David Weiner ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
I’ve never really listened to metal music. I’ve never understood the screams and growls, the smashing of cymbals and shredding of guitar strings. None of it made sense to me. Until now.
Earlier this week I went to my first metal show: August Burns Red, Miss May I, Northlane, Fit for a King and Erra. I hadn’t heard of any of these groups before. However, their fanbases are enormous.
While walking to the ticket booth, I could hear shrill screams and the rumbling of bass and drums. The House of Blues was packed. A mosh pit in the middle of the room was created for people to slam into each other and flail wildly. As the heavy guitar riffs and base-led rhythms pounded, the audience banged their heads. I’d never seen anything like it.
I made my way into the photo pit at the front of the stage. Every two minutes a sweaty body would be crowd-surfed into one of the arms of the security guards next to me. The guard would then gently set the body on the ground and get ready to catch the next. They were floated atop the hands of their peers as if offerings to the metal Gods.
Like an infection my head started to twitch, then bob in rhythm. Photos no longer mattered. My arms let my camera dangle from my neck. They began to stiffen. The infection had spread. My arms raised above my head as my middle and ring fingers contracted.
I started to get hot. I think the man behind me could tell. He splashed his beer on the back of my head then threw his can on stage. Thank you. The cold beer fell down the back of my shirt. Another body landed in the arms of a security guard.
My stiff arms lifted my now oddly shaped hands into the air. The man with the microphone growled above me like a longhaired demon. I was hooked. I joined in the chaos, banging my head and slamming my arms. I get it.
I had never felt so much energy in a room before. For such hellish sounding music, the bands and all of their followers were by far some of most sincere people. There was no judgement, no disapproving looks. People would walk by with enormous ear gauges, ripped jeans and facial tattoos then I’d see a group follow with clean cut hair and tucked in shirts. Hell, one of the guitar players wore flip flops the whole show. This kind of music attracts a broad and accepting audience that is apparently very inviting to new listeners.
If you’ve never really listened to metal music before, the Frozen Flame Tour I experienced might just bring you in. The tour’s next stop is Toronto.