ST. LOUIS – This weekend, metalheads are getting ready to take over Downtown St. Louis. The iconic band ‘Metallica’ is performing not one but two concerts at the Dome at America’s Center, and their fans are already making a lot of noise in the Lou.
It’s a weekend year in the making, and fans and businesses alike are ready for it. Employees at ‘Vintage Vinyl’ in the Delmar Loop have already seen a surge in Metallica fans coming in ahead of the big weekend.
“We love Metallica, and we love Metallica fans,” said Vintage Vinyl employee Kevin Darnold. “You can tell when they come in because they’ve got the Metallica t-shirts on.”
While at the shop, we ran into Metallica fanatics John and Terra Paddock. Friday’s show will be John’s 75th Metallica concert.
“I guess we were doing the ‘Swiftie’ thing before Taylor came around,” John Paddock joked.
“This is what life is all about,” Terra added. “These shows and the family we have created all across the world because of it.”
Family and community – words we kept hearing from Metallica fans Thursday, including at a pop-up Metallica shop downtown just north of Union Station. Ben Furrer brought his young daughter ahead of her first show this weekend.
“It’s like a hippie mentality, but with metal,” Furrer said. “People don’t understand, metal is more community and positive than you might think at first glance.”
Furrer expressed that the band encourages fans to give back to the communities they play in. Furrer plans to oblige by helping out at a food pantry this weekend.
Over in the Central West End, Left Bank Books is getting ready for a sold-out James Hetfield book signing on Saturday. The band’s lead vocalist will be at the book store from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Owner Kris Kleindienst shared word about the event, which traveled fast.
“We put that out on the internet and those tickets sold out within an hour,” Kleindienst said. “The thing is, they’re coming from all over the place. I think there’s somebody coming from South America. Literally flying in from South America for this,” she added.
Whether you’re traveling from South America or south county, fans tell us all are welcome.
“You’re welcome, whether it’s your first time or you’re a die-hard fan,” Furrer explained. “It’s family.”
Metallica has two concerts at the dome this weekend, one on Friday night and another on Sunday. Both shows start at 6 p.m.