Metallica in China: This Time, It’s Real

News has broken that a a permit for a Shanghai Metallica show this August has been issued. A permit, one is quick to add, that answers the question we know you’re wondering: Metallica rolls in a ninety-four-person posse.

Timely, then, to look back, as so often this space does, on the last time Metallic rumbles were sent through the Middle Kingdom.

It was 2010 when Metallica was first supposed to be coming to China. Word was, they’d be hitting the Midi Festival’s China Mobile Zhenjiang Music Season/HiFi Xijindu Series, which was a series of concerts to be held in the in the vinegar-production capital of eastern China, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu that would culminate in October 2010’s Midi Festival. In the announcement of the Series, the organisers wanted to end with a whopper, so they threw in a line about how, oh yeah, this band called Metallica would play. Here’s what I wrote at China-music-biz site China Music Radar about that announcement. In short: They lied (but even in long, it’s worth a peek; it’s not that long). But it was a nice thought for a second: Metallica at the Midi Festival. As a former Midi Festival employee, audience member and performer, it sure gets one thinking about how the festival would have handled a ninety-four-person machine. One also can’t help but thinking that one didn’t remember there being ninety-four people involved in the organisation of said Festival, but that’s another thing entirely.

While we’re on the subject of the HiFi Xijindu Series, why not revisit a piece I wrote for the aforementioned Chinese music-biz blog. It’s my reflections upon that (alas, Metallica-less) concert series, through experiences both on, in front of and behind the stage, as a performer in the series, and as a guy charged with bringing in and taking care of other performers in the series. That piece, in all its glory, is but a mouse-click away.