When I first got to Fordham, I had a strong aversion to hardcore/metal. I didn’t get it at all; it was just noise. However, I had just finished up my embarrassing and terrible Fall Out Boy phase (I know, I know, keep your mockery to yourself), so I was eager to find new and better types of music. I became friends with two people who are really into metal, so after listening to some of my friends’ favorites bands… I still didn’t really get it.
One of my friends explained that there are plenty of bullshit metal bands, but when you find a good one, it’s not just “screaming” and “noise.” His two preferences of music are classical and metal. It might seem contradictory to people, but he explained that the way metal is arranged can be extremely complex, similar to how classical music is constructed. The “screaming” that I wasn’t too fond of at the time, he explained, is meant to fit into the music. When I listened to the music again, I realized how intense each part was; the drums, the guitar, the bass, and even the vocals.
mo’ hardcore love after the jump
After a couple metal “phase-in” CDs from my friend, I didn’t mind the music. For his birthday, he wanted us to go to a metal concert to see his favorite band, The Chariot. So there I was, naïve, clad in an Abercrombie t-shirt, and terrified, walking into Blender Theater. Basically the theater looked like the contents of a blender; people were all in a big group on the floor and some looked ready to physically assault one another. I wanted to make a beeline for the back seating area, but that isn’t the full experience of a metal concert. So I stood strong… kind of.
After about ten minutes of being there as some terrible band was on stage, a kid with clothes that were too tight to be on his body screamed, “I LOVE THIS SONG!” and jumped to join into the mosh pit. Of course I had to be within proximity to him and the mosh pit. As he shoved by me, I stumbled into the mosh pit, then proceeded to get shoved once again by someone else, pushing me further into the pit, and as I attempted to make my escape, I got punched in the face by some big guy. I was pissed because A) it hurt And B) if I’m going to be punched in the face, I at least want a bad ass black eye from it, and he only hit me in the cheek bone.
The pain faded when Sky Eats Airplane came on. Even though my friend said it wasn’t their “best performance,” I didn’t care; they were still pretty sweet in my opinion. There’s so much adrenaline pumping through the giant mass of bodies pushed against the stage, everyone shouting the lyrics at the top of their lungs, bodies being thrown at you as people crowd-surf. It’s pretty hard not to get into it. After Sky Eats Airplane, The Chariot performed, and that’s when I officially became hooked on these two bands.
On October 12th, my friend and I got to go see Sky Eats Airplane as one of the opening bands for August Burns Red. A couple other bands played, and when it came time for Sky Eats Airplane, my friend I pushed to the front. Minus the twelve-year-old who kept elbowing me in the kidney and the fifteen-year-old girl behind me who elbowed me several times in the ear, it was awesome. They played my one of my favorite songs off their CD, Transparent. The vocalist from Sky Eats Airplane, Jerry Roush, does all of the vocals, which some people at the concert were surprised by. He sings and screams, which I imagine is tough since the screaming would kill my voice in about two seconds if I tried. Jerry’s vocals are definitely impressive, and since SEA is a mix of hardcore and electronica, it wasn’t as difficult for me to get into as other metal bands. (I recommend everyone go listen to “Photographic Memory,” the first song by SEA that I became a fan of.)
After SEA finished up, I decided to escape the front area where everyone was pushed so close I could barely breath. I moved to the side, a little too close to the mosh pit. I had to keep shoving people away, which is normal, but I was too distracted by the song “Up Against the Ropes” to notice a flailing body coming closer to me and I caught an elbow to the face. It hurt, a lot. Then there was blood. A lot. With blood pouring from my nose, I tried to get my friend’s attention to tell him I was going to the bathroom. Right when I reached him, I felt someone grab the back of my hoodie and a security guard is soon pulling me toward the exit and leading me to the basement of the theater. There he basically sits me down, asks me not to sue the venue, asks if I need an ambulance, and gives me ice and water. From there, I watched the rest of the concert from the TV and went through a massive pile of napkins. I was unhappy to miss the song “Back Burner,” but due to the blood loss, I don’t think going anywhere near another mosh pit would be smart.
Despite multiple injuries of the face with my experiences at metal concerts, I won’t hesitate to go to another one. After only two metal concerts, I can appreciate the genre. I’m not saying I get metal or the culture that comes with it, but I do think that more people should give it a chance, or at least respect it. If you never have listened to metal, but want to have a listen, take a couple minutes to listen to some Sky Eats Airplane (“Transparent” and “Photographic Memory” are sweet), The Chariot (“Then Came to Kill,” featuring Hayley Williams is awesome), or Enter Shikari (“Sorry, You’re Not a Winner” was one of the first songs I got into). Maybe even try going to a metal concert…just watch out for the elbows.