Metallica and Chuck Mangione in Concert !

Okay, not in the same show. But I had the pleasure of seeing each perform within the same week. Talk about two different worlds!

The Metallica concert sold out the Starplex amphitheater in Dallas. 20,000 people. At 39, I was a bit above the median age at this one...I saw a few folks older than me, but not many! And I seemed to be one of the few sober people in attendance, regardless of age. The concert was on July 31st, which was one of the hottest days of the season. 106 degrees -- nice weather for an outdoor show. The band played a good mix of old and new tunes. This show was only about average in terms of sound quality and musical enjoyment, but I'm glad I had the chance to see the band perform. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt (more on that later). And let me suggest, if you ever make a list of "Things that you would not want to experience," you should place near the top of that list "The men's room at a Metallica concert." Okay, so maybe I am getting too old for this sort of thing. Gee, didn't Nancy say that after my last concert excursion?

The following Tuesday Nancy and I went to see Chuck Mangione perform a dinner concert in a trendy (pricey) place up in North Dallas, Sambucca Jazz Café. Chuck's band included a drummer, bassist, guitarist, and cellist. Chuck himself played keyboards and trumpets in addition to his famed Flugle Horn. He opened with a long version of "Feels so Good" that was so good, it brought tears to my eyes. The acoustics were great, making for a very nice-sounding show. The crowd was quite well-behaved compared to the Metallica fans -- no screaming, pushing, shoving, or puking.

A couple weeks later, Nancy and I were in line at a fast food restaurant. A teenager behind us said "Sir?" which I ignored because I assumed he was not speaking to me. But then he said "Sir, are you a Metallica fan?" He was referring to my Metallica T-shirt, and he had a look of doubt and amusement on his face. I told him yes, I was. His eyes got big and his look changed to one of awe. He said he was too, but he hesitated asking me because he figured the shirt probably belonged to my son. The young lad had not attended the concert, so I told him about it. He seemed disappointed when I told him security did not allow a mosh pit, but he seemed even more surprised that I knew what a mosh pit was. I'm still not sure why Nancy found all this so funny.

(c) 1998, Scott D. Murdock

First published in The Murdock Muse, November-December 1998