Sandwiched between the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals are four headbanging Hall-of-Famers.
Sure, 80,000 people got sunburned and danced out last week in Indio -- and close to that many country fans will head back out next weekend -- but that doesn't mean that tens of thousands won't make their own journeys back over the mountains and through the desert to the Empire Polo Club to hear Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica on Saturday at the first -- and possibly, the only -- U.S. stop on the Big Four tour. Up till now, the bands have only played seven shows in Europe, and it appears that no others are scheduled.
Tickets for the show -- gates open at 2 p.m. -- are, for the most part, a one-size-fits-all $99, but there is an interesting way to jack up that price. Because the event is a one-off, one-day show, the promoters have organized DUI-proof transportation for headbangers. For an extra 65 bucks, heavy-metal fans can get picked up by bus at eight different locations around Southern California -- including on Executive Drive in San Diego, just off La Jolla Village Drive -- and brought home the same way after the show.
Organizers say the concert will end at about 11 p.m. and that fans can expect "seven hours of the heaviest bands in the world appearing on the stage for one epic show." The forecast for the show on Saturday is a balmy, partly cloudy 84 degrees, with a experts advising a liberal dose of sunscreen and a heavy application of earplugs.