Muchas Gracias Mexico! You showed us so much love that together we broke the record for the most people to attend three shows at Foro Sol as 197,444 of you rocked the house!
BY STEFFAN CHIRAZI
AH man…just when we were really getting comfortable!
Y’know, after a week of being in Mexico City amongst some of the greatest (and I mean that with every last letter) Metallica fans in the world, after a week of settling in and feeling it all feral and frantic, after seeing Metallica blow Foro Sol open for a few nights, we find ourselves at the end of it all. I am sitting at my hotel room desk, it’s 5:08 am, and Metallica just made sure the Foro Sol will need a claims adjuster to sort out all the ruptured walls and foundations they blitzed on this, their final show. Everyone was just downstairs at the after-show get-together, both the Metallica and Iggy camps, and it is really amazing how seamless and easy the “gel” has been between both camps. My theory is that it’s because both have the same rebellious, independent, willful-fuck-you-this-is-rock-and-roll blood running through their veins, and as such, those mutually-shared instincts were always going to have made this a bill of might.
Indeed, it was a mighty, mighty power-stuffed series of swings and punches tonight, which commenced with another of the opening acts you voted for, Los Sicarios del Rock & Roll, bringing the heat up with a flavor landing them close to The Strokes in a convertible Mustang before making room for some solid, dirty rock.
Then there’s The Ledge. Iggy Pop.
The body of a warrior, the frame and flesh of a true survivor who is quite simple his own genre. The voice and attitude of an angry fucking punk. The whole of goddam Iggy roared and shook like a shock-therapy doll, and when he hits that zone, he doesn’t stop for anything or anyone, he goes and goes and goes, throwing the mic-stand again, tapping deep resources of fizz that many people 20 years his junior can’t muster. The Foro Sol was all-in tonight, screaming his name and receiving the sort of bombastic, bitchin’ punky-monkey sermon that goes down as legend. I absorbed a moment, a huge moment, during the final song of his set, the seductive fugue-like swirl of “Mass Production,” and Iggy stood on one of the Snake Pit ramps, arms slightly out, absorbing the crowd, its size, and its energy… you were once again reminded that this here was artistic greatness in its purest form and the privilege really had been all ours.
I think tonight Metallica officially migrated the new songs from Hardwired…To Self-Destruct into the pantheon of “classic ’Tallica tunes” as opposed to being just “new ones.” At this point, it is near-impossible to imagine another opener than the mighty “Hardwired” with its minimally processed, no nitrates, all pure ingredients thrashing gauntlet hurled to the floor as a massive statement of intent. With “Atlas…” hot off its heels, tonight confirmed for me personally that this one-two punch is like “Battery” and “Master…” have been in years gone by, thus “newbies no more.”
One thing which took me by pleasant surprise was hearing just how immensely popular “The Day That Never Comes” is, the Foro Sol shaking concrete when this Death Magnetic representative made its appearance. Tonight also marked the official unveiling of the seventh HTSD cut to take the stage, “Dream No More,” the Foro Sol moving with its every last dirty groove before the bastards decided to slap everyone silly with another mighty, tighty scythe of classic thrash, “Whiplash”…and as the fan fires swirled and bobbled around the likes of “Creeping…” and “…Puppets,” the mini-stage revealed once more the smell of fresh, homemade jam hung in the air. And when James humbly introduced Iggy onstage to jam “T.V. Eye” (a classic Stooges template from the Fun House album for just about every band that ever had a thought of delivering a dangerous punky, thrashy riff) it sounded as natural and snug as a loud, raw, and preposterously rude bug in a rug. This was filthy rock testosterone hurled at its hardest and meanest, and it beggared belief that “…Eye” was never covered for any of the Garage Days or B sides or whatever, because the pair of them played it like it was THEIR song and not just Iggy’s. And hey! Check it out; they only jammed it with Iggy twice in the tuning room a couple of hours earlier. The thought only arose 24 hours prior! This was not some huge “plan” that had been on the burner for some time; this all happened in 24 hours! Yeah! Chew on that!
All that and “Nothing…” and “…Sandman” and fireworks? I mean, can’t they just roll back in for a fourth on Tuesday? A fifth on Thursday? Do we have to leave? Does Iggy have to go? Can’t we all just do it again and again and again? I’d better stop now as it’s not gonna happen and I’ll end up missing my flight. Suffice to say, thank you AGAIN Mexico City for being the true Wild Bunch.