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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Band Makes A Point Of Playing To Crowd

One thing’s for certain after Friday’s jammed and jamming Metallica concert: The band is devoted to its fans.

And the fans revere the metal band.

Once guitarist/lead singer James Hetfield screamed at the crowd, “We’re hear to kick your (posteriors). Is that why you’re here?” fans went berserk.

From the guitar-shaped stage that covered most of the Arena floor, band members would run down ramps or steps to perform within arm’s length of the 1,600 people with floor tickets. They’d work them into a frenzy while walking around the barricade that separated rock hounds from the elaborate, metal-grated stage.

Drummer Lars Ulrich even had two full kits on each part of the two-sectioned stage, both on revolving stands, so he could play to the fans.

And with mikes on the floor and all around the two stages (shaped like the body of the guitar and the end of the neck, with equipment and roadies stationed in the middle on the floor), Metallica was constantly shifting around to give all its fans a great view of the action.

That action included M-80-like explosions, 4-foot flames shooting from gas jets hidden beneath the stage, some aerial fireworks - and a stagehand running around on fire during the climax, a staged “accident.”

Plus, there were some 16 roadies sitting in bucket seats that hung from the rafters so they could pinpoint spotlights on the ever-roaming band members.

My 13-year old daughter’s reaction while Hetfield and company blasted out some power chords?

“This is awesome,” Kristin said.

My 16-year old son’s?

Paul was blown away by the stage setup and the band’s playing to the crowd.

And this 42-year-old who recently crossed over to the dark side of the musical force to embrace country?

Well, if Metallica ever missed a note or messed up a song, who could tell? The sound was deafening, literally. I thought my ears would bleed.

But it was an amazing show.

The crowd was a mixture of longtime, older Metallica fans and teenagers.

Once the band ran onto the stage, everyone stood for the entire concert, often screaming at the top of their lungs while exhorted by Hetfield and crew.

With fans singing the chorus to “Enter Sandman” during the first encore, the band and audience were one on this night.

, DataTimes

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