Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Last Tuesday Sept 3rd I was in L.A. and around the USC area you could feel the heaviness in the air, I mean besides the summer heat and humidity. Black Sabbath was in town for their last show in support for their latest album 13 and I was seated in row 13 in the… seventh seat (sorry, no luck there) with an assortment of goodies in one hand (t-shirt, pins, commemorative ticket, etc) and the other firmly pumped up in the air.
They delivered. The tone of this post would be oh so different if they hadn’t, but my flight, 3 hour drive and a staggering SIX HOURS crossing the Mexico – US Border at Tijuana was well worth it. From the wailing sirens of War Pigs to the familiar riff of Paranoid and everything in between, it was worth it. It was a show to remember, as everyone back at the hotel attested while getting ready for their return trip. But enough of trying to describe the feeling of seeing a band long considered as one of your personal heroes, I’m here to narrate everything surrounding the experience.
As soon as tickets were announced, I snatched two of them as I was sure the usual suspects would like to come by. When the day finally came I hopped on the first flight to Tijuana BC and that’s when the problems started. There was a malfunction in the luggage compartment, you know, where everyone’s belongings are. Turns out fire extinguishers were no good so if they caught on fire there was no way to extinguish it. Fire in the sky and nothing you can do. Nice.
I’m stepping into the realm of another post, so I’ll keep it brief. The crew announced our bags would be sent in a different plane, as they couldn’t ride with us because we don’t like bags on fire and no extinguisher at hand. Of course people had different opinions on what to do. Everyone had their reasons why they couldn’t wait for their bags, and each and every one of those reasons were more important than:
- The safety of everyone on the plane
- Whether or not this plane arrived on time
After arguing for 1 hour (I kid you not) crew members were basically told to bend over and abide to the loudest passenger’s definition of what was right for them. We got to keep our bags, but we had to go through security again. Basically do the whole check in song and dance one more time. You said you don’t mind picking your bags later? Don’t care you wait like the rest.
Once in Tijuana with bags in hand the next checkpoint was getting across the Mexico – US border. I’m used to it, I knew it would take some time but not six hours. And then your worst enemy while on the line: you need a bathroom, right now. So I tell Ernesto to take the wheel while I search for a bathroom and as I’m going I hear a voice: “Hey, are you looking for a bathroom? Right here, it’s the Men’s room. The other one is for ladies, but this one is Men only”. I was suspicious, this guy came from nowhere and he’s pointing somewhere and I’m thinking there’s no way there’s a bathroom there.
If you know me personally, you may be aware that I’m trying to increase my daily water intake. On average I drink 1 gallon, but it has the side effect that I get up to the bathroom too many times. Before we went to the border I cut my water intake, but apparently it doesn’t work that way and again six hours is too much. Anyway, back to the shady guy and the men’s room, it was one of those moments where you know you are about to make a bad decision, but you do it anyway. The funny thing is the other one I remember was also in Tijuana. So I said ok, and I step in. I see a gas can with a funnel. Men’s room for the win. In the background I hear “Daddy, I don’t want to!”. Neither do I kid, neither do I.
We finally get across the border, and after a pit stop a the local IHOP we are on our way to Los Angeles. 2.5 hours of classic rock awaits, and a singalong to Bohemian Rhapsody with the Wayne’s World car scene recreation and everything. The trip was uneventful but enjoyable and we finally arrived to our hotel. The next day all metalheads gathered around the coffee machine at the lobby with a bagel in hand and a Sabbath T-shirt on. Actually mine was Motörhead, but it’s equally awesome. One thing about metal concerts is you don’t have to wear the band shirt, as long as it’s an equally awesome band, and you get a cookie if you bring a concert shirt of one memorable date like Black Sabbath in 1978 with Van Halen opening.
At 5 PM we were at the venue. Gates opening at 6 and we had our VIP package in hand. And like they say, the rest is history. Oh yeah, and Rob Trujillo was there right in front of me rocking like the rest of us. He seemed particularly excited when Sabbath played Fairies Wear Boots, and who wouldn’t Rob? If you weren’t excited by the band performance, you surely were with the salacious imagery in the background. You should’ve stayed for Evil Woman though Rob.