A lot of it was a blur. Hours seemed to pass between the time spent in a strange mall, all closed up except for one store blasting out strong music, and the actual event. It was strange, the way everything lost proportion. Time either crawled or hurried past. Scenes and people and views changed in a flash. Only some moments stand out clearly in my memory… That’s how it always is in dreams, isn’t it?
But it wasn’t a dream. It was real. We got to the mall at 15:00, found the neighboring stadium and the cluster of people. It felt like coming home. They were happy, energetic, giddy with excitement. There were nerds, and girls and Goths and metal-heads. There were young boys, barely into puberty and women in their thirties, clearly original fans. Bottles of beer, vodka and even white wine littered the ground along with what seemed to be a thousand cigarette butts. But it was the one place, the only place, in which I felt perfectly comfortable with it.
We were there for a concert, a show. The rules are different when music pumps in people’s veins and the sun burns their backs to a crisp as they wait at a gate guarded by a couple heavy-set men. The rules have to change in an environment like that – it’s inevitable. Better to throw bottles on the ground where the organizers know it’s going to happen than throwing bottles into a crowd later and injuring someone.
It seemed as if we were in and out of the mall for food and bathroom breaks a hundred times, but finally, at 16:45, we were in the crowd waiting at the entrances. It was hot, sticky, and the sun was piercing and bright. People kept whooping for no reason, getting everyone just a bit more pumped up. Sir B. F. and I played games, guessing at what this or that person was like outside of Concert-Time.
Concert-Time is a different dimension, holding a dream-like quality, and consisting of no more than twenty-four hours in which time itself seems to shrink and elongate. The sunlit hours are the longest, whereas the moment evening falls, the breezes hold sweet and short promises. Crushed in a crowd, time elongates again in the heat and airless place. But then, suddenly, time seems to jump forward – by fifteen minutes, half an hour, an hour. The opening bands are on the stage forever, and then they’re not. The stage is empty forever, and then, suddenly, gloriously, it’s not.
They came on-stage, four men in the their mid-forties, and the crowd roared. We were part of a beast, a many-headed animal that thrashed and begged and demanded to be satisfied. The moment the first note started, we began to feed. Music, loud notes one after another, lyrics yelled at the top of our voices while the men on-stage sang loudly with us, for us. The speakers, huge and foreboding when the sun was up, were now a welcome friend, giving out the drug that we needed – the music.
Metallica haven’t been in Israel for eleven years. Finally, on Saturday, May 22nd, they performed at the Ramat-Gan Stadium to the ecstasy of long-time and new fans alike. There were sound issues, issues that the stadium staff blamed on Metallica’s equipment. But it didn’t matter whose fault it was – only that it was fixed, and that the crowd, and I inside it, roared approval at each return of the full blast of the speakers.
There are concerts you can’t ever go to again. Concerts that you know were likely once in a lifetime opportunities. This was one of them, and I cannot express how glad I was to be there. It was a night of enchantment – a night of dreams coming true.
9 thoughts on “The Concert of My Dreams”
Wow. The magic portrayed in this post is unbelievable. It’s really easy to tell how this concert made you feel. It must have been exciting!
Seriously, great post. It makes me miss going to shows. ❤
The way you describe it, I wish I was there. It’s the way I felt when I was young and saw The Who when they were at the peak of their power.
Truly magical when something makes us feel like that. Thanks for sharing your experience. Nights of enchantment are one in a million!
Loved this post! I felt like I was practically there! Glad you had so much fun, my friend. 🙂
Wow, this is incredible. Definitely once in a lifetime. I LOVE live music. Concerts always rank high near my “best experiences of the year.” (We just found out today that the U2 concert in Minneapolis – scheduled for next month – is postponed until 2011 because of Bono’s back surgery. Sad!! But we have tix to Dave Matthews Band and Muse in the next few months, so that will tide me over until my beloved U2.)
You told your experience wonderfully!
Funny..I just listened to a Metallica song a few moments ago. I’m glad you have the memory.
I love my memories from Roger Waters..
Awesome! I’m so glad you got to go to the concert, and that you enjoyed it so much, and that you wrote this wonderful piece about it. It’s hard to capture the feeling of being at a concert, but you’ve done it brilliantly here. =]
Thank you everyone for your kind comments! I’m so glad that I managed to express myself well in this, since I really wasn’t sure that I’d managed…
“The opening bands are on the stage forever, and then they’re not. The stage is empty forever, and then, suddenly, gloriously, it’s not.”
So true! I absolutely love this post! You really nailed the atmosphere and hype surrounding a concert… I loved that it felt like I was reading an actual story with a life. It sounds like you had fun at the concert! Metallica is classic… I’m jealous!