Essay: Metallica Diehards and 2015 X Games Austin
Mon, 08 Jun 2015 10:50:05
The Bay Area titans know the secret, and we share how to get to the place we all want to be...
Art becomes culture at a certain point. Watching Metallica ignite the Super Stage at ESPN's 2015 X Games in Austin illuminated that this past weekend. A band, film, or painting will become so powerful that other media and forms of entertainment coalesce around it. It's a lightning rod, and the only appropriate response is to Ride the Lightning and see the ways the respective world changes as a result. Now, absolutely stunning set aside, the way that James Hetfield [vocals/guitar], Lars Ulrich [drums], Kirk Hammett [guitar], and Robert Trujillo [bass] unite people is simply undeniable. Just before the sun went down and as the competitions ended in the main track of the Circuit of The Americas, literally thousands lined up at the gate for the Super Stage.
Amongst this crowd were families, dudes with ‘Tallica tattoos, X Games diehards, people who had no idea about extreme sports, metal heads, and even a guy who was telling everyone he teaches gym locally. This disparate and dynamic group stood at the ready practically pawing the dirt for the gates to open so they could rush down the green hill to get as close as they possibly could to where Metallica would be playing in, get this, two hours from now. Many of those folks had been under the blazing Texas sun outside all day, and here they were clamoring to wait around for another two hours with a smile. Not only that, they were rushing to do so. That says something about the power of the band's music.
Hetfield and Hammett gave a touching and heavy rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner, and it whet everybody's appetite as numerous riders looked on in awe and extolled the group in post-competition interviews. After flipping upside down and riding through a crazy dirt track vying for a medal, these guys were just as enamored to see Metallica as everybody else was. This is the moment when art becomes culture. This is what you see with truly powerful work. This is what Metallica represents.
Finally, when the lights went down and fans were ushered onto the stage, the audience got treated to a clip from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Hetfield walked up to the microphone and spoke to jeers of applause before a note.
Gallery: Metallica at X Games Austin 2015