The Metallica show in Lubbock set a benchmark for shows that I don't know will ever be met.

Let's break down the show piece by piece. First off, there's the United Supermarkets Arena. What a 110 percent class organization from top to bottom. Everyone was admitted on time, and there were tons of non-aggressive, helpful folks who were there to make sure everyone had a good time. We didn't "invade" the home of Texas Tech basketball; we were welcomed on every level. At the end of the show, there were even police to help the traffic drain off really quickly for a crowd that size.

Next up was comedian Jim Breuer. If Metallica doesn't give this guy a lifelong contract, they're stone cold crazy. Breuer and his sidekick got the show rolling with laughs, music, singalongs, and tons of crowd interaction. You may not have noticed by Breuer kept going back into the crowd during the show to pump people up, too. Breuer and the Metallica folks were even kind enough to give FMX props on stage and allow me to work the microphone for a quick lap around it.

Then, there's Metallica. First off, Metallica doesn't need to bring a stage show. They could play in front of a white sheet and be incredible. The band hasn't lost a step or any energy.

On the flip side, if for some reason you didn't have any hearing, that show would have still have been an amazing visual experience. The automated projector boxes, the drones, and just enough pyro for emphasis were killer. The band played a fantastic mix of tracks, while showing the crowd why the new stuff matches up well with classic Metallica. They even added in a little "Peggy Sue," along with some ZZ Top, for the hometown folks.

 

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After the set, the band seemed truly, amazingly, humble and thankful to the Lubbock audience, throwing out hundreds of guitar pics featuring the Metallica logo with the Buddy Holly Statue.

I did save the best for last. I was really concerned that this show would be a bit of a "dead" show. I thought it possible that maybe some students or folks with connections to United Supermarkets Arena would buy tickets just because they could (it seemed to happen in the early days). I was also concerned that the Metallica fans have mellowed out, or even that it's been so long in between concerts that they just didn't know how to get into it. Instead of these fears being realized, I believe I saw one of the hottest concert crowds I've ever seen in this town.

There were more than a few occasions when the crowd sang louder than the band, everyone seemed to get into the new stuff and everybody knew where to put those "hey, hey, heys" in. Well done, guys.

That show was 100 percent worth every single penny, every hour that every person had to work to afford tickets, every minute spent planning to get there, it was an amazing production, and an amazing night from top to bottom.

Welcome to the big leagues, Lubbock.