Since the world has been affected by the pandemic, there are many aspects that we have taken for granted. As people have been social distancing from each other, the world has also had to follow suit. Sporting events and entertainment venues have had to put a halt to their activities as well, but have now recently begun to get back in the action.
Drive in movies used to be a popular form of entertainment during the mid-twentieth century, but have since dwindled down drastically, almost to the point of extinction. Although there are still a few remaining drive in theaters in operation, they too have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently some of the restrictions on such venues have been loosened and some people are, with certain limitations, experiencing forms of social gatherings and entertainment again.
A recent concept has emerged and a few musical artists have utilized this opportunity to entertain the masses again. The latest trend is to project a musical performance on to the giant drive in movie screens, to allow the audience to feel as if they are emerged in a live outdoor concert.
Country superstar, Keith Urban was one of the first major artists to hop on this trend, with other country performers and other artists soon following.
When I heard that the band Metallica was one of the bands that would be conducting one of these Drive-In concerts, there was no doubt in my mind that this was a must-see event.
I have been a Metallica fan since the 1980s, yes, I’m that old. This was one band that I have always wanted to see live, but have never had the opportunity.
I’ve been around the world and have seen many different concerts, that include some of the biggest rockers that rank high up there with Metallica; Mötley Crüe, Kiss, Guns N’ Roses, Alice Cooper, and the list could go on. Naturally my wife and I had to get tickets.
Since the pandemic, this was the first major outing that we have had the chance to enjoy and we had to bring along a couple friends of ours.
We were not disappointed!!
As was the case with most drive ins and other venues currently practicing social distancing, we had to ensure we followed the guidelines of the establishment while we were there. When we left our designated area, to attain refreshments or anything of that nature, we had to wear a mask and maintain the six-foot interval. In our designated parking area though, it was just us. There was plenty of space allotted between each parking spot, so as not to violate any of the restrictions.
The band 3 Days Grace opened up the show. They had a rocking performance in their own right and our group was surprisingly familiar with most of the songs that they performed. Even though we all knew that we were watching a big screen it still had that outdoor concert vibe to it. Often times when I would go to a concert, I would observe the giant screens surrounding the stage to get a better view, so to me it was a similar encounter.
After about thirty minutes of rocking out to 3 Days Grace, James Hetfield and the rest of the boys from Metallica appeared on that same screen and the crowd roared! There were only a few hundred people spread out in an area about the size of a Walmart parking lot, so there obviously was not going to be the deafening scream of fans that would fill a football stadium.
Even with the smaller, but more spread out crowd there was the same rocking atmosphere of a stadium performance.
When Hetfield screamed those first lyrics of “Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire!” the audience was immediately pumped up.
When the drum beats came crashing in and those guitar riffs screeched along with his voice the concert was certainly underway.
The band played their hearts out during this wild and rambunctious performance. They used precision and superb craftsmanship in each melody to ensure a masterpiece was created with each song belted from the stage.
They took the time to address the issues that prevented everyone from consolidating for these events and truly showed their appreciation to their fans. They knew that they were speaking to multiple audiences simultaneously and that fact was mentioned during the show as well. In fact, an old high school buddy of mine was watching the same concert that I was, nearly a thousand miles away in central Minnesota.
Not only was the show enjoyable to the fans in attendance, it was apparent that the band members were enjoying themselves during the performance and seemed to have missed playing for crowds. Even though they could not see us, they had the sense that they were being appreciated during that moment in time.
There were a couple times during the show when we noticed their goofball antics, and their overall camaraderie of playing together again. Not only did they miss putting on a show for an audience but just playing rock and roll music together again as a solid, cohesive unit.
They ended up closing the show with one of their most popular and well-known hits “Enter Sandman.” This seemed like the fitting song to end on, as it was definitely time to say good night after rocking so hard, not only for the fans but for the band as well.
Until the pandemic is over and people are able to return to normalcy again, shows like these are a great substitute to actually seeing a band live. Even though it wasn’t the same as actually seeing them live, I would recommend a Drive-In concert for a great entertainment experience.