DM Coffin

This is what the Philadelphia Daily News reported about the Free Concert, the second time.

Metal heavies plan free show

To city officials' displeasure, Metallica is set to stage parking-lot performance

by Francesca Chapman,
Dave Davies
and Mark McDonald
Daily News Staff Writers
You liked the Million Woman March? How about Metallica's "Multi-Million Decibel March" headed for Phildelphia?

Heavy-metal rockers Metallica are planning a free outdoor concert outside the CoreStates Center on Tuesday, Veterans Day.

The 3 p.m. event in the arena's parking lot could attract as many as 40,000 fans, organizers say. The band sold out two shows at CoreStates last year -- when tickets were $30 a pop.

City officials, however, seem reluctant to jump in the mosh pit. Kevin Feeley, the mayor's spokesman, said the city knows of plans for the outdoor event, but hasn't given approval.

"As far as we're concerned there are a lot of open questions that have to be resolved about this even before any concert would take place," Feeley said last night.

Deputy Managing Director Joe Martz has been reviewing logistical issues raised by the outdoor rock-out and city lawyers are negotiating with Electric Factory, which will produce the show, Feeley added.

"There are questions about who will provide and pay for police protection, what special services will be arranged, all sorts of issues that you would normally take for granted at an outdoor event like this haven't been resolved yet," he said.

City Councilman James Kenney trashed the open-air gathering when he learned of it from a Daily News reporter last night.

"On the face of it, I think it would be a big mistake. Once again, you're going to have problems with crowds in a residential area. You'll have noise and traffic congestion," he said.

If the heavy-metal rock group wants to hold a concert here, why not hold it inside the CoreStates Spectrum? he asked. "And if you're putting all these Beavis and Butt-heads in the parking lot, where are you going to park the cars?"

DJs at WYSP-FM, already talking up the show, are urging fans to ride the subway.

Kenney said that State Rep. Bill Keller, who represents the neighborhoods around the facility, also opposes the show.

Promoters believe there will be a large turnout for the aging headbanger musicians since local Metallica fans persuaded the band to bring the free show to town.

"When I heard about the concert I switched my shift so that I could go," said Tim Rice, a supervisor at Tower Records in the Northeast. "They're pretty much the best from the '80s, with Ozzy Osbourne and AC/DC."

"They hit a nerve with people, it's just as simple as that," Rice said.

The rockers had been impressed by the big turnout at country star Garth Brooks' free summer concert in New York's Central Park, and with a new album coming out Nov. 18, were eager to stage a similar extravagazanza.

Central Park, however, did not return the sentiments. Several other cities, including Boston and Chicago, likewise turned thumbs down.

So on Sept. 26, the band began a nationwide search for a city that could provide a venue for a free outdoor concert. They provided an 800 number and Internet Web site for fans to make a pitch.

Radio stations in Miami, Detroit and other cities whipped fans into a frenzy. WYSP led the local effort "because Metallica is an important band for our listeners," according to WYSP marketing manager Karin Buck.

DJs at the radio station -- the only one in town to give the band regular airplay -- urged listeners to contact the band.

The CoreStates parking lot was deemed capable of handling a standing, "festival-style" crowd, Buck added.

And Philadelphia metalheads bombarded the band with calls and e-mail.

Metallica was sold.

"We asked our fans to find us a place to play, and they came through," guitarist James Hetfield said in a statement issued by the band's label. "And now on Nov. 11 we're going to blow them away. There's no better place to play millions of decibels than the Hard-CoreStates arena."

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