Ever since I sneakily talked my parents into letting me go to Ozzfest at 17 (seriously, that happened), metal holds a special place in my heart.
Aside from occasionally blasting Drowning Pool's "Bodies," or rocking out to any Metallica song (James Hetfield is on my freebie list), my ties to the metal world have dwindled considerably since my teenage years. That changed when I read something about an upcoming Lamb of God show at Myth. I was pretty sure they were a metal band, but I Googled them just in case they were a Christian rock band (which would probably be scary in its own way).
I hoped to find one person who'd check out the concert with me, so i threw it out to my Facebook community. The responses were... varied:
I am afraid for you!
hope u like loud noises
Ha ha, I used to listen to them all the time. Most amazing drummer, super talented. The "singing" is hard to take though but the musicians are beyond talented!
My friend Skater (yes, that's his God-given name! JK, it's not) came through for me:
I've seen them at Myth twice now. I'd LOVE to go! Just a few pointers: get there early, tolerate the opening bands, wear earplugs (don't let anybody see though), and STAY OFF THE MAIN FLOOR!!! Even though they don't do the "wall of death anymore" see it on YouTube. You're gonna be just fine...
I was tracking with him until "wall of death," but I figured he'd already been twice and lived to tell the tale, so he knows how to navigate this stuff. And we're friends, so he doesn't want to have my death at a metal show on his conscience. We booked it.
The Myth is the most ridiculous music venue in the Twin Cities. First of all, it used to be a giant shoe store called Just for Feet (Just Filed for Bankruptcy would be more accurate). This was no DSW, kids. It was 100,000 sq ft dedicated to athletic shoes only. Myth draws a weird cross section of entertainers-- I think I saw MIA here once, as well as One Republic (seriously, that happened). Of course, the best part is it's location-- right next door to Maplewood Mall, which is down the street from my grandma's house. I parked in the overflow lot near Macy's. Soooo metal.
I met Skater outside. We bought tickets at the door (not sold out), and headed to the balcony. They were between bands, so we had about 15 minutes to catch up. We talked a bit about my blog and upcoming wedding. Skater regaled me with stories about adopting a kitten, his recent foray into the world of wood working-- something he's been doing a lot of since moving to a farm earlier this year. We discussed the merits of bow vs rifle hunting, then talked about our favorite Christmas songs, followed by why Skater loves watching Alton Brown. You know, we kept it really hard core and metal.
The lights dimmed and Killswitch Engage took the stage. I popped in my ear plugs just as I saw a man walk by holding a two-year-old (wearing ear protection, natch). Family bonding at its finest!
The crowd skewed 98 percent male, and if I had to describe them in a sentence, it was as if every Gold's Gym in the country dumped their clientele into a single auditorium. It even smelled like a Gold's Gym, which bothered me less than I would have expected. Our bird's eye view allowed for great pit watching, which to be honest, seemed tame. Skater shouted in my ear, "IT'LL GET NUTS ONCE LAMB OF GOD GOES ON!"
When Killswitch Engage wrapped, we decided to head down to the floor. Since the crowd was all dudes, I knew I wouldn't be able to see much (plus, I don't think a mosh pit is the place for someone wearing heels and a purse, so...). I figured I had one or two songs in me before I had to run for my life. Skater told me that you can see the pit coming well before it hits you, so we'd have ample time to escape. Excellent, on with the show!
This is what happened next, in video form:
I know what you're thinking: How could that possibly be fun? But it was! A few reasons why:
1. Watching big, scary grown men's visceral reaction to eardrum popping metal is absolutely fascinating. They no longer have control of their bodies or brains or anything! Once the music starts, they all lose their shit. The only thing I can compare it to is teenage girls at a One Direction concert. The reactions are different, but it's the same thing! Think about it.
2. On a macro level, the pit is a crazy, violent swirl of testosterone. But on a micro level, it's a brotherhood (with a few really brave or effed up sisters thrown in there, too). For example, I saw one guy slip (probably on some vomit... did I mention I saw a guy puke at one point?). Three huge dudes helped him to his feet, then guided him to the sidelines and made sure he was okay. Aw, too cute for words.
I encourage you to watch my video (posted above) and simply lock in on one person in the pit for the duration. It's pretty awesome.
3. I thought all of the songs would sound the same. They did. But I didn't care because I was too busy feeling the bass in my lungs and watching people sweating all over each other. It was great.
4. I never even saw one other person in the women's bathroom while I was there. A first at a concert for this gal.
A huge thanks to Skater for joining me in this seriously fun outing. I'd do it again in a heartbeat!.