There are subtle, beautiful sunrise omens that can foretell the course of a day. You wake up to find your kitty lovingly nestled against your


Death By Mixtape

Give me nookie, give me midday inebriation in Pioneer Square.

There are subtle, beautiful sunrise omens that can foretell the course of a day. You wake up to find your kitty lovingly nestled against your shins; you discover a crumpled, washered-and-dryered $20 lodged in your jeans; you flip on ESPN and your team miraculously came back from a five-run late-inning deficit. Then you walk into your bathroom to find 3 inches of water and flaky, beige vomit clogging the bathtub courtesy of Your Roommate Mat. Ah yes, today must be the pinnacle of this unforgettable, walking blackout of a cock-rockin' summer, the day that Metallica's Summer Sanitarium tour finally invades Seattle!

Reiterating the lineup is like opening the Ark of the Covenant: Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Deftones, Mudvayne. The hell with your face melting off; if some part of your body isn't larger than it was before you read that sentenceeyes, mouth, um, whateveryou just don't like music. Many of my hipster acquaintances suffer that ailment, patronizingly assessing my unassailable enthrallment with the Sanitarium much as they would a crush on an unattainable girl"We're all excited for you, Andrew. That's . . . super."

At least a few contemporaries shared the passion. My antagonistic new friend Ilyas e-mailed repeatedly during the week boasting of (a) backstage passes, (b) the orgiastic abuses that said passes entitle, and (c) "icebreakers" for Metallica, i.e. ,"Hey, Lars, I got an advance MP3 of 'St. Anger.' It rocks!" There evidently is a Christian God, because Ilyas' in fell through, fleecing him of his virility and the rest of us of an A-plus "hedonist on the inside" column.

I opted to embrace Sanitarium culture in a simpler, Hot Topic fashion with my +1, Kelley, but was frankly not prepared for her to pick me up wearing a Sharpied wife beater, upon which breast one read "Give," breast two "Me," and the midriff "Nookie!" Hell hath nothing on a woman's ironic infatuation with Fred Durst.

After hastily titivating my wife beater to honor Linkin Park with "One Step Closer 2 Tha Edge!!!" (critical detail: the "R" was backward) and vowing to drink until we were no longer embarrassed by our outfits, we arrived at Seahawks Stadium on Thursday afternoon to find a Trail of Beers stretching all the way past Safeco Field. Thirty thousand-odd concertgoers, one entrance. Adorable. Ever resourceful, Kelley and I strutted past the monster line to the bottleneck in front and squeezed inside, receiving pat downs about as thorough as a midnight ass slap from the flustered security. Too bad we forgot our flasks and/or digital recording devices and/or anthrax.

Deftones rewarded us with a restrained, artful set highlighted by an obscure Depeche Mode cover ("To Have and to Hold") and an ad lib of Gorillaz's "Clint Eastwood." It's nice to see the band evolving beyond the woefully immature dreads-and-shreds thuggery that poisoned past performan . . . wait a minute! Was this Summer Sanitarium or a fucking TUPPERWARE PARTY?! I wanted "woefully immature" and I wanted it by the buttload!!! Where were the boobies and belching and tongues between fingers?!

Answer: The merch stand, where the following exchange of ideas ensued as two decrepit, aging burnouts noticed Kell's shirt.

Decrepit Burnout 1: You want nookie, huh?

Kelley: I do, but I'm saving myself for Fred.

Decrepit Burnout 1 (pointing to friend): He'll give you some nookie.

Decrepit Burnout 2: I would, but I'm guessing you're about 17, right?

Kelley: That's right.

Moi: We're going to the prom.

Decrepit Burnout 2: Exactly. No thanks.

Decrepit Burnout 1: Yeah, but . . . she wants nookie!

It was clearly time to double fist large importeds and bow down to Linkin Park, the most inspirational, kid-tested, mother-approved, no-curses rap-rock sextet in the galaxy. Co-frontman Chester Bennington made an instant fan out of Kelley, working the white boxers/sweaty butt cheeks/baggy pants angle. We participated in the time-honored stadium-rock tradition of calling a random friend during the hit single, raising the cell in the air triumphantly, screeching the band's name, then abruptly hanging up. (Naturally, he didn't understand a word of it.)

When the LB kicked off with "Hot Dog," a prophecy was fulfilled: They were bombarded with any projectile the crowd had. But Durst shrugged it off, inviting Lars Ulrich out to half-ass Metallica passages with the Bizkit's not-goofy-enough new guitarist, dedicating "Break Stuff" to "Britney fuckin' Spears," working the entire floor while covering the Who's "Behind Blue Eyes," andkill me now, Godbeing a total showman.

Maybe it was the cessation of beer sales, or maybe it's the fact that they're total assholes and everyone still loves them, but Metallica's opening salvo of "Battery," "Master of Puppets," "Harvester of Sorrow," "Sanitarium," and "For Whom the Bell Tolls" somehow didn't annihilate us. Kelley and I spent most of the set adjusting our shirts (her back: "Fred D. 2003"; mine: "Linkin F**kin' Park"). By the time Metallica dropped "Sad but True," it was clear that we needed to find an after party. Preferably with Chester. Flaky vomit mandatory.

THE BEST PART about disseminating a midsummer alternative-weekly music awards fest maiden voyage into eight Pioneer Square clubs: gratuitous midday inebriation minus the sunstroke. The worst part: claustrophobia, suffocation, potential last-will-and-testament stuff. Actually, the worst part kinda goes hand in hand with the second best part: getting fucking sweaty and rocked on the day of the Lord.

Plenty of locals were ready toahembear the cross and rock for your votes. "I have chest pains, so I might die," C Average ax wielder Jon Merithew deadpanned to a curious horde at Fenix Underground. "So you should vote for us. It would be cool to vote for the band with the guy who dies on stage." The 99 and 44/100 percent instrumental power duo proceeded to shred with the intensity of a legion of bloodthirsty Orcs descending on a village of pussy-ass hobbits, or, in hipster English, like the Fucking Champs with meatier kick drum.

Similar unmitigated assaults occurred earlier at the Last Supper Club, but the bullets that Dorkweed and Ms. Led sent each other's way were hollow tipped with hearts. The former bobbed and weaved through quirky psych-pop nuggets and were repped via T-shirt by the latter's wild-eyed Lesli Wood, queen of the lady-empowering power chord anthem.

At the Central's all-day bottleneck, the Pale orchestrated a fragile, sweet, piano-heavy Death Cab for Cutie reinvention, during which frontman Gabe Archer looked sorta beatific bathed in sunshine. But fuck the light. Got Satan? Abodox did, pulling off the raddest stage setup of the day (guitarist and bassist facing one another, not the crowd) back at the Underground and snorting out black metal debris like an endless, glorious, post-coke binge nosebleed.

Also trolling the grounds, a man who knows far more than I about post-coke binge nosebleeds, Michaelangelo Matos. This is his story: "Tiki Bob's Cantina was a couple blocks away from the base of the actiontoo bad, since the hip-hop and electronica there were pretty hot, despite the relatively low attendance. It was a bit odd to hear Zacharia's dark drum and bass as the midafternoon sun streamed into the middle of a tropical-themed bar, but Codebase's electro-funk, which followed, sounded surprisingly at home. Boom Bap Project were energetic, turning the Cantina's lack of a stage into an advantagewhaddaya know, they're even closer to their audience than we thought.

"I missed Mr. Supreme while checking out some other venuesand, ha ha, filling up at Dinerbut did hear B-Mello teach old Run-DMC and Eric B. & Rakim records some new tricks. I also spent a little time at Juan O'Riley's, catching the tail end of Clinton Fearon's set surprisingly jumpy, more ska than reggae, and a nice joltas well as Source of Labor, who rocked, and Nu Sol Tribe, who funked (or maybe I mean Sol'd). And I took in a couple of songs by Once for Kicks, who won Best Dressed for their matching thrift-store ruffled shirts."

Finally, what would a fest wrap-up be without a snarky anecdote from Laura Cassidy? Answer: The pride and joy that is my fucking column and mine alone. Boo-hooing aside, I think L.C.'s more than qualified to handle this week's coup de grā£„ duties: "The highlight of my day was running into Sean and Erin Wood, the brothers who front the Spits, and Erin's lovely fashionista better half, Jesse. Although I had just missed the Spits' set at the Fenix, their keyboard player, Joe, told me that he performed sans shirt and playfully slapped his own ass a few times, figuring that this was Pioneer Square and all, and if he was lucky, maybe somewhere it was fetish night. Sadly, his self-spanking got no response from the crowd.

"The Wood brothers, Jesse, and I towed it over to the Fenix where the Iron Maiden cover band, Maiden Seattle, had just started their set. Now, I've got plenty of skeletons in my musical closet, but one genre I never went anywhere near is metal. Safe to say this is not the case with Erin and Jesse; as we walked inOK, I walked, they rana plump older gentleman with frosted hair and a leather vest was singing something about riding the lightning. Those two knew every damn word."

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