Metallica: A, Rose Bowl: F
There are many thrills to seeing a big band in a big arena, and the first time one gets to do it, it becomes the memory of a lifetime, a formative moment that shapes one’s musical outlook forever. Saturday night’s Metallica show at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena might have been that for many of the younger fans who’ve just discovered the band, and got to partake in that familiar rock & roll rite of passage — having their parents drop them off at the venue (those poor, poor parents).
Older fans who got there several hours before the show, cars stocked with six-packs and snacks, were able to spend the day living out their Heavy Metal Parking Lot fantasies, so by nightfall, they were probably wasted and happy.
But the rest of us? We were pretty much in hell until we got to our seats.
I’ll just say it: The Rose Bowl is not made for concerts, and when it does hold them, it offers the worst entry experience you can have at an L.A. venue. The flea market I can deal with, but I genuinely don’t remember the last time I went there for a music event. Some of the nearby freeway exits were blocked off, as were many of the surrounding streets, forcing everyone to take the same route, a clogged snail trail through limited residential streets (we were on Washington) that can take hours. The Uber and Lyft lines seemed no more expedient, either.
Trying to avoid the $40 (!) parking fees, I opted to pay one of the many enterprising residents in the area and parked on their lawn for 20 bucks. Then I walked about a mile to the venue. Before I did that, I guess I should’ve talked to someone who attended Arroyo…
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