I didn’t know metal looked like a ginger hipster fade cut and a T-shirt with a flower on it…
But, apparently I was wrong all along. I decided to go to my first ever metal show on Thursday (mainly because I was coerced by a very tall bearded friend who had the abilities to defend me in a mosh pit). Better Off took the New Brookland stage with the lead singer donning this lotus-featured getup, the ensuing music offering an admittedly more pop-punk vibe with a less raucous performance than the rest of the eve had to offer. However, it was my first glance at a more intense genre of music than my ear drums had previously experienced in a live setting. This group, the second band of the 5-act lineup, involved sexy hair flips from guitarist #2. However, it also offered something I was really not anticipating: really good lyrics with a powerful message. “Garden State of Mind” especially struck me with a heavy sense of love, loss and impact. “It’s hard to say, the world won’t wait for me / No, nothing is going to change / I tried to pay my debt and feel free / No, my dollar bill will live on as change.”
Capsize was next to make an appearance, and they did just that with a truly metal soundtrack that induced my number one observation of the night: It is a bad idea to throw punches in a mosh pit. Back to band appearance. No flower shirts for this crew. Long black hair is in though and any clothing devoid of color and in T-shirt or tank-top form, namely black and white and preferably with another metal band’s name on it. With this group, the metal truly began. There were entirely too many sweaty hair flips. There was seizure-like thrashing. There were deep screamy things. At one point, the lead singer jumped into the mosh pit and began synchronized contortions with his brethren. Through all the distorted guitar and heavy drums, there were really passionate vibrations in my can of PBR. This is the moment I began to head bang.
Counterparts kept the moshing alive with skull and noose shirts and killer (haha, get it…because skulls and nooses…are killer?…) sounds. I believe I literally remarked, “This sounds like demons.” I danced to demons. I did not yet enter the mosh pit, but my neck was getting a little sore, so I figured I was living a proper metal experience.
Main act of the night, Las Vegas-based Defeater, absorbed all the previous high-energy vibes of the night and sent them back through the crowd in a wave of mind-blowing madness. This is the part of the night where I realized that I might actually like metal. Um…WHAT? I already had the head banging down at this point, but an acoustic opening to “No Saint No Savior” threw me off in the middle. I was getting a little confused about what metal really was until everything went from mellow to intense in an epic explosion that led me into the mosh pit. Yes. I was in a mosh pit, guys. And it was awesome.
So, yeah, this metal thing is kinda cool sometimes, I guess.