Metal Hands

Posted on April 10, 2011


I went to a metal show last night. As in, many tattoos, much screaming, bass that I could feel inside my ribcage, and inaudible lyrics. It was the first show like this I’d ever been to — not surprising since I’m not a regular concert-goer (I’ll list the tiny tiny number of musical artists I’ve ever seen before at the end of this post for those curious). My new bff from work, Kristen, invited me and I don’t get out much with friends, and we have the same work schedule and so I thought it would be nice to go with someone else who would start to feel like an old lady around 9:30 pm when our bodies decide it’s getting close to bedtime and we’re getting all tuckered out and our heads are throbbing.

She got stuck in traffic on the way to my tiny little house and so we were late. I joked with Kristen when she picked me up that I wasn’t “dressed metal enough,” which is probably true, but I don’t really think they cared. It’s a good thing we were late because the first band dropped out of the show and we would have had a lot of waiting around to do with the massive crowd of about…12 that was there when we showed up, maybe a third of which were all band members. Ha!

I may never have been to a metal show, but I have listened to a smidgen of screamo music here and there (which isn’t all metal, and not all metal is screamo, but some of both fits into that slot, so we’ll run with it) so I had a general idea of what I was getting into. I didn’t really expect to like it as much as I did, and I was oddly amused by the first band, Sidereal Pulse being mostly barefooted and the lead singer carrying around a blue fanny pack which was full of burned cds to give out to people. I went ahead and got one so I could share with Nate what I was spending my night doing and relive the evening if I felt like it.

It struck me as both fun, amusing, and culturally interesting (hey, I like anthropology, leave me alone) how much the movements and expressions of the bands while they played were similar to religious leaders when they are preaching or people when they are singing in church. People make “metal hands,” which seemed comparable to the raise hands of praise, though with a bit more stiffness, ready for slaying and crushing of bones than of receiving blessing and grace.

The cello may be the key to my soul, but I forget how fun it can be to listen to raw emotion released through throbbing vibrations of several speakers in a tiny crowd of people recognizing that they know how rough the world can be a lot of the time. I’m no metal head, but I had a blast at Crowbar with Kristen and appreciate a good slap bass massage of my inner organs every now and again.

Concert history (events that cost money only, free gigs don’t count):
-Matt Costa/Delta Spirit
-Spill Canvas/The Almost
-Radio Reset (Drew, I don’t even know if you count anymore…lol)
-this metal concert

That was even less than I thought. Maybe I forgot one? Maybe not. Oh well.

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