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Date: 2004-03-31
Location: Denver, CO - United States [19 shows here]
Venue: Pepsi Center [2 shows here]
Fan reviews: 1 - Add yours!
Author: Phil
Setlist: Yes

Phil's Madly In Anger With The World Tour Review

Opening Words
Day 1 -- 03/01/04 -- Travel
Day 2 -- 03/02/04 -- Phoenix, AZ Show
Day 3 -- 03/03/04 -- Tucson, AZ Show
Day 4 -- 03/04/04 -- Travel
Day 5 -- 03/05/04 -- Los Angeles, CA Show
Day 6 -- 03/06/04 -- Los Angeles, CA Show
Day 7 -- 03/07/04 -- Travel
Day 8 -- 03/08/04 -- San Francisco, CA Show
Day 9 -- 03/09/04 -- Chill
Day 10 -- 03/10/04 -- Sacramento, CA Show
Day 11 -- 03/11/04 -- Reno, NV Show
Day 12 -- 03/12/04 -- Travel
Day 13 -- 03/13/04 -- Las Vegas, NV Show
Day 14 -- 03/14/04 -- Fresno, CA Show
Day 15 -- 03/15/04 -- Chill
Day 16 -- 03/16/04 -- Travel
Day 17 -- 03/17/04 -- Chill
Day 18 -- 03/18/04 -- Portland, OR Show
Day 19 -- 03/19/04 -- Travel
Day 20 -- 03/20/04 -- Boise, ID Show
Day 21 -- 03/21/04 -- Spokane, WA Show
Day 22 -- 03/22/04 -- Travel
Day 23 -- 03/27/04 -- Travel
Day 24 -- 03/28/04 -- Seattle, WA Show
Day 25 -- 03/29/04 -- Travel
Day 26 -- 03/30/04 -- Casper, WY Show
Day 27 -- 03/31/04 -- Denver, CO Show
Day 28 -- 04/01/04 -- Travel
Day 29 -- 11/24/04 -- San Diego, CA Show
Day 30 -- 11/27/04 -- Anaheim, CA Show
Day 31 -- 11/28/04 -- San Jose, CA Show
Day 32 -- 11/29/04 -- Chill
Day 33 -- 11/30/04 -- Travel
Closing Thoughts

Opening Words

15 Metallica tickets... $1220
251.649 gallons of gas... $538
27 stops at fastfood... $139
17 nights of hotels... $843
15 venues parking expenses... $102
Other Misc food: $123.65
Oil changes, plane tickets, tow trucks, etc... $533.75
Another 4 weeks on the road with Metallica... priceless

First a few notes on the above stats. I did a lot of work, again, to keep accurate books, and thus the above are as close as possible. However, I might have lost a receipt or two, so they're probably not perfect. These stats are only for March/April '04. Anyway a few notes:
  • I did not include the November expenses, though I did include reviews for those shows.
  • In addition to those 251.649 gallons of gas, there's also $35.50 for some unknown quantity of gas.
  • $31.50 of "misc food" was alcohol in a bar in Vegas with some Metallica friends.
  • I spent more ($57.29) at Subway than any other fastfood place, with Taco Bell following ($20.36), and Jack in the Box close behind ($17.32).
  • Lastly, I bought tickets for every show in March but sold 4 of them (didn't make it to 3 shows). Therefore, while I spent $1420 on tickets, I sold approximately $200 worth of them and thus spent approximately $1220 on tickets.
This entire tour is about 8165 miles. The March portion of this tour included approximately 7100 miles of driving. Note that my notes kept good records of daily driving between cities, but not total end-to-end driving, and these numbers come from totaling daily miles listed in this review. Thus total driving is probably at least 10% more than this amount.

After the SS03 tour, I had planned on following "the next" Metallica tour - but I had planned in having a year or so to earn more time off of work, and save up money. However, it was about when I posted the review for Summer Sanitarium 2003 when they announced the US leg of the Madly In Anger With The World tour would start in March - only about 7 months after SS03 ended!

I went through a lot of battles at work trying to figure out a way to do this tour, including meetings with the Deputy CIO, dropping a class I was taking, and some... finagling. In the end, I saw 4 weeks of the tour even if I wasn't necessarily supposed to. I mean, um. Yeah. Thanks to everyone who helped make that possible - you know who you are.

My job on this tour turned out to involve a lot less. This gave me a bit more time, but also made things a bit more boring. That's part of the reason this review is shorter than the last one (though not by a whole lot).

Special thanks to Jon Hobson and Jeff and Brandy Yeager for providing a place to stay. Thanks to Toby Stapleton again for letting me work, letting me eat in catering which saved me a lot of money on this tour, the wine, the toleration, etc. Thanks to Niclas for letting my film, and always making sure I had food and drinks to take with me, and for always being on my side. Thanks to Toby and Mareea for setlists, pics, and the like. Thanks to Hal for the shirt. Thanks to Steve Wiig for being awesome for so many years. Thanks to Rachel and Josh for the phone conversations to keep me awake while driving long trips late at night. Thanks to Lynn for helping me with the tickets I needed to sell, and for all the online flirting. Last, but not least, thanks to all of the people who signed on to talk to BoothGuy every day, and came to visit me at the booth. You all rock. I'm sure I forgot someone, and if so, I'm sorry, and thanks!

I link to specific parts of the picture page in the beginning of the appropriate days, but you can view all of them here if you'd like.

You'll probably be interested to see my originally planned itinerary, which was mostly followed minus the Canada shows which I skipped and flew home for to be back at work.

DISCLAIMER: As with last time there is excessive detail here. You can use the links to read that which you are interested in. Also, as with last time, this is a revised version of my journal meant to be readable. It's about 16,600 words, and I don't care to take that much time with perfecting the writing. Enjoy.


Day 1 -- 03/01/04 -- Travel

Miles: 498.3
Parking: n/a
City stopped in: Tucson, AZ

I left work early afternoon, and headed out. Long drive.... Starting with a short trip (get to stop by home in only 4 days) is good because I remembered things I forgot about being on the road... like how to drink so that you stay hydrated but don't have to stop to pee every hour. Great to be on the road again! I got to Jon's house really late, we talked for a bit, and finally went to bed.


Day 2 -- 03/02/04 -- Phoenix, AZ Show

Miles: 0
Parking: $0
City stopped in: Tucson, AZ

We woke up and headed to venue - with a quick stop at In-N-Out in Phoenix. We get there and wait for Toby outside while eating In-N-Out on the sidewalk. Toby comes and gets us and brings us to the booth. He hands me a key for the roadcase (we finally got a lock!), shows me the new laptop, etc., and I start setting up. Toby goes off to do other stuff, and while we're setting up, we hear something... loud... familiar... and what do you know, it's METALLICA! Jon and are right next to an entrance to the seating area, so we run in there (no one is in the venue at this point) to see Metallica jamming! We don't stay, because we have a job to do, but we stop for a second to awe at the fact that we're watching a Metallica jam only the crew and us are getting to see. While we're setting up, they play some amazing stuff. In addition to parts of Puppets, NEM, Blackened, One and a few others, they play the entire of I Disappear! Jon and I took turns running in to watch a few seconds of this at a time. Are they really going to play I Disappear?! They also played Holier Than Thou, which we were both equally astonished at and took turns taking peaks at. Holier and Disappear were played in full while the rest were only small jams. Seeing Metallica play to an empty arena and just us was a very unique and cool experience!

We found out later that this was not a sound-check/warm-up. They were playing so that they could get the recording levels for the LiveMetallica.com recordings correct.

Listening to the jams/rehearsals just made the day great in and of itself. Also getting a sneak peak at the stage was awesome.... COOLEST FUCKING STAGE ever in my opinion, second only to the Poor Touring Me stage, which may well tie this one. It was great to be back out on the road with Metallica. The Meet-N-Greet is all handled outside/before doors by Toby, so on the one hand, it is one less thing for me to have to do, but on the other hand, that is one of the more fun parts of the job I don't get to do anymore. All I have to do is handle the questions and the yelling over Godsmack.

In addition to the new laptop, Toby gave me kicking power in the chat room which was pretty sweet.

The M&G took forever today. Apparently Lars was really late getting there, and so Toby didn't get back until basically minutes before Metallica was scheduled to start (8:20), but of course they were 40 minutes late, so no biggie there.

I went down to the floor and found a nice spot on the rail on the corner of the stage. About 10 minutes later a guy puts her child next to me on a small space left, and some guy start yelling at me for taking the spot of the woman and her kid -- apparently they went to the bathroom. I figure I have plenty more shows (and he was a lot bigger than me), so after a while I left, and went around to the side where I saw Jon. I stood behind him, one person from the rail, on the "slim" side of the stage. The stage is a square, and the arena floor is rectangular, so there are two sides with a lot of room, and two sides with very little room. I was on one side with very little room (less people, less pushing... in theory). I managed to get on the rail for the last 4 or 5 songs.

The stage is AWESOME! It is a very large square almost the width of the arena floor. It is _very_ low, so you're a lot closer to the band than on past tours. There are 2 smaller raised squares on either side, and down ramps that meet each other at a platform in the middle, and then continue sideways to the rest of the stage. Underneath these squares is a small area for the band to go get a drink between encores, and where the band's techs are. Then the best part -- the entire stage rotates. Take the large square, and draw the biggest circle you can in it, and that portion does a full 360-degree turn over the course of the entire night!! The lighting kit suspended from the roof that comes down after Blackened is pretty extensive with arms that move during One, etc. The light kit is compressed against the roof and not on during the first song (Blackened), and only some free-standing lamps around the edges of the stage are used. At the end of Blackened the lights come down from the ceiling and the lamps are removed.

Spirits were particularly high; the band seemed to be extremely happy to kicking off the tour here in the US. To make the night extra special they played Holier Than Thou, which was a great treat! Additionally they played one of my favorites I haven't heard in a while: Breadfan!

There were no stickers tonight, that starts tomorrow, apparently. Jon and I got In-N-Out again on the way back to Tucson (Jon being from CA and missing the best burger joint on the planet takes any chance he can to get In-N-Out). The drive back seemed longer than the drive out, but we eventually got home, and crashed.


Day 3 -- 03/03/04 -- Tucson, AZ Show

Miles: 0
Parking: $4
City stopped in: Tucson, AZ

Tonight's show was close and easy. Jon showed me where the venue was the day before, and went to work early today. So I drove myself to the venue. This place was TINY! I mean, this place was super tiny. This is probably the smallest non-club place Metallica has ever played. They weren't supposed to have the full light rig tonight, but I as far as I could tell, they did. Ssshhh. =)

I setup on one table and ate -- uh, I think McDonalds or BK. Toby came and we stole two tables from someone else (got one stolen back, but managed to get another). Toby left to go do something, but didn't get a few feet from me when James and Gio appeared at the top of the stairs on the concourse. Toby joined them and they walked over to the merch booth. Apparently, Toby tells me later, James likes to check up on the merch and make sure it's all good. And people say this band doesn't care.

The booth was ridiculously slow today. I was in a dark corner next to the bar with no light. The ladies at the bar were nice enough to provide me with small cups of water throughout the night. I was by myself in the booth and NO one was stopping by despite my usual yelling and salesman stuff. At one point I had called Toby and asked him or Jeff to stop by because I hadn't even gotten to take a leak in hours... finally a few clubbers I recognized enough to trust came by and they watched the booth while I ran off to the men's room. Shortly thereafter, I think Jeff showed up to check on me.

The band was particularly happy tonight, full of smiles and raw energy. The place was just packed with energy. I was behind two really short girls, on one corner about two "rows" from the bar. There was one asshole who kept jumping around and into people, and hit the girls quite a few times. About 4 of us at different points told him to knock it off, and when he said he'd be back in a minute, we made sure we closed the gap tight enough that he'd never get back.

As for the show, I got two words for you: I Disappear!! Hell yeah! What a cool motherfucking song live! And they have a killer little doodle they do as an intro. In addition to I Disappear, they played Seek and Destroy which is always fun. The pyro is really cool, and tonight was when I figured out that the light pods are only used for Blackened.

After the show it was drizzling, and it took me a while to get ahold of Toby. He came out, gave me a few picks I was missing from my collection and we agreed handing out stickers in the rain was a dumb idea, so I called Jon, and we met up at his place. We talked for a bit, and then went to bed. We arranged how I would leave in the morning (since he'd have already left for work), and then it was off to bed.


Day 4 -- 03/04/04 -- Travel

Miles: 562.5
Parking: n/a
City stopped in: Los Angeles, CA

I woke up early and drove a few hundred miles from Tucson, AZ straight to work. I left about 7:30am, got to work late, did some work, went home, and went straight to bed exhausted.


Day 5 -- 03/05/04 -- Los Angeles, CA Show

Miles: 0
Parking: $20
City stopped in: Los Angeles, CA

Left work about 2:45 to get to the venue around 3:30, but then Toby called to say he couldn't come get me until about 4. He came and Dan and Jon were standing around with me, and Danna was with Toby. We all talked for a few minutes then Toby, Danna, and I went to go setup. There was no elevator that went to the concourse, so we couldn't get the roadcase to the booth. We had to go grab a bunch of stuff from the roadcase and carry it up to the booth. Suck.

We also could only have one table for the booth because this venue sucks ass. Oh, and of course there are two different concourses, so the floor people couldn't get to us. Fucking LA - every damn time.

At least there were lots of people today. My friends Chet and Anne showed up to keep me company for a while, and I saw Liz and James, and Rob, a guy from work I previously only knew over email. Sadly there was NO reception in there, so all the people who tried to call me to ask where I was, where the booth was, etc., I couldn't really help because the calls would just get dropped.

Lots of people were getting tripped up by the backstage policy, unfortunately. They thought it was an hour and half before the show instead of doors. And then they complain they don't know when doors are (call the venue!). Ah well.

After tearing down the booth, I went down to find my friend Lynn who was going to be showing up right about then, and would meet me on the floor. I got a voicemail from her saying she had arrived, but since she had no reception in the arena, I couldn't call her to help find her. Eventually I found her, and we chose a spot on the floor (this was her first Metallica concert!). The floor was surprisingly rough for a 'tallica concert. Pits everywhere. Kinda sucked, but all in all, not bad. At one point I realized my cellphone was no longer on its belt clip!!! I flipped and started looking all around, and a girl nearby handed it to me... I think she'd been waiting for someone to look for it. I handed her some Metallica stickers to say thanks (that's all I had). She was really stoked for them, and I was stoked to have my cellphone (it would have been near impossible to do a trip like this without a phone).

Setlist had been mostly the standard deal.. I Disappear again. A light fell that wasn't supposed to, which was kind of funny. Then, final encore, we got "Am I Evil?" for the cover song!! And then... James says "We haven't played this song in a 100 years" (and I think "Holier than Thou"), then he says, "Wait, I don't think we've ever played this song!" and my mind started to spin circles... could it be??? Could they play Dyers Eve??! YES!! THEY FUCKING PLAYED DYERS EVE!!!! FUCKING A! I flipped. I was jumping and headbanging and going crazy!! I was so fucking stoked! That's the FIRST TIME they have EVER EVER played Dyers Eve!! After that Lynn and I left and tried to find Toby, which proved to be rather difficult. Found him eventually, and helped with the tail end of stickers. Then rounded up my friends to all go to Denny's... and they all bailed, except Lynn, Chet and Anne. Then en-route to Denny's I get a call that Chet and Anne are bailing as well. Which was fine, Lynn and I had fun. Then back to home for sleep, packing, and more fucking METALLICA!


Day 6 -- 03/06/04 -- Los Angeles, CA Show

Miles: 0
Parking: $20
City stopped in: Los Angeles

Got there around 4:45 with some Subway and ate lunch out side the venue because I knew Toby didn't want me there until 5... and Lana and her friend were there so I decided to sit there and eat. I asked Lana if she wanted to work and she said yes, so I went and found Toby. When I found him there were 3 m&g'ers there. ::sigh:: By then we should have had a lot more. LOL. Anyway, we went and got the booth setup.

As with yesterday, the reception sucked. The m&g ended up having 12 people total. Stupid people. Tore down the booth, and then went up to my seat. But my seat wasn't good, so I went down to the floor. I ended up being right where Metallica comes out and through the crowd. It was really interesting to see it, after hearing about it. The setlist was AWESOME. I finally got Dirty Window!! There was also Ride The Lightning, Damage Inc., Die Die My Darling, and Whiplash! Afterwards I went out to find Toby, handed out stickers, and then came home to get some sleep for the drive tomorrow.


Day 7 -- 03/07/04 -- Travel

Miles: 427
Parking: n/a
City stopped in: San Ramon, CA
Tolls: $2

I was planning on getting up at 8 and leaving by 9, but that wasn't going to happen. I woke up at 9 and didn't end up leaving until 10:30, but somehow I miraculously made it to Jeff's place by 5. When I first walked outside I noticed that it was very warm - this is an excellent thing!! I need warmth! Must keep away the snow (late snow would inhibit my car following Metallica)! I hit very little traffic or construction by some wondrous act of God. While we waited for the lasagna that Brandy made to be finished, I hooked up my laptop to Jeff's network and checked email and such. Brandy's lasagna was great. Then some random TV watching, and then off to bed around midnight.


Day 8 -- 03/08/04 -- San Francisco, CA Show

Miles: 0
Parking: n/a
City stopped in: San Ramon, CA
Tolls: $5

Woke up around 10:30 to Jeff on the phone (he had to work), talking to someone (Niclas) about MP3s. I got up and got ready. We were out the door by about 1:30, and went to pick up Niclas. Got to Niclas' place and I waited (erm, stirred the soup or something, actually) while various business affairs were taken care of. We left for the venue around 2:30, and when we arrived, I helped Toby with the crappy ass booth we have. 2 tables, and it's too much of a pain to get the roadcase up there. ::sigh:: Some guy named Jared or something is supposed to come and help after doors open. I setup the booth, and after a long wait, doors finally open. No Jared. Lots of drunk people. Kat, from London, shows up with her boyfriend and she helps me out. So then a group of guys walk by and steal my fucking shirt (when I say "mine" I mean the one taped to the booth. All the booth stuff is "mine" when I'm running the booth)! I was soo fucking pissed off!! Just walked by and ripped it off my booth!! It was a group of guys who disappeared into the thick crowd too quickly. I yelled and started to go after them, but I hadn't taken more than a step before I realized it was useless. Fuckers. I lost a So What! too, but that's no big deal. Then some guy comes and wants to take the fucking tarp/banner!! No asshole. I packed up after that and I was in a shit mood, but I didn't have anywhere to put all the stuff because I didn't have the fucking roadcase. So I stayed with a stack of stuff and waited. And waited. And waited. Toby was late. But Kat and her boyfriend were cool and waited with me. Toby finally showed up and was in (not surprisingly) a bad mood. He left the box of fliers there, took only the necessities, said he needed to run and to go to my seat and bolted.

I went with Kat and her boyfriend down to the floor and stayed until The Unnamed Feeling (which despite my shitty mood, I was stoked to get to see). But I wasn't having fun, so I left and went out onto the concourse. The crowd was PACKED, the floor, the seats, the aisles, everything was just completely packed. And I don't mean hard-to-move packed. The isles were against-the-rail-at-an-outdoor-only-show packed, and the floor was much worse. Breathing was a whole lot of effort. And being short and in the back of the floor I couldn't see, the crowd was rough (even though we were in the back of the floor), and it was hot, and smokey, and I was already in a bad mood. And I get another show in two days. So I tried to call Toby, but my cell phone got no reception (fucking Nextels), so I just walked around the concourse for an hour and a half or so... big fucking surprise that fucking San Francisco fucking sucks again. Every show I attend in that town sucks. So I went outside and eventually found Toby and Danna, handed out stickers, and then went backstage with them and found Jeff, so I could get home. We found Niclas, who was getting a ride with Mike, so Jeff, Brandy and I left to head back to his place. We dropped Brandy off at her car (which was over where she worked), and then headed home -- with a small stop for gas and some Halls for me. Tomorrow I'll be staying here, and then Wed heading to Sac. They crammed 16,000 or so people into that tiny fucking venue which wasn't much bigger than Tucson... damn.


Day 9 -- 03/09/04 -- Chill

Miles: 0
Parking: $0
City stopped in: San Ramon, CA

Woke up around 10:30, hung out with Jeff...


Day 10 -- 03/10/04 -- Sacramento, CA Show

Miles before: 105
Parking $10
City stopped in: Reno, NV
Miles after: 121

Pictures: Reno, NV
I got up about 12 or so (was planning on getting up around 1), and checked my email, ate some lasagna, and got ready to leave. Got mostly packed up, saw Jeff online. He told me to close the windows before I left. I said sure. I packed up everything and got out the door about 1:50 (was planning on 1:30 since I woke up a bit after 12, but originally only planned on 2, so no biggie). I got to Sacramento about 3:30, and stopped to get food near the venue. I called Toby and he said to take my time, he'd meet me at 4 at will call. I said cool. There was a choice of In-N-Out or Quiznos. I decided I needed healthy (healthier?) food, so I got a sandwich at Quiznos. I parked at the venue which was surprisingly only $10. I ended up walking clear to the other side of the venue to find will call, which was conveniently located inside ( a little indoor area that was open ). Neat. Saw Toby and Danna, got my working pass and we went in, and down to production where the roadcase was. On our way we passed James, and I instinctively said "hi" as we passed and he nodded at us. I didn't notice until about 5 minutes later that it didn't feel weird, which ironically was weird. Again Toby didn't want to bring the roadcase to the booth... this makes my life harder, but according to him, makes his life easier. I don't get it. I saw Jeff, gave him his keys back, and then Danna and I grabbed stuff from the roadcase. We were missing gaffer's tape (this, I believe on account of being in a hurry in SF, got left behind along with the box of livemetallica.com fliers). Anyway, I had 3 very nice tables for a booth, which was nice. It was a bit oddly placed. There was a door behind me that led to a hall that went to the box office, and an elevator behind me (I was in a bit of an alcove). So the booth was pushed forward and I wasn't against any walls. That made it particularly important to have three tables. Danna and I brought the stuff to the booth, and I started eating. Toby showed up with a new role of tape, and then he and Danna left. I taped everything except the tarp and the shirts, and continued with my eating. They came back, and Danna and I did the tarp, and then I did the shirts, and Toby had the laptop, so I set that up, but noticed we had no power... so I told Toby to go get an extension cord, and Danna had been called to the box office to look over band lists or something. Toby returned with an extension, and I was set. He ran off to go find m&gers, and I finished my sandwich and talked to folks in the chat and a few venue staff that stopped by. Doors were supposed to open at 5:30, but I figured they wouldn't open until 6:30. Amazingly they opened up around 5:45. Godsmack hit the stage at 7 as usual. Today was a great day. Everyone was calm and nice. Very few drunk people, didn't see any fights or paramedics rushing around. I saw Kat and her boyfriend again, as well as the chapter head of Norcallica, and a bunch of her friends. Toby came back after Godsmack had been on for about 40 minutes, and I asked him for some picks for Kat and her bf (they had helped me two nights in row but didn't have to). I handed her some picks, and then we packed up. As we were leaving, Nadir and his wire showed up to say hi. Toby and I took the stuff down to the roadcase, and I left to go find my seat. On my way up, I ran into Nadir and his wife in their seats, so I stayed and talked to them for a while, and Danna and her mom walked by and I said hi to them. Then I went to find my seat. I had a decent seat 13 rows from the floor. It was cool getting to see everything from that angle. The laser show is slightly impressive, but ultimately, I don't think it added much. The light pods they use for Blackened kinda make an interesting lighting situation. The jumbotrons show lots of interesting camera angles. At one point at the beginning of St. Anger they had the cover of the album up and only portions that were visible were like billowing smoke... it was like there was smoke in front of it or something... it was really quite cool. The band seemed to be in great spirits tonight. The crowd was very loud. I got to hear The Unnamed Feeling (which while I heard it in SF, that didn't count), so that made me happy. After Sandman a guy and his two kids (again, I'm assuming here) started to leave, but I told them there were two more songs, and they were happy I did, and they stayed. We also got Last Caress which was a lot of fun. They ALMOST played "The Wait" for the cover song, but Rob didn't yet know it. That would have been fucking cool!! Last Caress was still cool though. After Hit The Lights, I BOLTED out to find Toby. There was a message on my voicemail saying "between will call and the buses"... well I had no fucking clue where the buses were and I didn't see Toby outside. I knew the loading dock (i.e. where the trucks are), was way on the other side of the venue where I'd come in, so I ran that way, got clear to the other side of the venue, and he was nowhere in sight. So I ran back and then past will call and finally found him. At this point it was pretty late, most of the stickers were handed out. Toby gave me a brick of stickers, and I said bye to Danna (this is her last show), and told Toby I'd see him tomorrow. I handed out stickers for about 20 minutes until they were all gone, then walked over to my car, and headed out. I stopped at the strip mall I got lunch at to look at maps and such, and then jumped on the 80E. I decided it would be better to make it to Reno tonight and then I don't have to switch hotels, I can just relax. I grabbed Jack in the Box a few miles up the road, and the girl at the window asked me if I had just come from the concert. I said yes and she said she had wanted to go really badly but had to work. I asked her if Metallica stickers would cheer her up, and she flipped out. So I gave her the 3 or 4 stickers I had in my pocket. She was really happy with that. She left and came back with my food and said she knew there was no mustard on there because she made it herself, so it will be extra good - heh. I said thanks and told her to have a good night. One long straight shot to Reno. I had no info on where the venue was, so that was going to be a bit of a problem -- Lawlor Events Center provides no address and no directions on their website. So I stopped at a rest stop and called Motel6's 800 number, but they close at 3am EST, so I was about 15 minutes too late... none of the Motel6's in the book mentioned being close to the Lawlor Center. So I checked the Super 8 book and one of the Super 8 Motels says it is directly across the street from the "Lolor Events Center" -- I figure there can't be two similarly named differently spelled Arenas in one town, so I headed there, and sure enough Super 8 was directly across the street from the Lawlor Events Center. I purchased two nights, and headed to my room, downed a 3rd of a bottle of NyQuil (I was getting more and more sick as time went by), and I was dead to the world.


Day 11 -- 03/11/04 -- Reno, NV Show

Miles: 0
Parking: $0
Stopped in: Reno, NV

I woke up around 1:30 (after Jeff, Toby, and Chet had all called me). I took a shower, went to the gas station next door and bought some granola bars for breakfast, and then got ready. It was early so I watched a bit of TV and left around 3:30 and headed to the venue (which was also across the street). I saw Nadir and his wife outside while I waited for Toby. Toby came and we went in and set up the booth. The venue's concourse was like a huge green house. There was glass everywhere and no A/C and the place was extremely hot. Once again no power nearby, so I ran the extension cord across the concourse and taped it down. I was unfortunately smooshed between two beer booths... but it wasn't too bad... the crowd, like Sacramento, was calm and civil. Nadir's wife was an m&g alternate, and she got to go back. So Nadir came and helped out with the booth after doors opened. I had a hotdog because I was hungry, and it was only 2.75, surprisingly. We had another guy who missed the m&g today... ugh. I don't understand these people. So then Nadir gets a text-message from his wife "get busy making a setlist for Lars" or something. We're were like "wha?" We interpreted that to mean he should make a setlist of what he would want to hear... so he starts working on a reasonable setlist that had some songs in it he would want to hear. When his wife came she explained that she had told Lars that Nadir was good at guessing the setlists and that he had said to give Toby his guess for the night and they would compare. So he scrapped his work and came up with what he thought the setlist would be. Toby came and Nadir gave him the setlist and we tore down the booth. Some guy with a lighting crew shirt on had been asking for Toby all night and he helped Toby carry the stuff backstage, and Toby told me to go to my seat. So I went off to the floor and found myself a spot 1 person from the rail. It was a GREAT show. The crowd was nice and loud. We got a GREAT setlist... most notably, we got The Four Horsemen and Leper Messiah!! It was great. I got Unnamed Feeling again, and after that the couple in front of me left and I was on the rail for most of the show, which was nice. During the pre-Frantic doodle, Rob played his bass with a drum stick... not sure if he always does that or not. For the cover song they teased the Mercyful Fate medley... but ended up playing Breadfan... and then Motorbreath. I got a lot of good pictures during the first few songs as well. At the beginning of Motorbreath I made my way out of the venue and to Toby and helped with stickers. Then I walked back to my motel and asked if there was fast food within walking distance... and there wasn't. So I got in my car and fought the traffic going several blocks in every direction... and what do you know, there are NO fast food restaurants ANYWHERE near the venue!! None!! So I eventually got on the highway, went back west an exit and then to Wendy's. Came back, and checked my email and wrote this review. Tomorrow to VEGAS!


Day 12 -- 03/12/04 -- Travel

Miles: 477.6
Parking: n/a
City stopped in: Las Vegas, NV

I woke up at 10, and got going by 11:15. I did the long drive to Vegas. It sucked. All these Alt routes with 25 and 35 mph speed limits through shit sized towns. Got into Vegas about 6 and Rachel called, as I was pulling into McDs. I talked to her for a while. I had dinner at McDs and drove into town. I passed a Motel6 about 2 blocks from the venue and decided I would drive up and down the strip and then check into the motel. Driving up and down the strip got me excited to be in Vegas. So I went to the motel, and surprise, surprise, they were sold out (Friday night in Vegas...). I called the Motel6 800 number and asked them and they had a cancellation at the Motel6 up the road. So I went there, checked in, and of course got the room that reeked of smoke and got the green spray to hide it. I think this just might be the same Motel6 I stayed in on my last trip. So I got settled in. I watched the "The Help" show and then at 10 headed out for some drinks with some Metallica-friends. While I was walking towards the strip, Josh called and we spoke for a few minutes and then I let him go. I had crossed Tropicana while talking to Josh which proved to be a major mistake because there was no sidewalk on that side. Took about 20 minutes but I got to the strip, to the other end of the strip, and then to the friends I was meeting for drinks. On my way back I found a sidewalk-ed path to my motel that was kind of hidden. I got back at 4:15 took a quick shower and went to sleep.


Day 13 -- 03/13/04 -- Las Vegas, NV Show

Miles: 262
Parking: $0
City Stopped in: Mojave, CA

I was planning on getting up around 10am, but at 9:30 they were fucking pressure-washing the sidewalk outside my room. Ugh. So I got up and got ready. I called Toby to tell him I'd be at the venue early a little before 11, and he asked if I could give him a ride. I said sure. As I checked out, I thought about the fact he'd have to hold the cooler, so I called him to tell him. He says "well, I have luggage too." Hmmm. I say we'll figure it out. I get there and we manage to get his backpack in the trunk and we leave his bigger bag with the valet folks, and he gives me the ticket to come back and get it. I drive him to the venue, drop him off and we check to see if passes are ready yet. But they aren't, so I run back to get his luggage and the gate is now locked. So I hand the luggage over to him, and then jump the fence. We went to put up signs at will-call for the MetClub Booth, and then we went to get some guitars out of production and put them in the booze&schmooze room for the guys to sign. Then we head back to his bus and I sit and talk to Niclas for a while about metontour and such, and he wants me to give him a ride up to the strip. So I help him with some of the captions for the video and then he starts it encoding and we head off. I drive him down to the strip, we park and walk around while he takes pictures of the various hotels and such. Then we head back to the car and he interviews "BoothGuy" on the drive back. It was a fun afternoon. I park over in the "staff parking" area, and I went back to the bus with Niclas, and he told me he'd like me to film the show. I tried to call Toby, but my cell wasn't getting reception. Niclas told me to call him on the radio, so I tried but Nic's radio sucks, so the response wasn't understandable. So I called him outside the bus to ask if he wanted his backpack. He said yes, so I grabbed it. Toby also wanted Niclas to meet him in production. So Niclas and I went off to production to talk about the m&g location with Toby. Then Toby sent me off to go set up the booth. I hurried to setup the booth so I could go grab my shirt from the bus, which I left there, and put it in my car. Ran downstairs, and got the shirt and put it in my car and headed back to the booth and asked a venue person where I could get some water. She directed me to the "red room" where I grabbed water and dew. So I went back and started setting up the computer. As I'm getting the chat going and checking my email, someone walks up to the booth. Assuming it was another venue person, I didn't pay any attention for a minute, and then I looked up -- and it was fucking LARS! He asked what was going on so I told him kinda what I do. Right about then Toby walked up. Lars said we should have something up high, and I agreed (been saying that for weeks!), and then he asked what the best thing about the club was. I said that it was the m&g's and buying tickets early. Toby said he thought it was the merch, and I said of course he thought that. =) So Lars said we should have some pictures of meet and greets up. I noted that Toby's been wanting to get a new banner for a while and he said its not in the budget and Lars said "it's in the budget now!" LOL. So Toby, Lars, and I talked for a few minutes and he asked my name and I introduced myself to him. Then he left and I carried on. The chat folks were pissed I didn't get Lars on camera - sorry guys! The crowd was reasonably calm given that it was Vegas. Afterwards I headed backstage with Toby who couldn't get Niclas on the radio, so he told me to sit on a cooler and said "Hey, Gio, this is Phil. He'll be filming for Niclas. He's gonna wait here." And Gio said "don't move" and I didn't. Niclas came by later and we went up to the lightning board area and setup the tripod. He told me to wait there and he'd be back with the camera but he had to film the first part of the show from the pit. OK. Blackened ends and the lights don't come down! WTF?! A lighting supervisor gets pissed, yells and runs down towards the stage. Niclas comes up with the camera and I film the rest of the show. He comes to check on me once or twice. It's really hard filming with that camera! The zoom is touchy and if you don't have the tripod tension just right the panning is jerky. It took 4 or 5 songs before the lights finally came down. Lars seemed pissed. I think Kirk was pretty distracted because he botched a few solos. That's OK though. I got through the show -- they played Commando which was fucking cool!! During the last song Toby dropped off some stickers with me and said thanks...Niclas came as the last song ended and I ran to go do stickers. After the show, I left town, and decided I'd find a hotel outside Vegas. Well it turns out there's not much for a few hours outside of Vegas. The first real town I found a few hours outside of Vegas was Barstow, CA. But, believe it or not, every hotel in town was sold-out... apparently the military was in town. Gah. So I drove and drove and finally stopped for an hour of sleep (at this point I was exhausted) at a road stop at about 3. Then finally at 5 I finally found a motel in Mojave, CA.


Day 14 -- 03/14/04 -- Fresno, CA Show

Miles: 189.6
Parking: $0
City stopped in: Fresno, CA

Pictures: Fresno, CA
I woke up at 10am, took a shower and got out of there by about 11:15. Stopped for lunch at Subway at about 12:30 and realized I was only a little more than an hour outside of Fresno... I'd done quite a lot of driving last night. I called Jeff and got directions, because I had no information on the Fresno venue. Once I had that I was back on my way. I called Toby to tell him I'd be there early, but only got his voice mail. I got to the venue around 3. The town looks like a cross between Boca and Orlando and the venue looks a lot like the middle school that I went to 5th grade in. So anyway, I parked and they were not yet charging for parking. I called Toby, again no answer. I called Jeff, he said reception was really bad backstage but gave the phone to Toby who was standing right there. Toby said he'd come give me my pass but that I should go do something since I was so early he couldn't bring me back yet because he was doing computer work in production (production is the "office" so you can't really hang out in there). OK, so I went and found a Motel6. As I go to check in there's a total asshole in line in front of me. He asks for a smoking room and when they're out he hassles them about it. So then he said "fine give me a nonsmoking I'll smoke anyway" and of course they say no. Then he says he won't smoke, but they still refuse to give it to him (go Motel6!) and he leaves. Then as I'm checking in they get a phone call that the guy is harassing the cleaning staff! Fucking asshole. Then, just as I was thinking I'd check my email for a little while -- just as I pull into the parking space after checking in, Toby calls and says I should come back to the venue. Damnit. So I drop off my luggage and head back to the venue, and it's a good thing I had my pass because they were charging for parking. So I got in and went to the loading dock where Jeff was outside making phone calls (as I said, reception sucked inside). I had half my Subway lunch with me for a dinner. So we go back to the production hallway and on the way, Jeff explains that Toby managed to get a virus that I needed to clean. I get to the laptop and it's got the Trend Micro online scanner running and its found some 300 infected files. I decided to let that run but it froze when it started to clean (keep in mind I'd been sitting bored in the hallway watching it scan for about 30 minutes). So I just downloaded Symantec's cleaner for that virus and then updated the already-installed Norton and then did another scan and got rid of a few more viruses. As soon as the removal tool for Beagel.M was done, it was time to go setup the booth. The booth was in a nice place. Across from the women's room and next to power. And I had three nice tables. And Toby let me bring up the big posters. So after having Lars show up at my booth yesterday, today my booth was STELLAR. I did everything extra carefully. Then I got started working on the laptop again. I finished scanning it, then I ran ad-aware on it, and then defragmented the hard drive. Jared (or I think his name is actually Rob, but on the boards he is Jared) stopped by to say hi and see if I needed help. I let him come back and help so that I could work on the laptop. Then Michelle showed up which was a pleasant surprise. We talked for a while and then I let her chat on the laptop. Then Toby called me and said to tear down so I tore down and then Rob left and Michelle waited for a while until Toby came and then Toby and I took the stuff downstairs. I asked Toby if we could stop by catering and get some water and he said sure, so we went and did that, and then I went up to my seat, which happened to be a stellar seat in 3rd row tonight. I went and sat down and an m&g winner and his wife were sitting next to me. So I asked him how the m&g was and we all started talking. We talked about the club and the shows and touring, and then the show came on. Same basic setlist... except they played.... STONE COLD CRAZY. Which was fucking awesome because I had been talking about how much that would rock in.. uh, Reno, I think. So that was fucking awesome. I also got a bunch of great pictures. During Damage Inc., the couple left and said they'd email me and I went down to ask Michelle if she wanted to get something to eat (she was in the first row only a few seats to the right of me. She said sure, so then I went to go find Toby and hand out stickers. Nadir and his wife were there, which was cool. So I handed out stickers with Rob and Nadir's wife, and then Michelle showed up, and helped. Michelle and I decided we'd meet at the hotel since we were apparently staying at the same Motel6. So we both left in our respective cars and I waited for her for 30 minutes from 12:15 - 12:45 before I finally left to go get Taco Bell. And that's it. Now I finally get some sleep, and tomorrow I get to do laundry and maybe wash my car!! Yeah!


Day 15 -- 03/15/04 -- Chill

Miles: 0
Parking: n/a
City stopped in: Fresno, CA

I got up about 3:30 (after going to bed about 2:30). Ahhhh. 13 hours of sleep!! I got up, and threw some laundry in, and then went to go get Subway for lunch. I checked my email, watched TV, and called my mom while I waited. While the laundry dried, I went and washed my car. That evening I bought plane tickets for the end of the tour, and watched King of Queens and Everybody Loves Raymond. I emailed Danna about the new pushead glass. Then Chet IM'd me, he was frustrated with work, so I called him and we talked about that. Tomorrow, it's off to Portland!


Day 16 -- 03/16/04 -- Travel

Miles: 752
Parking: n/a
City stopped in: Portland, OR

Woke up at 10, and checked my email. Chet called just after I got up to tell me that he'd been by my house to pick up my mail and stuff. No pressing bills - but my MetClub membership is up soon. But I knew that. I got ready to leave, packed and all and just as I was finishing up, Rachel called. I talked to her while I loaded up the car. I ended up leaving about 11:30, which was a bit later then I hoped, but no biggie. I stopped by the bank on the way out of town and then got on the road and stopped for Subway a little after noon. It was a long drive. A few pretty scenes. I called a Honda dealership in Portland on my way up to make an appointment, they said they were a few miles from the Rose Quartz place, and my hotel was 4 miles from the venue as well, so I figured good enough. Stopped at Taco Bell for dinner again. There was a family in front of me who every time their boy would order his mom would say "No, you don't want that" or "you sure you want that" or he'd order something with an extra side dish and his mom would go "no, you can't do that, find something with 2 side dishes" then eventually had picked something and said "and" and his dad said "you're done!" and dragged him away. Odd family. I got my food after an absurdly long time and then got back on my way -- at this point it was getting chilly. Shortly after that I left CA and got to OR. I stopped for gas and was surprised that I was in a full-service station. I looked around for a sign, but there was none to be seen. Oh well, gas was really cheap. I gave the guy a buck and some Metallica stickers (he was a fan) and headed the three miles (!) back to the highway... only there was no entrance to the highway, the road just turned into the I-5 south... which was the opposite direction I wanted to go in! So I needed to go 6 miles to the next exit to turn around. Gah!! Anyway, I got back on my way, keeping an eye out for snow or ice. Around 9 I decided maybe a Jack In The Box Oreo shake would be good, so I'd keep an out for a Jack In The Box. At this point, I'm hitting lots and lots of construction. I hit a lot of it through the southern half of OR. Anyway, around 10, I was getting low on gas and I hadn't seen any Jack In The Box's. So I stopped for gas, but there were no OPEN stations, so I go to the next stop which claims there are open stations, but this turns out to be another highway, which I guess I was supposed to immediately exit. Annoying. I ended up doing a u- turn on the highway (no one around), and then getting off and stopping at a gas station. Lady comes running out to pump my gas, again. Hmm. So I let her, and I look around, and decide I'll head to McD's across the street for food. I give her a dollar, and as I get in my car, I decide to ask her about this full service thing. She tells me it's Oregon state law -- if I get found pumping my own gas by a cop, I get fined and the gas station gets fined. One of only two states (the other being New Jersey). WTF? They don't trust me with pumping my own gas? Apparently it's a protection against hazardous materials or something. Whatever, I get in my car, head to McD's and get a chocolate shake. Then stop again at the gas station to use the restroom then I'm off. McD's shakes aren't very good I learn. Two exits later, what do I see? A fucking Jack in the mother fucking Box. ::sigh:: Oh well. I get to my Motel6 about 12:30. It's about 1 exit from car place and about 4 exits from the venue. It's this uber-nice Motel6. Like the one Josh and I found in Mississippi. $46/night. Not bad. So I grab two nights, and give the guy at the desk some stickers cause he mentions Metallica to me. I unload the car, drop some notes about the day in my journal so I can expand on it later, and bam, I'm asleep.


Day 17 -- 03/17/04 -- Chill

Miles: 0
Parking: $0
City stopped in: Portland, OR

Jenn called at like 8:45, so I talked to her for an hour, and tried to get back to sleep, but I couldn't. So I got up and did some work, then took a shower, and went to get my oil changed (only took like 30 minutes!!), some flirting with Lynn online, and then I went out to buy a Zima and some McDs (it's St. Patrick's day). Then about 11pm, Laura and Steph called and spent 20 minutes convincing me I needed to meet them at a bar. So I went to Patty's Bar and Grill to hang out with them for an hour, and went home and go to sleep around 1am.


Day 18 -- 03/18/04 -- Portland, OR Show

Miles: 0
Parking: $13
City stopped in: Portland, OR

Woke up at 10 to the couple next door having sex... She got off about 3 times in a half-an-hour. Impressive. I went back to sleep and got up at 1 when my alarm went off. They went at it again around 1:30 while I was IMing folks. So I took a shower and got ready.. had an ... interesting conversation with Lynn about the couple next door... hmmm. I was going to leave around 3:30 but Toby called me at 3:10 or so and said I could come down a bit early if I wanted and he would bring me to the roadcase. So I went to leave, got downstairs and realized I needed a long sleeve shirt. But then my key wasn't working anymore, so then I had to get that fixed, then change... by the time I left it was 3:30, and I didn't get to will-call until about 3:52. The venue was this very odd-shaped complex with several other buildings around it, and it was very difficult to find will-call or anything else. Anyway, we waited around for m&gers for a few minutes and Toby showed me the new SKOM stickers, and then we went to go setup. But he took the laptop so that he could show the guys his new Hawaiian shirt design. So I set up and ate my lunch and waited. He came back and I setup the laptop and did some chatting, and then Laura stopped by to say hi, and then ran off to get a spot on the rail. So I stayed and did the booth thing. I got an m&g winner to watch the booth while I went to the bathroom (thank god for other volunteers), and then Toby came and we tore down during the drum solo thing and I went down to wait for Niclas. Niclas was really late and didn't show up until nearly the end of Blackened. I waited through Fuel while he took pictures then we went up to the handicap section to setup the camera. They played Roam and Helpless tonight which was awesome!! I switched the tape, and Niclas didn't show up when the show was over. I had signed up 7 street team folks so it wasn't too big a deal, but I was still waiting after the place was empty, so I called Toby and had him radio Niclas. He said for me to go down to the road case and wait there for him. So I went down and waited. And waited. Toby came and left. And I waited. And it was cold. I got a dew from catering. And waited. Niclas finally came and took his camera. And I asked him to get me a slice of pizza from catering, and he did, and I went up stairs and then out into a garage that's not mine (as I said, this place was confusing as hell), and then finally found my car, and came back. And that was my day. Maybe I'll hear more sex tonight or tomorrow. Oh, on the way in, I asked the lady if I could have a slightly late checkout since they charge $25 for a late checkout... and she gave me a 12 o'clock checkout for free. Wonderful!


Day 19 -- 03/19/04 -- Travel

Miles: 501.5
Parking: n/a
City stopped in: Nampa, ID

I got up around 10, took a shower, emailed Lynn (since she didn't email me back), and packed and got on the road. I drove around for about 20 minutes trying to find my way onto the 84! Finally I found it and the rest was easy. I found out there is no sales tax in Oregon... that's about the only good thing about the state. I am 3 exits west of the venue in a pretty nice Super 8.


Day 20 -- 03/20/04 -- Boise, ID Show

Miles: 0
Parking: $0
Stayed in Nampa, ID

Pictures: Boise, Idaho
Woke up around 1:30 (had set my alarm for 2), and got ready, watched TV, etc. Got an email from Lynn. Short. Not sure what to think of it. Watched TV for a bit. Called Toby and he wanted me there at 4. Niclas wanted to talk to me and so I spoke to him and he said I was famous. He put up the Vegas vid! So I said I'd look at it. I checked it out on dialup, only heard the audio, but I thought it was pretty cool. I can't wait to see it on broadband. Went to hit the venue and showed up at Idaho Center and called Toby. He said he was at will call, but I was at will call. We couldn't find each other. I walked around the venue twice. Finally Toby said he'd be back he had to run inside. I found someone and found out that the Metallica was playing up the road at the Idaho Pavilion and that this (the Idaho Center) had a basketball game. So I jumped in my car and sped the 15 miles to the Idaho Pavilion and called Toby when I got there, but I saw Niclas outside so I went with him back to the production hallway. I found Toby and he showed me the room, which he called my office, heh, with the roadcase in it and then showed me the booth and said I'd have to set up the booth myself today, he was going to try and catch James on the way in and show him the shirt. I said sure. So I set up the booth. And I went down to catering and got a water and a dew. Then Toby called me to tell me he was leaving the laptop on the roadcase. So I went down to get that, then set up the laptop and ate my 2 hour old McDs while chatting. Same old booth stuff today except that everyone seemed scared of me and didn't want to talk to me. Odd. After Godsmack I tore down the booth and Toby and I went backstage. I went to go in "my office" but Toby stopped me (after I kicked the door) - Lars was in there on the phone. Oops. So Niclas was there and we went to catering and he had some dinner and told me that he credited me in the film for recording. I said thanks. I waited there for him until the show started. He came during Fuel and we went on the staircase that was closed to the public. GREAT spot. Very close. He filmed a song while I took a leak then I took over. Good set tonight. We got Ride again... and then we got THE WAIT!! It was awesome! After the show, I took the equipment back to my office and sat and talked to Toby for a bit. He didn't have to hand out stickers because all 6 street team folks who signed up showed and took all 6 stacks. So we sat and talked for a bit... then he went to go to the bus and I headed to grab a drink from catering... except that there was nothing much there, so I went to my car. Toby wants me early in Spokane, so it'll be an early morning tomorrow.


Day 21 -- 03/21/04 -- Spokane, WA Show

Parking: $0 (I think)
Miles: 471.7
City stopped in: Spokane, WA
[For some reason, I don't have the journal from this day, so what follows is my best recollection 8 months later.]

Pictures: Spokane, WA
Toby wanted me there early, as his mom was going to be there and so he wanted me to do a bit of extra work. I believe I was in town early enough to stop by my hotel before I went to the venue and drop off my bags. Then I headed out to the venue. I got a pass, and a description of where the booth and the road case was, and that was about it. I walked around the whole venue about 4 or 5 times figuring out where the quickest route between the two was (a process Toby described hundreds of times in the past that proved to be more like he described than I had imagined). Then I took everything to the booth and setup. I was ready quite early even with the extra work, as I got there very early. I ended up moving the booth way down to get access to an outlet for the laptop, but the lady who worked in the food stand I moved closer to was unhappy about that - so she lent me an extra extension chord, and I moved the booth back. Laura came by briefly, and we talked. There were various dramas with various people backstage, and I ended up giving my ticket to someone. Lots of people interested today, and a handful of workers to help me. I tore down, brought everything backstage, and had dinner while waiting for Niclas. I then filmed the show. He was supposed to bring me an extra tape but never did. So the tape runs out during some good song (I don't recall what), and I grabbed a security person, made them watch the camera and hauled ass backstage to find Niclas. Some security guard hassled me for running, yelling after me like I gave two shits what he thought. I had a show to record, and I hardly wanted to be to blame for "sorry we don't have footage of that song" on MetOnTour (or to Lars for that matter). Anyway, finished filming the rest of the show, went backstage, put the camera and stuff back in the case, and found Toby. Walked around with him doing a few things for a while, and then eventually went home.


Day 22 -- 03/22/04 -- Travel

Miles: 0
Parking: 0
City stopped in: Spokane, WA
[For some reason, I don't have the journal from this day, so what follows is my best recollection 8 months later.]

I woke up early, and headed to the airport. The airport was close, and the woman at the front gave me nice directions. I found them incredibly confusing when she gave them to me, but as I saw each thing she was talking about, it was perfect. I parked in the far-away lot which had a gate, 24-hour security, was the cheapest, and had a free shuttle. Since I was taking my bags home, I put the cooler and everything else I could fit in the trunk in the hopes it wouldn't appear I'd left anything valuable in the car. I flew back to Los Angeles, and headed straight into work from the airport, getting in around noon, I think.




Day 23 -- 03/27/04 -- Travel

Miles: 280
Parking: $0
City stopped in: Seattle, WA
[For some reason, I don't have the journal from this day, so what follows is my best recollection 8 months later.]

I flew from Los Angeles to Spokane, with a stop in Seattle. As we approached Seattle, the pilot was very verbose pointing out various landmarks that could be seen on either side of the plane. He had a sense of humor, saying stuff like "Those on the right can see <insert some landmark>, while those on the left can see... clouds." After much of this, he says "On on the left you can see Kathy's house" (where Kathy was the name of one of the flight attendants, except that I don't remember her real name) to which there were a few chuckles. About a minute later, Kathy comes on the speaker and goes "Oh my God! You CAN see my house!!" and everyone cracked up. Anyway, I arrived in Seattle, and then caught the flight to Spokane. When I got to Spokane, I immediately drove right back to Seattle! I checked into a hotel a few miles south of the venue -- there weren't any hotels that close to the venue, unfortunately.


Day 24 -- 03/28/04 -- Seattle, WA Show

Miles: 0
Parking: ?
City stopped in: Seattle, WA
[For some reason, I don't have the journal from this day, so what follows is my best recollection 8 months later.]

The venue was very, very hard to find. Once I did find it, I had parked on the wrong side of a HUUUUGE... campus, I think. I walked all the way across to the venue and called Toby. He came, and I went and set up the booth. While I was typing away at the computer, Lars came by again -- though this time I was given a heads up. We talked a bit, and Niclas took a picture (which can be seen at MOT) of Toby, Lars, and I. After a small discussion of the booth, Lars headed off. The booth was positioned right near the doors, in a pretty nice area, and very close to the path to back-stage, and catering. We got Ride The Lightning again, which was neat. Sadly, I don't remember too many specifics of this show.


Day 25 -- 03/29/04 -- Travel

Miles: 820
Parking: ?
City Stopped in: Billings, MT
[For some reason, I don't have the journal from this day, so what follows is my best recollection 8 months later.]

I drove... and drove. I remember working very hard not to have to stop in Oregon... I remember when I wanted to stop for a hotel there wasn't one to be had for another few hours. I got much closer to Casper than I had anticipated. I think I stopped late... 3ish.


Day 26 -- 03/30/04 -- Casper, WY Show

Miles: 309.4
Parking: ?
City stopped in: Casper, WY

Pictures: On the way to Casper, WY
Mmm. Casper. Shortly after crossing the Wyoming state line, cell phone reception vanished. Nextel doesn't exist in Wyoming, and apparently nor do most cell phone companies. I wasn't the only one who had no cell phone coverage. Dammit. So I check into a hotel a few exits up the highway and WAY off the highway, because everything else is sold out. And for once, the reason it's sold out is because of Metallica. Apparently the entire state came for this. EVERYONE knew about this. It was kind of strange. I had to pay an exorbitant amount for my hotel room. Anyway, got to the venue... which was more of a community events center than anything else. Tiny little rinky-dink place. With no way to contact Toby, things were a bit more difficult tonight, but we managed. Catering was particularly good this evening - fettuccini alfredo. I spoke to a few people who I was getting to know backstage while I ate dinner before the show. I then went and filmed the show for Niclas. I filmed in a locked up VIP area... it was kind of ominous. When I was done I went to go put the camera in the roadcase, and then went to go grab some last minute food from catering... but, if I recall correctly, Lars... and maybe his family ? was in there... so I left, and headed back to my hotel. I got pulled over for speeding on my way back, but was like 2 feet from my hotel. A quick explanation that I didn't see a speed limit sign, was 2 feet from my hotel, and worked for Metallica got me off the hook. I went to my room, and headed to sleep.

Day 27 -- 03/31/04 -- Denver, CO Show

Miles: 304.6
Parking: ?
City stopped in: Denver, CO

Pictures: Denver, CO
I woke up, checked out, and got on my way to Denver. As I passed Cheyenne, WY, I got pulled over again. What the fuck is with Wyoming? What really pissed me off was that I'm driving about 9 mph over the speed limit and see this cop get behind me. I gradually slow down to exactly the speed limit, and pull from the fast lane to the middle lane. He follows. No lights. So I'm driving along for another 5 or so minutes (literally) and I end up behind a guy going about 7 mph BELOW the speed limit. I turn on my blinker to pass him and the cop turns on his flashers and pulls me over. This is almost 10 minutes after I was actually speeding! Fucker! And the guy didn't even care about a word I had to say - he was giving me that ticket. Whatever. So the cop gets my license and registration and goes back to his car. While I'm waiting Toby calls. I tell him I can't talk.

Anyway, I get to the Motel6, and not-by-plan, it's the exact same Motel6 I stayed in last time I was in Denver. Anyway, I'm early, and settle into my room when Toby calls. So I head down to the venue and park. The parking is down this looong street and the lot is in a dead-end. So I walk back the way I came after paying a lot for parking and call Toby. He describes where will call is, and I head there. It's this spiffy indoor area where I run into some clubber waiting for the m&g who recognizes me. Toby and I go in. I don't remember ... much of anything about this show. Stone Cold Crazy was awesome. I didn't film the show. It was a really nice venue. That's about it.


Day 28 -- 04/01/04 -- Travel

Miles: 1017
Parking: $0
City stopped in: Los Angeles

Pictures: Los Angeles, CA
I had requested a wake up call at 11... I get a call and I picked it up and no one is there. I check my watch and it's 9am. I fall back asleep and a while later there is a knock on the door... housekeeping and I say no thanks. Finally around 10 I get up cause I can't sleep anymore. I decide to slowly get ready with the TV on. About 10:20 I get this knock on the door. I open it. "Sir, will you be staying another day? If not I need to take your key." I say, "its only 10:20! Check out is at noon!" and she says "no sir, its 12:15." WHAT?! I look at my watch again. It says its January 1st, 1985, 10:20am. WTF?! I tell her I'll be out soon. Confused, I hurry to get ready and it takes me about 20 minutes to get ready and pack the car. I check out and get on my way. As I drive I remember that all night long there was a plethora of static electricity between the sheets and myself. When I laid down in bed there was a bright array of sparks and every time I moved there were more sparks. I realized one of them must have reset my watch! I make my way through Denver, then to Utah. I'm almost at the end of Utah and its been raining on-and-off all day. I decide I'm going to get dinner at the next stop and a minute later I hit a puddle. I've hit many puddles in the 24,000 miles I've driven this car, but this one was different. I immediately was facing the wrong way, then the right way, then flying off the side of the road then around again then stopped. It took me a second to figure out where I had landed. I was 50 or 100 feet off the highway. I'd slid down the hill on the side of the highway missing a large sign by a few feet, spun around to face the highway, and stopped about 2 feet from falling down another hill. I spent a few minutes trying to get my car to move (thank god it would actually start!), but failed. I called my parents to see if my dad had any ideas, and spent a little longer fooling around with trying to dis-lodge my car from the mud. Eventually I gave up and called 911. They said they'd had two calls about me already. Neat. A cop showed up and looked at my car and was amazed I didn't roll over. He said he'd never seen a car do that that didn't roll. He then noted that another 2 feet and I would have DEFINITELY rolled down the next hill and in my car I would have been seriously fucked up if not killed. Thanks. So he waited around until the State Trooper and the tow truck showed. So we talked. I mentioned I had spent about 40 minutes fucking with my car before I called 911 and he said I was even more lucky. I looked at him odd and he said "This is a really bad part of town." A really bad part of town!??! I'm in the middle of nowhere! I'm in Utah between Salina and Richfield! He said that in the recent past in this stretch of road they've had all kinds of stuff happen. One guy was pulled over who had his girlfriend frozen and chopped in 11 pieces in a bag in the backseat, and a dead guy in the trunk. And two Utah Prison escapees were pulled over on 2 separate occasions in 2 separate cars. Scary. No wonder no one stopped to help me. Shit. Anyway, trooper came and decided to tell me I was clearly going WAY too fast because He had driven through the same puddle. Then he saw my car (in which my wheels were caked in mud) and said I clearly needed new tires and this was clearly all my fault. Dick. Then the "wrecker" came (they called the tow-truck a wrecker. That really bothered me). It was this old POS truck and the guy spent about 10 minutes slowly pulling the line out of it with all his strength. He goes down and can't find a hook under my car so he hooks the line around my ball-joint which doesn't give me warm-fuzzy feelings. He then tightens the line and tells me to get in the car, put it in neutral, and steer slightly to my left as if I wanted to pull in behind his truck. Cool. I get in, he starts pulling me up the hill. I get a few inches up the hill and BAM! the line slips! I slam my foot on the brake and thankfully my car stopped. He slowly walks down the hill and goes "can you put your foot on the brake? I need to loosen the line." Can I put my foot on the brake?!?! How do you think I'm still alive!!! I put the parking brake on and get out and wait for him. The line is apparently stuck and he spends about 20 minutes prying the pulley system apart and fixing his truck. When he's done he says "you ready to try again" and I said yes but I was thinking "you kill me and I will haunt you for the rest of your days!" So I get back in the car and he pulls me about a foot up the hill and the line slips for a second but catches itself... and then a few more inches and another slip-and-catch. Then finally I was back on the road. I started up the car and straightened out so I wasn't in the way of traffic. My car works!! Yay! The whole ordeal was about 2 hours, but I'm thinking there's no way I'm paying this guy for 2 hours of work. He told me up front it was 110/hour. So I ask him what I owe him and he said "I'm only gonna charge you for an hour" and I figure that's fine because anyone has a 1-hour minimum. So I follow him a few miles back down the highway to Salina and pay him and wash most of the mud off my hands and my boots. I called my boss to let him know I wasn't sure I'd still make it to work tomorrow, and then get on my way. When I saw the spot coming up on the highway this time I pulled over the slow lane and did like 55. I stopped 16 miles up the road in Richfield for dinner at Wendy's and called Chet to let him know what happened. Gave some girls in Wendy's Metallica stickers who were fans, and got back on my way. I hit the ditch at 7, left Salina around 9, was done with dinner around 9:40. I managed to drive another 600 miles home (much slower then I ordinarily would have because of all the rain), and made it to LA around 6:30am (note that I also gained an hour in there). The rest of the drive was relatively uneventful. I got home, threw my clothes in the washing machine, wrote a quick email to tell people I was alive, threw the clothes in the dryer, and hit the bed by about 7:30am, only to get up at 11:30 and go to work! That makes the tour officially over! =)




Day 29 -- 11/24/04 -- San Diego, CA Show

Miles before: 122
Parking: $10
City stopped in: Los Angeles, CA
Miles after: 122

Woke up at 10, did some work from home. Called Toby to see what time he wanted me there, and then got ready and left the house at 1:38. The trip supposedly took 2 hours, but with traffic took a solid 2.5 hours. I took a shortcut on the 73 which is a tollroad, and it was the best 3.50 I ever spent! Super-nice road, no traffic, just awesome. But it's only about 15 miles long, then you're back in traffic on the 5. Pulled into the venue parking lot at 4, and got to Toby 5 minutes late at 4:05pm. Said hello to everyone and then we got on our way to the booth.

We passed old faces like Hal, and it was good to see people. A few things changed since March. For starters we now have 2 TVs. One at the booth and one at the other end of the concourse. The TVs show an ad for SKOM and an ad for livemetallica.com. We now bring the roadcase to the booth (or rather Toby's already done this by the time I get there) which is nice. I had a full three tables this time, which was good. I started setting up and Mareea came by. She helped me setup and said "we don't do that anymore" to most things. After another 3+ months on the road, I think everyone's really rundown... but since I was there to do the work, I was gonna get the full booth up - including the So What! posters I'm so fond of. Sadly, we don't do the laptop anymore... it was getting quite beat up, and Toby needs it for real work. Can't argue with that. Unfortunately, that makes the time between setup and doors extraordinarily boring. I talked to Mareea for a while until she left, and then laid down on the tables... called some friends... Jeff and Brandy stopped by to say hi, and then doors opened.

Unlike most shows in March, the booth was fairly busy. We had a lot of people stop by and ask questions. It was a good day. Had a lot of people sign up for the street team which is unusual. Michelle and Jenn stopped by and stayed at the booth for a while, and... um, Ron (not big Ron), I think his name is stopped by to help as well.

At tear down time I found out we just put everything in the roadcase and lock it. Toby comes and gets it later. That works now that I have my key back. ;) Toby came by and told me to just leave the roadcase there. So I packed up and this guy comes by asking me how to get a roadcase (drunken fool). I blow him off and he starts talking about how it'd be worth millions on ebay, and how he better not see me around his girlfriend. Whatever, I go down to catering to eat dinner. I saw Robert (from Germany) for the first time in many years, and we talked and caught up. That was cool. Then out to the floor to see the show. Mostly the same set as in March, but they played Turn The Page which I haven't seen live, so that was cool. Mosh pits kept breaking out where I was and security would come in and stop them. Yet the mosh pit a little bit back was allowed to go all night. I'm not sure what the deal with that was... but that's okay, I didn't really want to be in a pit anyway. I then went and met up with the Street Team folks, got stickers from Ron, sent the kids outside, and voila. Then the 2 hour drive home.


Day 30 -- 11/27/04 -- Anaheim, CA Show

Miles before: 35.5
Parking: $10
City stopped in: Los Angeles, CA
Miles after: 35.5
Pictures: Anaheim, CA

Lynn joined me for this show (as well as tomorrow's). We left around 2:50, headed down to Anaheim. We got there just before 4, parked and found Toby at will call. We went in and set up. Had 3 nice tables which I re-arranged to make 3 sides of a square against the wall instead of a big long table. There was a curtain behind the booth, which Toby joked was for Lynn and I. ;) We had hard liquor sales on one side and two beer booths on the other. Great. That's why I was particularly careful to arrange the tables for maximum protection from people. But the night turned out pretty well. Dan and Brandy each stopped by to say hi. Lana helped with the booth and Pornchick and Mareea were... around. Lynn and Lana were a huge help and the crowd was fairly tame. After we tore down, Lynn and I ate in catering. They had couscous, fish, chicken, tamales, and potatoes in cream sauce and fruit tarts for dessert (which are really good if you take the fruit off). We then went down to watch the show. STELLAR setlist. We got The Unforgiven AND The God That Failed. Metallica was in a great mood tonight as James pointed out a few times. Toby found me on the floor during puppets and asked me how many street team members there were. He gave me a beanie he took off some bootlegger, took my key, and left. They played Roam which was great because Lynn loves that. They also played Disposable. This was the night of the Black album: sandman, sad, holier, unforgiven, god, roam, and NEM! Then Mareea got me a setlist, and then we handed stickers out to the street team members that came by. But we had only 2 (of 3) show up, and a lot of stickers. So Lynn, Mareea, Porn Chick, Lana, myself, and others all handed out stickers. Then we headed home, showered, and now we're off to sleep.


Day 31 -- 11/28/04 -- San Jose, CA

Miles: 381
Parking: 15
City stopped in: San Jose, CA
Pictures: San Jose, CA

Woke up at an ungodly 5:30. We went and picked up the rental car at 7, brought it back and were on the road by 7:45. We were getting out of the sand-storm area just as it was getting bad and thus missed all the I-5 traffic. We did hit small bits of traffic but all-in-all made good time. The whole trip took about 6 hours. I'd planned 7+. We got to the venue around 2:45, and I called Toby who came to get us with Ron, and some other girl who I think was a reporter or something - she was fascinated that people traveled to see Metallica. Lynn and I set up the booth and then went back stage to get water and soda from catering. We saw Brandy and so we stopped to talk. Jeff came by and we all talked for about an hour. Toby came by and said since this is the last show in the tour and since who knows if it's the last Metallica show ever, he wanted to bring me and Mareea and Steph and Laura to the M&G - but that would require splitting me up from Lynn. Lynn said that was cool, so I said I'd meet him at will call at 5:15. I then went to finally get the water and the catering lady told me that I could get water/soda, but that I couldn't eat in catering without a meal ticket. So I asked Toby to get meal tickets for Lynn and I, and he went into production and then said they were out. Jeff and Brandy and I talked a bit longer and then, Brandy, Lynn and I went up to the booth and saw Sandy (Ron's gf, or not gf depending on when and who you ask) there. I gave Lynn the roadcase key and Brandy and I headed off to will call. I got there and I saw Laura and Steph and Mareea there. Ron was there doing the Jeff part - heading up the rear. We then went backstage and waited. We were then moved - Mareea and I stayed at one end and the other girls went to the other end. James came out first and started on the other end. Rob then came out and started on my end. I didn't know what to say to Rob but I told him I had enjoyed the 45 shows I had seen (after Mareea showed him her home-made poster of the 69 shows she'd been to). He was very cool and then moved on. At that point I thought of something to say to Rob (but since forgot) Oh yeah - I thought of mentioning the time I saw the guard stop him for not having a pass on a few shows back. At this point Kirk came out and started on my side -- I thought of something to say to Lars (who I knew wouldn't be out for a while), but still had nothing for James or Kirk, both of which were coming my way. Kirk got to me and it was much like Rob. But Mareea, Kirk, and I got in a conversation about the tour ending. Kirk said he didn't want it to end unlike James and Lars. We suggested that him and Rob continue playing. He laughed. Mareea said a New Years show and he said he would be out of the country on New Years.... I said "surfing in a remote location?" and he jokingly said "ssshh"... then he moved on. James came by and I had nothing to say to him but I thanked him for playing lots of new and different stuff. He mentioned that they also get bored and that it was a lot of fun challenging themselves. We talked a bit about some band members not liking a given song but how they work through it and it's all good. I mentioned that Sucking My Love would be a stellar song to play, and he said they'd been playing around with it. I thanked him for everything and he thanked me for my dedication and then went on to Mareea (who he knew -- they all knew her -- she was getting a shirt signed that James gave to her personally, which was cool). Then Lars came and I first introduced myself as boothguy... and he remembered me from that. I then asked him if we were still on for me spell checking the next album, and he said yes. I then told him he should play Sucking My Love and he said "Yes, we should!" I told him it had been an awesome 45 shows and he thanked me for my dedication and gave me a hug and then signed my stuff and moved on. James and Lars were clearly happy for the tour to be over while Kirk and Rob were clearly very sad. At this point I left to go do booth stuff. I went back to Lynn and Sandy and we answered a few more questions and then tore down. "English John" came by to say hi again and that he's on page 213 of the So What book. We went down to the floor to get close to the rail because Niclas said he wanted to interview Mareea and me and others between Godsmack and Metallica. But he never showed. Lynn and I got very close to the rail by where the band runs out. The setlist was the same as Anaheim except in a different order. Disposable Heroes was much more powerful than Saturday night's. The band was in a really, really good mood. The whole set was very powerful. Disappointingly no surprises in the setlist though. We stayed the entire time and had a lot of fun. Lynn was super stoked to be so close and gave me a 45th-show kiss during Roam. We stayed for them throwing picks and stuff, but I didn't try to catch any - the people around me deserved them, and I have plenty. The girl next to me got 3 and offered me one but I said thanks but I had them all. Her friend had one I didn't which she tried to give to me (?!) but he objected... I said no biggie. We then found Mareea collecting swag... stopped by catering which was closed, and then waited for Mareea and pornchick. Mareea was on the other side and pornchick went to go find her. They went to party at a hotel and we went to Larry's, then to Jack in the Box, then back to Larry's.


Day 32 -- 11/29/04 -- Chill

Miles: 0
Parking: n/a
City stopped in: San Jose, CA

Saw Lynn's friend Susan for lunch, then Irine cooked us dinner.


Day 33 -- 11/30/04 -- Travel

Miles: 369
Parking: n/a
City stopped in: Los Angeles, CA

Drove home


Closing Thoughts

I don't know what to say. It's pretty amazing to have spent another month on tour with Metallica. I'm an insanely lucky man and my friends in the club have taken excellent care of me. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of them.

Two things I've taken away from all of this: (1) Metallica cares a lot about every aspect of what happens on tour from merchandise to meet-n-greets to lighting. (2) Outside of the band, there exists a lot of politics just like anywhere else. When I least expected it, I'd get huge breaks, and when I thought something was in my favor, it usually wasn't. It's an insane world working for the biggest metal band of all time, and I was only on the very outskirts. There's no room for screw-ups and no time for resting (OK, there's plenty of room for it after the show, on the bus... but you get the idea ;)... it was a louder version of my every day job.

On a more Metallica note, this tour, concert wise, was more exciting to follow then SS03 because of all the different setlists. The guys were surprising themselves as much as everyone else as they pulled out random songs from all over their career. It was very clear they were as excited about hearing Metallica play those songs as we were! It's a very, very exciting time to be an active Metallica fan.

Unfortunately, this is probably the last Metallica tour I'll ever do in this manner unless Metallica decides to hire me, or at least let me ride on the bus (hint, hint ;)). Driving entire tours is ridiculously expensive, exhausting, and horrible for my car. I can't get that kinda of time off of work and pay for the whole extravaganza anymore. But that's OK, I guess it's the next guy's turn.

Oh, and do me a favor, if you get a chance to hit a meet and greet on the next tour, make sure you suggest they play Sucking My Love. =)

Thanks to all of the people who remembered and supported BoothGuy. I loved my time with all (OK, most) of you!



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