And Justice for Withered: Mike Thompson, frontman with Atlanta “blackened death metal” band Withered, told us about his Metallica experience.

Mike Thompson: Serendipitously, it’s the 30th anniversary of ole Metallica’s Black Album and my greatest concert experience goes to the March 8, 1992 date of their Wherever We May Roam arena tour.

…And Justice For All had changed my 12 year old life and sent me careening into the life I’ve led ever since. Luckily, my older teenage (driving) sister, is a huge music fan and used to go to all the hair metal, hard rock and metal concerts and try to meet the bands. I’ve always looked up to her and was stoked she would drag me along from about 12 years old to partake in these shenanigans. I guess I conveniently discouraged any “attention” she would receive from these musicians too. Haha.

At 14 years old, I couldn’t afford tickets to see the concert so she agreed to take me down to the backstage bus parking area to at least try to get a pic or autograph (I met Faith No More in this very same spot October 1990. Need to dig up the pics.). We waited for nearly 2 hours then we could hear the concert starting up. The backstage area was then a ghost town as everyone went in. At that time a runner showed up at a door hands full of towels. I ran up to grab the door for her. She went in and thanked me. Knowing we weren’t going to meet them now, we discussed going home. I was so bummed.

Next thing I know, a huge security guy comes out that same door, looks down at me and says “Hey, you can’t hang out here, you gotta leave!”. I replied “I’m sorry, we were just about to head home anyway”. He then says “Why don’t you just go to the concert?”. “I couldn’t afford tickets this time and was hoping for an autograph,” I answered. He got a mean look and said, “wait here.” He turned and went inside. I thought we were getting in trouble or something. He then pops back out with 3 tickets for me, my sister, her best friend (Brandi), and some Metallica tour picks. I was blown away.

We ran as fast as we could into the arena and were guided to our 3rd FUCKING ROW SEATS! The pyrotechnics were scorching and I was losing my mind. It was the kind of shit you dream about as a teenager (Other than they just did a lame Justice medley). I still have yet to see them play “Blackened” (my favorite) live ironically. But, I’m gonna revisit the anniversary of all this when I take my sister to see them here in Atlanta on November 6 and try to repay the favor.

And Justice for Withered: Withered’s Verloren album is out now. 

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