert at the Stade de France soccer stadium.
We arrived at the stadium a half hour before Metallica’s headlining set. First stop was the VIP Lounge, for pre-show drinks.
A security guide then escorted us past the 73,000 fans to Mick’s World in the sound enclosure.
Marti, originally dubious about attending a Metallica stadium extravaganza, settled in happily among the road cases.
May 12, 2012
Stade de France
01. Hit The Lights
02. Master Of Puppets
03. No Remorse
04. For Whom The Bell Tolls
05. Hell And Back
06. The Struggle Within
07. My Friend Of Misery
08. The God That Failed
09. Of Wolf & Man
10. Nothing Else Matters
11. Through The Never
12. Don't Tread On Me
13. Wherever I May Roam
14. The Unforgiven
15. Holier Than Thou
16. Sad But True
17. Enter Sandman
20. Seek & Destroy
The show was pretty all-time. After a handful of gems like “Hit The Lights” and “Master Of Puppets,” the band played the Black Album (Metallica) in its entirety, in reverse track order!
Big Mick’s “juggling act,” as he described it, was amazing to watch. His sound was loud, crisp and clear. No wonder he’s in his 28th year with this band.
Black balloons signaled that we were into the homestretch.
Marti really dug the fact that the guys in the band lingered onstage after the final encore, tossing mementoes to the fans and posing with the French colors.
We appreciate Mick’s gracious invitation, which allowed us to hang in Metallica’s VIP room after the gig, biding our time as the huge crowd exited the stadium. Nothing more welcome than a drink and a snack and a clean bathroom after a big outdoor show. Marti and I felt kinda like Paris Hilton at Coachella.
Here’s a little taste of the concert, from a YouTube audience vid:
May 12, 2012
Stade de France