The Day That Should’ve Never Come

Dear DNA Networks, Metallica Band Members and the Crew,

As I lie in bed and watch NDTV newsanchors blame the “rowdy” Gurgaon crowd for “vandalising” the Metallica concert stage and creating “chaos”, I’m only filled with more anger.

I strongly feel that what you got tonight, is less when compared to what you actually deserved. The concert you organized in Gurgaon was a mess from the start to the finish. It started with the open consumption of alcohol, hash and what not at the entrance of the venue. With absence of any real security, it was a free-for-all. The seeds were sown the moment the crowd tried to push itself inside the venue and you made them wait for hours together. A woman could be seen weeping, lying on the floor with a bruised foot.

Once you actually opened the gates, you started frisking people for cigarttes and other banned items. The irony of this whole drama is the fact that while the staff frisking at the gates confiscated the cigarettes, Marlboro had stalls put up inside the concert venue selling overpriced cigarette boxes.

Now, when the 20000+ crowd stormed inside the venue, you suddenly realised the barricades were way too close to the stage. Either you failed to count the number of tickets sold or you really didn’t care about anyone’s security. So, now, you ask one half of the intoxicated to sit on the floor. The other half, is asked to move back. By this time, due to the wait outside the venue, the enthusiasm all combined with intoxicants, the crowds refuse to budge. There isn’t any security staff equipped to handle the situation. Whatever security staff is present, is busy talking to the ladies in the crowd and handing them soda cans and water bottles.

This is the time when a firang guy, I’m presuming a member of the Metallica crew, dressed in a grey t-shirt snatches the microphone and starts to speak – “You guys better fuckin’ listen to me! Move back you buttheads! Move back!”
Alright. This was unexpected. And as expected, the crowd is furious. Repeated attempts by the firang crew members now go in vain. The Indian organizers, now took the stage and addressed the crowd as “Bhai log, piche ho jao. Show nahin shuru karenge varna”. Another guy jumps in from behind and shouts, “Jai Bajrang Bali!”. The crowd claps, hoots and mocks the organizers. A serious situation turned into a joke.

Finally, after an hour, the crowd did show support and moved back. The organizers quickly got to “fixing” their barricades. All this while, the crowd just sits on the floor. I believe we were there to listen to heavy metal and not attend a satsang.

So, let me sum up the things till this point – the crew has insulted the Indian fans, probably because of some “third-world” bias which makes them feel that Indians don’t understand what metal is and you can treat them like shit and get away with it.

The wait continues. Again, I presume, this was allowed so that Fast Trax could sell shitty burgers for Rs. 80 and small cold drinks for Rs. 50. During this time, young Indian guys conveniently move guitars and drums away from the stage. The crowd still doesn’t know shit.

Another big concern is the fact that mobile networks simply ceased to operate. Once again, I’m assuming this was a targeted move to contain the negative PR (I know, I’m getting too much into conspiracies here).

Some people randomly walk on the stage, gesture towards the crowd and then walk off. It’s now around 6.30PM. I move out from the group of people next to the stage towards the far end of the venue. There are literally hundreds like me, lying on the floor, frustrated with the experience and still hoping for Metallica to come perform on stage. Suddenly, the guy in the grey t-shirt is back. “I have an important announcement to make. Metallica is at the hotel, holding a press conference with the national television channels. Due to technical difficulties, the concert will now be held tomorrow”. He quickly hands over the mic to an Indian guy while the crowd went hysterical. All that could be seen was a sea of middle fingers. The crowds start shouting. Someone throws a bottle on stage. The firangs run. The Indian guy threatens that “we’ve waited 30 years for Metallica to come to India, if you continue this behaviour, they will not perform tomorrow as well”. This final threat was the trigger. It set off the bomb which Metallica, the organizers and the crew themselves very carefully built due to their own lack of respect for the audience and shoddy management skills.

There are now literally dozens of bottles flying on the stage. Someone, even more frustrated, throws a 20 litre water dispenser, prompting many others to do the same. All this while, an organizer is still trying to pacify the crowd. Too little, too late. The barricades, which never really existed, are brought down and a dozen men are now on stage. The gathering on the stage swells and all hell breaks loose. Equipment is thrown around, speakers are tossed and the stage is torn apart. The security guys run away. The police, present in small numbers outside the venue do nothing. Its a mini riot. There are no emergency exits and its at that point my friends and I decide to leave before it got too ugly.

There are females, children, old fans, young fans, anyone and everyone. All of them disappointed.

You on the other hand, dear band members, were sitting in your hotel room, comfortably. You did not have the courtesy to apologise to your fans. Your crew treated the audience like dogs by hurling abuses at them and insulting them. After all of this, you expect the situation to go down well?

Had this been USA, UK or any other nation for that matter, you’d have not dare messed with the audience by way of insults. You would not have organized and participated in a concert that so blatantly compromised on security of everyone and possibly endangered so many lives. If there would’ve been a mistake, you would not have taken the audience for a ride, by making them wait for the entire day and very conveniently shooing them off in the end. You thought, well, this is India, a country filled with stupid, illiterate and downmarket people who really don’t get what were doing. So, let us just do our shit, because in the end, we’ll get away with it. You dissed the crowd, pissed them off with your arrogance and then sat on a time bomb waiting to explode.

The people waited for you for 30 years. You just never had the courtesy to show up. Fuck you.

At the end of the day, I lost 3 grands, lost an entire day to your nonsense and landed myself in a riot.
I’m not even a hardcore heavy metal or Metallica fan. Imagine the level of disappointment to those who are.
I wish someone sues all of you into oblivion.

Yours truly.

Excuse me for faulty grammar, if any. This rant has been written in one single shot without revision.

A follow-up that answers some points of discussion – The Reason Why I’m Angry with Metallica

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