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John McGlashan College head of music Bruce James took a group of 15 pupils to the first Christchurch concert by United States heavy metal band Metallica last night.
And it was all in the name of education.
"We studied a video about the Metallica song One, from the Master of Puppets album, as part of the NCEA [national certificate of educational achievement] level one music course," Mr James said, as the group prepared to leave Dunedin yesterday.
"In the video, drummer Lars Ulrich describes how they made the piece and the boys' interest just grew and grew. It gives them an idea of the history of the style, too. Metallica are part of the history of heavy metal."
The music course coincided with the heavy metal giants announcing two concerts in Auckland next month. The band subsequently added two Christchurch concerts after appeals by South Island fans.
"Auckland was a bit too far to go, but when they decided to do a gig in Christchurch, that was it. Five hours on the internet and $3500 later I'd got the tickets," Mr James said.
The pupils raised money for the tickets by playing gigs with school band Triggered at venues such as the Dunedin Musicians' Club.
"The boys have been buzzing for two months about it and I'm pretty keen, too. I'm a bit of an old-school Metallica fan from way back and I've got a few of their albums. The guys are really into it. They love them. It's funny that a new generation of fans are so into them."
For one pupil, Oli Lyons (15), it promised to be the trip of a lifetime, Mr James said.
"He won a competition with the Metallica Fan Club to meet the band before the performance, which would be pretty big, I'd say.
"We're in the downstairs area near the mosh pit, so we'll have to stay together as a group and keep away from the big people. But we've been practising our heavy metal devil horns."
Metallica will play its second Christchurch concert at the CBS Canterbury Arena tonight.