Lessons Learned From Taking My 5-year-old to Metallica
Metallica came back to Sioux Falls Tuesday night for the first time since I was a 15-year-old high school freshman - May 14, 1992. I had not seen them in the meantime so I was unbelievably excited when it was announced they were coming.
I got in on the fan club presale and was able to score two-floor tickets. I figured my buddy from Denver would probably come out and if not I would have no trouble selling the extra ticket. As it turned out I had trouble selling the extra ticket. The idea that I might take my 5-year-old son, Esia, crept into my mind.
He loves Metallica. He hasn't been exposed to a lot of music but whether I throw in Master of Puppets, the black album (which he owns), or Hardwired, he loves it. When my last chance to sell the spare ticket fell through I decided I should take him, even though he's only in kindergarten.His favorite songs, in order: "Atlas, Rise!" "Spit Out The Bone," "Through The Never," "Now That We're Dead," and "Battery."
I didn't have a favorite band when I was five. I don't recall caring about music particularly. Esia, on the other hand, has built his own drum set out of used plastic containers and tinker toys with old scratched DVDs for cymbals. He has also run around with an old Guitar Hero controller guitar and pretends to rock out with it. Of course it's the Gibson Explorer replica like several that Metallica frontman James Hetfield often plays.
And he loves Metallica.
First of all, I don't regret it. Not in the least. I only heard one snide comment when a snotty woman sneered "Wow, nice parenting."
Before the show, he was a bit of a rock star in his own right. He got high fives from security staff and a brief bit of extra attention from Jim Breuer as he was walking out. A lot of it was the novelty of such a young kid at a concert like Metallica. He also scored a guitar pick from a stagehand who passed us by as she headed back under the stands. I couldn't resist the "Master of Parents" t-shirt available in youth sizes at the merch stand. When he tried it on I heard a couple of people say "Oh, cute!"
He lasted for about seven songs. He was frustrated most by the one hour wait between the 7:30 pm show time and the 8:30 pm start time. Annoying to an adult, torture for a kid. He probably asked me 318 times "When are the players coming out?"
He was also not a fan of being on the floor for obvious reasons. If I ever buy tickets for Metallica again, they will be in seats. He couldn't see. We moved up to some vacant seats on an aisle in the lower bowl but by that point, around 9:30 pm, he was tired and had had enough. That's when he told me "I want to go home!"
If I had it to do over again I would have got him a nap and more research on when the band actually starts playing. I would have also traded someone for lower level seats since there wasn't really a bad lower level seat with the band playing in-the-round.
I was a little bummed after my wife picked him up. He was so excited I hoped he could hold out and when he couldn't it put a slight downer on the show for me. Crystal said he blamed me for making him leave early as they drove home. But the next day when I picked him up from school he jabbered on and on about what he saw and wanted to watch the videos I took after he left.
Another cool takeaway was a photo of Esia posted on Instagram by Danny Sigelman. The post was shared on the Metallica.com homepage in the social feed section of the show.
He's definitely a member of the Metallica family.