'Metallica can still fill a stadium' Transcript:
David Bozell: When did COVID start in earnest? When do we think? Late February, early March? America shut down March 13th. Okay. So, late February, early March. Fast forward two years, COVID is basically over, but not for the reasons that you sort of look around and you see on the news. I mean, you turn on the news now and it's all Ukraine and Russia, but it's not so much because cases are dropping or variants have improved the trajectory of the virus or that mandates are dropping left and right even in the bluest of blue states.
February 25th, last Friday, I witnessed the end of COVID in the most spectacular, fun way. 70,000 of us crammed into the new Raiders, Las Vegas Raiders stadium, Allegiant Stadium, beautiful facility, to see Metallica just blow the doors off the building for two hours. I mean, America has a lot of quintessential American things - apple pie, freedom, maybe guns, Western movies for sure - that's quintessential American - American football, the real football, not soccer, fried food.
And add to that list, heavy metal, led by Metallica, who I think... What are the biggest bands in the world today? U2? That could fill a stadium? U2 could fill a stadium, maybe the Foo Fighters, maybe Pearl Jam. Pearl Jam's sold out Wrigley Field and a couple of other spots, they could. But Metallica did a one-off, they're not even on an American tour. They did a one-off in Vegas the other night. My buddy and I flew out there. Awesome, awesome show. What a release! 70,000 fans, 99% of us are all just decked out in black.
Especially for guys that are just getting beat up. The American male is getting beat up in our pop culture day in and day out for being insufficiently this or you should be more woke that. And to just go out there and just sort of let loose and head bang for two hours was just an incredible release, particularly after two years of being locked down to one degree or another, having this freedom restricted or that freedom restricted. There's just nothing better. There's nothing better than an American rock concert, nothing.
You want to end this Russian/Ukraine conflict, go park Metallica on the Eastern Ukrainian border between Russian and Ukraine and just have these guys go watch them for a couple hours, blow off some steam. You'd have a peace agreement by the end of the show. So, kudos to Metallica for doing that. Only a handful of masks, M-A-S-K-S, masks, only a handful of drunken shenanigans, guys being walked out.
Even saw a mosh pit, which I haven't seen in years, but it was kind of like a well-behaved mosh pit, like everybody saying, "Look, we're all on the same team. We're here to have some fun." After two years, they provided some fun. So, thanks to Metallica for doing that one-off show in Vegas. Great seats, great venue, good tunes.
Well, Allegiant Stadium is kind of weird. It's across the street from Mandalay Bay. It's kind of just sticks out there at the end of the strip, sort of the end of the old strip, older end of the strip, which I can't... I don't know my Vegas geography. I don't know if that's the northern end or southern end, eastern or western, but it is near Mandalay Bay and the New York Casino. New York, New York Casino, is that the name of it? You just walk across this pedestrian bridge and you're back on the strip, back in the casinos, which is really convenient.
But it looks like a spaceship, much like a lot of things in Vegas do. It fits right in. The exterior is all glossy black with sort of like a spaceship white glow, LED light trim all around it. Inside, I mean, it's a perfect venue for Metallica. The interior aesthetic is all black, painted black. It's very cool.
I mean, you can see why the Raiders... I mean, it just screams Raiders. Though they don't have any of the Super Bowl banners for them hanging up there, which I thought was kind of odd. I was kind of looking for them. Maybe they just haven't transported them yet from Oakland. But very, very cool facility.
I thought maybe it had a retractable roof, which would've made it qualify for some COVID open air leniency, but that's a straight closed dome. Nevada had eliminated a lot of the mask stuff a couple weeks prior and vaccine requirements a couple weeks prior, so everyone was there to have a good time. I haven't heard of a single news report. I've read some of the reviews of the show from Vegas, but I haven't read a single news report of any sort of a super spreading event when 70,000 people are maskless inside a dome screaming their heads off, right?
If anyone's been to church during COVID, particularly in the first third of this, there were some churches and masses that were not allowing the congregation to sing. If you wanted to sing, you had to keep your mask on. There was some choirs that sang with their mask on, which were sort of silly. But, hey, look, two hours of heavy metal people were yelling back at the band and singing along. So, a load of fun, COVID over, and just in time for the State of the Union tonight, but the hell with that. COVID over. Thank you, Metallica, for putting an exclamation point and putting on a really good show.