Metallica  and a Stone Balloon appearance


Good afternoon,

The social media people  for  Metallica made a smart  move in advance of a concert Thursday night at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center.

The video features the hard-edged band playing  Harvester of Sorrow in a grainy video during an appearance at the legendary Stone Balloon in 1989.  Click here   for the video.

Commentary accompanying the post noted  that the Balloon was the smallest venue played during the band’s 1989 tour. The show might have also been tied to a desire by some acts to play all 50 states. 

The Balloon had long hosted major acts, but Metallica was one of the biggest to ever take the stage. Even Bruce Springsteen, who is always mentioned in connection with the Balloon, was in the earlier stages of his career when he appeared at the club.


The video went viral, at least by Delaware standards. Our Facebook page picked up the link and the News Journal did a lifestyle piece based on the Facebook post and memories of a person who attended the concert.

The  video also brought to mind the spring of 2014.

At the time, Bill Stevenson, the longtime owner of the Balloon, announced on April Fool’s Day a return of the establishment and managed to convince a few people it might happen.

I wrote a piece that looked into the possibility of a well-run  live music venue somewhere in Newark and in the process learned that others were thinking about  same thing.

A great venue would have been an isolated area of the Newark Shopping Center that housed the bowling alley on borrowed time.

Alas, the site became yet another student housing megaplex.

Given the grouchy “get off my lawn” mood of many in the city, the idea of a rock palace amounts to a flight of fancy.

But as Newark struggles to figure out what it wants to be, it would be great to see a  place for live music complete with crowds and amplifiers.

By the way, I checked out the  Wells Fargo site and there are still tickets available for Metallica. Read on and rock on.  – Doug Rainey, publisher.