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Anatomy of a Death Metal Concert (in 2006)

Anatomy of a Death Metal Concert (in 2006)
April 16, 2006, 01:25:41 AM
Do I wish I had been born earler? let me count the ways...

Instead of being a meeting ground for those who've rejected society, it is evident that today;s death metal concert is plagued by social rejects.

Case in point: the opener will always be a metalcore band; preferably French-Canadian with two vocalists: one will have poor posture and a tendency to replicate the flagellation of monks with a series of microphone-to-forehead connections. Add a few rodeo-style microphone swings for good measure---but watch out as to not drop the darn thing! The second vocalist will present himself with less gusto, and perhaps his shimmer basketball shorts make this statement before his mediocre-at-best vocals do.

The few "hardcore" kids, who are generally pudgy or otherwise out of shape, will commit themselves to fierce arm-flailing during the opener. They own every CD (all 1 1/2 releases) and know the choruses by heart. Here it is fun to stand near the edge of the mosh pit and poke your finger at them as they pass by--just so!--and with enough skill and dexterity, you'll see the culmination of a bad day gone worse as their faces contort to restrain tears. Give him a break; high school/community college/menial clerical work is tough!

In the meantime, you will be able to observe the many bored faces. Some will be warming up their headbanging during the breakdowns of the aforementioned band, but if you make eye contact, they'll harden their glance to shirk off embarrassment. You'll notice that there's a disproportionate amount of tall persons, a lesbian couple or two, a handful of Pantera and Death fans, and many, many Mexicans (some wearing Burzum shirts, but most with Kreator or some other 80s speed metal band portrayed on a black Hanes tee).

At this point, you might wonder who here actually understands the humor of the situation, the presence of a shoddy group of performers who rip off Suffocation riffs (of whom you'll wonder what level of importance they ascribe to their music--or is it just for fun?) who were somehow drawn in to perform as a result of a straw vote or other heinous act of democracy, and how ugly so many folks are. You look at the younger teenagers (or preteens?), and trace back in your memory to find that you had been much older when you went to your first show. It's a weekday night, and you can readily assume that their parents are hardcore liberals with poor authority and other necessary skills.

The second band may be a bunch of seasoned veterans, more worthy than the band that follows them, but you are greatful to see actual artistic integrity and musical sincerity represented. You can immerse yourself in the experience, noting how the newer songs don't quite compare to their earlier efforts. They'll thank the audience for standing around--it's come to egalitarianism even among death metalheads, and you curse their inability to recognize the potential power of advocacy they weild instead of extending gestures of amicability. Still, it's certainly been an improvement from the previous bands appreciation of the diversity in the audience (as if that somehow sweetens the deal).

The band just before the headliner will be junior to those they follow, but the indiscriminate audience will thrive off of the buzz and energy of their over-hyped new album. This is history in the making, or so these dolts are led to believe. The audience  knows the lines to every single song, singing in chorus. If there are females present, they will make their presence known at this time, inching their way to the front of the standing area. But stand clear! They are the aforementioned lesbians. All in all, there is nothing new or praiseworthy to this band when compared to the opener, excepting the fact that they do attempt to maintain to some structure more similar to metal, and their packaging is sleeker. Stage outfits earn kudos points among the masses.

Finally, after an overly lengthy period of set-up, the headliners make their way to the stage--after a five minute intro segment of ambient noise and b-movie excerpts, that is. They open with a classic song, and you're genuinely glad that they're playing with as much energy as they are. It is ALMOST like what I must have been like twenty years ago; that thought is bittersweet, and it summarizes all too well the feeling as you leave the venue after a solid hour-and-a-half-long performance.

What was it like then? I can only wonder...but the sense that they've lost sight of what the music is meant to embody: an idealism that emerges from a jagged, organic coil of energy that shoots its tendrils into the dark, moist soil that provides the greatest sustenance. Their roots have withered--you can tell--and as they pack off to their tour bus and whip out their cell phones to call the wife (and kids?) back home, you keep in mind that it's only a gimmick to those who will never understand....

you must see a lot of concerts in cincinnati, because that is right on the dot...except the 'hardcore' people are more problematic as they have taken the city hostage.

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Do I wish I had been born earler? let me count the ways...


Let me guess, this post was inspired by the Morbid Angel show with Despised Icon, Krisiun, and Behemoth opening? Because that's almost exactly the way that show was, here in Chicago. If so, I personally allowed myself to lose my cynicism for Morbid Angel and just banged my head and yelled my lungs out along with the lyrics the whole time and had a great time. Sure was a long wait though...And the only beer available was horrible Budweiser...for $4.

I demand better beer at metal concerts.

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Let me guess, this post was inspired by the Morbid Angel show with Despised Icon, Krisiun, and Behemoth opening? Because that's almost exactly the way that show was, here in Chicago. If so, I personally allowed myself to lose my cynicism for Morbid Angel and just banged my head and yelled my lungs out along with the lyrics the whole time and had a great time. Sure was a long wait though...And the only beer available was horrible Budweiser...for $4.

I demand better beer at metal concerts.



;) Same concert, in NYC. Morbid Angel was great, but they should've played Altars of Madness and Blessed are the Sick tunes exclusively, with very few exceptions, which could be attributed to Covenant. (Altars...was definitely the most represented, but how I wish they played "Suffocation"!)

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 ;) Same concert, in NYC. Morbid Angel was great, but they should've played Altars of Madness and Blessed are the Sick tunes exclusively, with very few exceptions, which could be attributed to Covenant. (Altars...was definitely the most represented, but how I wish they played "Suffocation"!)


Yeah, only Altars and Blessed Are the Sick would have been nice, but I can definitely tolerate a live performance of Where the Slime Live. I really wanted to hear Suffocation too, and Visions From the Dark Side, and anything else on Altars of Madness really, it being my favorite death metal album ever...Still, getting to see them play Immortal Rites, Maze of Torment, Lord of All Fevers and Plagues, Chapel of Ghouls, Blasphemy, and Evil Spells...that was awesome.

On a more negative note, did Behemoth make as big of asses of themselves there as they did here? They seriously came across as such obvious poseurs. They of course have the corpse-paint, the spikes, and a little part between songs where they give a big "FUCK YOU" to any Christians in the audience, then they play a couple old black metal songs, dressing up in armor, then towards the end of the show give some speech about how it doesn't matter what genre you are, or how many records you sell, as long as everyone has "fun" or something along those lines. And the whole time they just have the biggest rock-star attitudes on stage, acting like total prima-donnas. Ugh.

Thank you guys for ruining my hopes of a seeing a good show before I die.  

Wolfbane

man you nailed posercore kids on the head Faust. They are the exact same here too. Too bad no decent bands come to Tennessee at all.

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Thank you guys for ruining my hopes of a seeing a good show before I die.  

Solution: come to Austin or Houston, and see Demilich and Averse Sefira.

Better solution:  Don't go to shows, spend the money on something worthwhile instead

I'm broke, a kid, don't have a job, live in the great redneck hillbilly state of Alabama and have parents that suck. I doubt I will ever be able to go see anyone good. All I go to are my friend's shows which aren't that great and are full of high school poser emo people. They don't even have true mosh pits they just push each other around in front of the stage.

Heh, it's blatantly obvious that this post is a description of the ongoing "Masters of Chaos" tour that I attendted a week or so ago during the Atlanta, GA date.

I agree with all of the original poster's opinions on the three warm-up acts but have to differ on his assessment of Morbid Angel; except for David Vincent’s occasionally regressive rock-posturing, I thought the band’s performance was surprisingly genuine and practically perfect from a purely instrumental perspective. Only the aforementioned set-list issues kept it from being a "can’t-miss" show (they should’ve played less songs from “Domination” / “Covenant” and more material from “Altars…,” and especially “Blessed…”).

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I'm broke, a kid, don't have a job, live in the great redneck hillbilly state of Alabama and have parents that suck. I doubt I will ever be able to go see anyone good. All I go to are my friend's shows which aren't that great and are full of high school poser emo people. They don't even have true mosh pits they just push each other around in front of the stage.


Go to college within a train's ride distance from a major city and you'll get to see a few shows here and there!

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Better solution:  Don't go to shows, spend the money on something worthwhile instead


Ding!! Ding!! Ding!!

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I'm broke, a kid, don't have a job, live in the great redneck hillbilly state of Alabama and have parents that suck. I doubt I will ever be able to go see anyone good. All I go to are my friend's shows which aren't that great and are full of high school poser emo people. They don't even have true mosh pits they just push each other around in front of the stage.


The solution is to hold no hope. Invest nothing the the competitive arena of the subculture, with its demands that you go see gigs and wear unreadible t shirts. None of it escapes the vanity imperative.

Iconoclast

Here in Nebraska you are guaranteed to not have any shows because nobody here listens to metal.

If they do happen to listen to a few good bands, they listen to mostly poseur shit.  For instance, while I was protesting at my college campus I played Morbid Angel on my laptop and some guys said, "Awesome, you should play Cradle of Filth".

I fucking hate this state and everybody in it.  Nothing is redeeming about it.