Poland 2024 – Metallica

Last year on my visit to Wroclaw Pawel told me, he would visit two Metallica concerts as part of the M72 WORLD TOUR in Warsaw next year. I decided to join him on one on Sunday. I bought a ticket, 180 €, and forgot about it.

Two months before the concert I got some mail about it and started preparing. I picked a flight with LOT, 250 € for a return ticket. I fly there on Friday and return on Monday to enjoy this opportunity more. Two weeks before the flight I chose to visit Lodz, Poznan, and Gdansk in my free time because I was in Warsaw 3 times already. Two days before the flight I booked some cheap places to stay in Lodz and Gdansk. For last night Mateusz offered me to stay at his place in Warsaw.

Day 1 – Ljubljana-Warsaw-Lodz

In the morning I packed lightly and went to work. In the afternoon, my sister picked me up and drove to the airport. I arrived early and found the staff smoking corner. At security, they blocked the scanner and we waited a few minutes. On the gate side, I laid down a bit, smoked a cigarette and it was boarding time.

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The flight on the Embraer 170-100 airplane was average, with just enough leg space, they served water and some sweet buns, and I got a window seat in the 4th row. We needed 1:20 to arrive in Warsaw, 15 min before schedule. Chopin airport was confusing, arrival and departure in a mixed area.

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Now I moved by train (problem with a ticket machine, 7PLZ-1.65€) to Warsaw West station (bad memories), and ate some fruits. The station was rebuilt, and a bit chaotic. Finally, I bought a ticket with help (63PLZ, 15 €). I had to go to East station, but first I waited 30 min. Outside I smoked a cigarette and ate a homemade sandwich. Many Russians/Ukrainians and police.

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At East station again waiting. Continuing further on to Lodz, the train was late few minutes. After a 45-minute walk I arrived at accommodation in the Boutique hostel, a small single room with TV, sink, and shared bathroom for 23€, problem with the key.

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After a bit of relaxing, I went out to see how is nightlife here. Close by was Index, a bar with karaoke, beer 11PLZ, 2.6€. I sang My Way and Ring of Fire. When they closed I moved to Piotrowska Street by taxi, 11 PLZ, 2.6€. This is the main street in the city, full of bars. I stopped in a Turkish bar, beer 10PLZ, 2.3€. Talked to some Ukrainians.

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On my way home I stopped at a bar open at 4am, met a guy who likes Metallica, and had some shots. On long way home I ate at Zahiri, kebab, 10ZLT, 2.3€ and coke 5ZLT, 1.2€. I was in bed at almost 7am.

Day 2 – Lodz-Warsaw-Gdansk

After 4 hours of sleep, I packed and moved on after late checkout. Outside was sunny and hot. I experienced Piotrkowska Street during the day. I bought Coke at the Zabka store, sat on a bench, and watched people.

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I was late so I canceled Poznan from my plans. To move to Gdansk I needed 3 tickets, (220PLZ, 51.1€) clerk was unkind so I bought a ticket from Mashine. Waiting, ordered another Coke and changed the platform. It was crowded on the train. The first stop was at a small station. The second IC (160 kmh) train was 20 min late. The outside view is all flat land, some fields, some trees.

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In Warsaw, at Centralna (Zahodna) station I missed the last train. At the ticket office, I got a new ticket for the next train. I bought a big hot dog, coke and cigarettes, 9.1€. This train was 15 min late, but later we stopped because of some accident. In the end, we came 2 hours late. I caused a seat mix-up. There were some drunk passengers. We got 2x bottles of water and some biscuits for free.

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From the nice station, it was a half hour walk, by canal to the Baltic hostel, 38€, double room, shared bathroom.

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I was again out after a shower. I took a taxi to the center, 20PLZ. b Walked around a nice old town. Some locals spilled some water, the reason why we started talking.

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Ordered a beer (20PLZ) and watched the game, Turks didn’t have luck. Before walking home I ate a huge kebab and drank cola, 44PLZ.

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Day 3 – Gdansk-Warsaw

In the morning the same procedure before moving into the old town with Bolt, 20 PLZ. There I saw some nice gates, Neptun Fontaine, crane, churches, mill.

I found a barber, and he gave me a slot in half an hour. So I went to dinner to eat. I got lemonade, 2x eggs on toast, 2x hot dog, 2x fried with cheese, 2x bread buns, and butter for 32PLZ.

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I returned to the barber for a hot towel shave, and there they served me whisky cola. Srilankan barber from Kandy took 40 minutes to do my beard, 100PLZ with tip.

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Short walk to the train station, bought Fanta, 11PLZ. Again I was on the train, this time back to Warsaw, 175PLZ ticket without seat reservation. I wandered around the train until I found an empty seat, time to sleep and charge my phone.

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I met with Pawel and his friend at Warsaw Central Station. At the station, I rented a locker and left my bag, 20 PLZ for 1 day. We went together to a concert with a tram, they had group a ticket.

Concert Metalica, tour 72 seasons

At PGE Narodowy stadium there were many controls (ticket on phone). Before entering, I had beer 22 PLZ. 5.1€ and cigarette. We were early inside so we got in front. The circular stage gave the option for many fans (up to 80.000) to be close to the bend for at least part of the time. I was closest 5m away from performers.

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After some waiting first support group ICE NINE KILLS came on stage, with interesting choreography. It started to rain. After 35 minutes they went off stage and the rain stopped. I was afraid it would be like on Springsteen concert in Milano in 2003.

We waited again before the next bend Five-finger death punch. I liked their energy more than the previous bend. Maybe they were 5 minutes longer on stage.

Now we were waiting for the last time. The crowd got nervous. It started to rain again. Metalica (James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo) opened with Whiplash. In between many songs, some from a new album, one Polish song. They closed with One and Enter Sandman. Each member said a few farewell words, promised they would return, and then threw some guitar picks from a bucket (like feeding the chicken).

The rain didn’t bother people. On a few occasions, it was nice that I had over 100kg, when the crowd started jumping and pushing. After a few songs bend would go off stage and put some intro followed by video before they returned (in 2 hours they performed just 15 songs).

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At one point James slipped and fell. A few times music cut off, but crowed covered it. They finished with some giant balloons set into the crowd. Many Bulgarian flags. Greeks by our side smoked a lot.

After the concert, I walked to Mateusz’s place, in less than half an hour. After some catching up and showering it was time for the couch.

Setlist

  • WHIPLASH
  • FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS
  • RIDE THE LIGHTNING
  • UNTIL IT SLEEPS
  • LUX ÆTERNA
  • TOO FAR GONE?
  • Kirk & Rob’s doodle: Maanam’s “Kocham Cię, Kochanie Moje”
  • WELCOME HOME (SANITARIUM)
  • WHEREVER I MAY ROAM
  • THE CALL OF KTULU
  • NO LEAF CLOVER
  • INAMORATA
  • BLACKENED
  • MOTH INTO FLAME
  • ONE
  • ENTER SANDMAN

Day 4 – Warsaw-Ljubljana

We woke up at 5:30 am, after the bathroom it was time to move toward. First with tram 4PLZ to Centralna station, to pick up my bag. I had breakfast at McDonald’s, 29 PLZ.

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One more train, to Chopin airport, 7.8PLZ. At the airport first I went to the toilet, where I washed up, and changed my T-shirt. Again waiting, sleeping, spending money in duty-free, 85PLZ. The flight was similar, just opposite direction, we were late 15 min, some ice cheaps. Many Slovenian Metalica fans, also Rok with his girlfriend. On arrival, my sister picked me up (delayed by accident) and I was home soon.

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Summary

For me, it was a nice prolonged weekend. A bit expensive (250€ flight, 180€tm ticket, 60€ accommodation, 150€ train, tram, and taxi, 50€ food, 90€ drinks and rest). 750€ I would before spend on 2 weeks vacation in Afrika.

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But I had a chance to experience 2 new cities, enjoy a party in Lodz, walk beautiful Gdansk’s old town, and see a Metallica concert in Warsaw. All this was enhanced by the joy of meeting two friends.

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