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Peru: Metallica Rocked in Lima

Back on October 23rd, 2009, Metallica, the popular heavy-metal rock band, announced its Latin American tour [es], which would start in Lima with a concert that was held on January 19th, 2010. The Metallica euphoria started almost immediately.

Photo of the Metallica concert in Lima by Juliux and used under a Creative Commons license.

Photo of the Metallica concert in Lima by Juliux and used under a Creative Commons license.

Within hours after the announcement, the blog Héroe del Día [es] (Hero of the Day) highlighted the news and all the related excitement in a post titled Metallica viene al Perú [es]:

Metallica es mi banda favorita de metal […]. Por años ,,,,, (si, años!) he venido escuchando sus temas, silbando contenta sus canciones, gritando furiosa al ritmo de sus akordes, latiendo a mil entre sus letras y los besos de mi ex, o tambien escuchandolos con alguna lagrima alguna vez… Smplemente me encantan! Asi. sin mas explicacion! […] Y hoy, hoy […] hoy! me llego un mensaje de texto y un mail, de un par de mis mejores amigos, que me decian la gran noticia. […] Y, si, era cierto! Voy a poder tener la dicha de escucharlos en vivo! En vivo! si! Metallica estará en Lima el martes 19 de enero del 2010 y yo estaré también en Lima el martes 19 de enero del 2010… !! Empieza la cuenta regresiva !!

Metallica is my favorite metal band […]. For years… (yes, years!) I've been listening to their songs, whistling happily along with their songs, screaming furiously to the rhythm of their chords, my heart racing with their lyrics and my ex's kisses, or also sometimes listening to the songs with tears in my eyes… I just love them! Just like that. No further explanation! […] And today, today, today! […] I received a text message and an e-mail, from a couple of my best friends, telling me the news. […] And yes, it was true! I'll have the joy to listen to them live! Live! Yes! Metallica will be in Lima Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 … !! […] The countdown begins!!

The blog Bloody Ashes [es] provided diagrams with the zones [es] of the stadium where the concert will be held at San Marcos University, as well as the prices of the tickets, according to their locations.

Some weeks after the announcement, on Sunday November 15th, the ticket sales started. A lot of Peruvian fans woke up very early [es] and stood in lines for hours in order to get a ticket. Reportedly, 2,000 tickets [es] were sold in an hour.

While the fans of the band were delighted, there were others who were not that excited about the news. Carlos Quiroz of the blog Peruanista [es] writes that Metallica in Peru promotes the oppressive cultures of racist abuse and materialistic indifference. The post expresses disapproval of the concert, the band Metallica, heavy metal in general, and even adds some politics:

La llegada a Perú de Metallica -grupo que hace música ‘rock metal pesado’- es parcialmente producto de una política cultural promovida por el mismo gobierno peruano. Como resultado de leyes de exoneración de impuestos, unos treinta grupos extranjeros de rock metalero han llegado a Lima solamente en 2009, la mayoría de ellos desde Estados Unidos y Europa. […] El rock metalero puede tener mucho sentido para sus seguidores, pero para otros es solamente un género de bullas y gritos, secuencias de golpes repetitivos, con composiciones elaboradas de cuerdas. […] Una gran parte de la música de Metallica y sobretodo sus líricas, son de abuso, de brutalidad, de perversión, de muerte, de racismo. No es casualidad que casi todos los seguidores del rock metalero son blancos, ni que estos sean o hayan sido adictos a drogas ilegales, vicios, vidas caóticas sin esperanza. […] Hay limeños que están delirando de entusiasmo por que Metallica llega a Lima. Claro que ellos tienen la libertad de escuchar la música que quieran y usar su dinero como les dé la gana. […] Ojalá al menos que esa noche esos 50 mil peruanos pidan en sus cantos metaleros, por justicia, futuro y buen vivir para el país. Acaso eso pudiera pasar.

The arrival to Peru of Metallica -a group that makes ‘heavy metal rock’ music- is partially a product of cultural politics promoted by the Peruvian government itself. As a result of taxes exempt regulations, about thirty foreign rock groups have come to Lima in 2009 alone, most of them from United States and Europe. […] Heavy metal rock may be full of meaning for its followers, but to others it's just a genre full of noise and yelling, repetitive beat sequences, with chord sequences. […] A large part of Metallica's music, and above all its lyrics, is about abuse, brutality, perversion, death, racism. It's not a coincidence that almost all metal rock followers are white, or that they are or have been addicted to illegal drugs, vices, or lead hopeless, chaotic lives. […] Some Lima residents are delirious with the enthusiasm that Metallica is coming to Lima. Of course they are free to listen to any music they want and to use their money as they wish. […] Hopefully, at least on that night, those 50 thousand Peruvian call in their metal chants for justice, future and well being for the country. Maybe that could happen. […]

The reactions to this post contain both opinions for and against what Quiroz writes, like Luna, who comments:

Metalica es basura parte de la colonizacion mental y de la alienación. Aparte fue ese grupo los que contribuyeron a que se cerrase el acceso gratuito a Napster una via democratica de obtener música online. Esa congresista aprista es apoyada y celebrada por los medios locales quienes alaban su “aporte” a la supremacia de la cultura criolla.

Metalica (sic) is trash, part of mental colonization and alienation. Besides, this band contributed with the shutting down free access to Napster, a democratic way to get music online. That APRA (party) congresswoman is backed and celebrated by the local media, that praise her “contribution” to the supremacy of the local-native culture.

On the other hand, Fabio notes:

Wow, y yo que pensaba que los únicos que atacaban el rock (y todas sus variatnes) eran los cristianos fundamentalistas ultraconsevadores de EE.UU. ¡Resulta que ahora también soy racista por asistir a conciertos de los malvados grupos extranjeros!

Wow, and I thought that the only one who attacks rock (and all its variations) were American fundamentalist ultraconservative Christians. Turns out that I am a racist for going to evil foreign concerts!

And the day finally came. The much eagerly awaited concert was held [es] on Tuesday January 19th, 2010. The blog Metallica en Lima, hosted by Lima newspaper El Comercio, posted a brief post about the event. At the time of publication there are 129 comments.

Augusto Rubio of the blog Marea Cultural [es] calls the band's performance “historic”, while Isabel Guerra of Living in Peru [es] notes the economic success of the event, with 3.7 million dollars in gross profits.

Next up for rock fans: the Guns N’ Roses concert coming in February 2010 [es].

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