Evoloution, Meandering, and Community
“I remember a time before there was Rock N Roll”
No time to write and a lot of time to ponder. It was after all my first “media” visit to a show, and hindsight being 20/20, I should have brought a better camera and my laptop….just so I could post my thoughts and feed you all his information on the fly as I experienced it, but in reality, it was relentless. I could sit here and review each band, (which I will be doing later in a separate post), but I figured I am going to ramble for a bit in some of the things I had discussed with Propraetor, and funny enough my wife, in fact, some of my better thoughts were spewing out as I described the show to my wife, who isn’t a fan of metal, but I think she has become more aware of the finer intricacies of being a metal fan, and has some appreciation due to her being schooled by yours truly over several years, either that or she loves me that much that she does a good job at faking being interested…Either way it works for me.
I started off with a famous quote by the Grand Magus of hard rock, Lemmy. Why? By the time day two rolled around, it became apparent that Propraetor and I had spent the day focusing on the bands and not really interacting with the fans. After we arrived to the media area, we had a chat with Lauren ( Hi Laren!) from Live Nation , (absolutely a charming women), I had to apologize to her as I had forgotten to write her name down when we arrived the day prior and needed to fix my “update” post. We then bumped into some faces we had seen the day prior and struck up a conversation, Trevor, Big Pat, and Jo-Ann (see? the hyphen does make a difference Jo-Ann ), turns out are from Hard Rock Radio Live, a fucking great bunch of folks, which got me to thinking about Fred from http://www.capitaledumetal.com, another awesome dude we were able to talk to, and in turn got me thinking about the day prior and all the people who tossed up the horns to my Meshuggah shirt (never got anything over my Hooded Menace one though) and just general conversations we had with other people in the crowd (Sup Fats, Sup Simon!). Hell, even better, at the washroom at the subway station, when I was disgusted at the condition of the washroom and I started yelling that there was a tampon in the toilet, and the place smelled like urine and shame, which got a lot of laughs from the other fans heading to the show.
Let me make this clear, I have never been to a show this large. Ever.
Now I stood back and thought what the hell….my eyes grazed over the audience…then I looked at the line up again, and I realized I am or have been thrown back into my “childhood/teen years” with many of these bands.
Think about it……
Lets say “Metal”, we will date around the first Black Sabbath Album, in 1970. Metal, is only 40 years old. (I am thirty fucking seven)
As I looked upon these bands that I grew up listening too, they were all born before “metal” really came into existence, example: Dave Mustaine is 49…..First album was 1985, 15 years after Black Sabbath…
Now I look at the crowd,due to the bands playing, we have grandparents, parents and teenagers all at this show. I looked at Propraetor and said, man, we need to start talking to the people of the show, take a quick photo and get some simple quotes, this show is about the people, the whole experience of it. 20 years ago, you wouldn’t have had such a huge demographic, 20 years later and we do. Propraetor and I will be posting a page with all the photos of the people we saw, met etc and you will soon see how diverse the metal community is. It’s not all about the black shirt and camouflage shorts/pants. In explaining this to my wife, I wish I had thought of taking her and my kids just to experience it. Metal is universal. Think about it. There is no other music on the face of the earth that is the same.
To hit this idea home, after talking to a father there with his two beautiful kids (see the pics), I saw the girl later in the day and she was tossing up the horns to nearly everyone she walked by, it was priceless!
I tried talking with the Constables that were on duty, tried to get a photo, and the officer said “I can’t, my parents don’t know what I do”, he was totally fucking with me, I asked if it was due to him on duty? And I got “No, I can’t its my parents, they’d kill me”, and I couldn’t stop laughing. Anyways, one thing leads to another in me making a comment about being on paid duty, he said that the metal events are some of the easier ones to patrol, since most people behave themselves…so I asked about meeting the bands…..he cracked this HUGE smile as he told me about how he was dared to open the door as he was to escort Lemmy, and he said he couldn’t get to the door quick enough, and when it opened, there was Lemmy. The officer said, he saluted him with the horns, Lemmy had stepped out, and told him, “Man, I like your style” and walked off, and Mickey Dee exited the trailer, and patted the officer on the cheek and said to the officer “he was a good kid”…..of course I laughed at it all, but I then I asked “So you’re a fan?”, he looked at me and said you bet, if it wasn’t for him being on duty, he would have been in the crowd…..
I met a nurse as well, (see her pic) she just approached us (among other people who thought Propraetor and I were in a band…) and started talking, we had asked about a photo etc, but all she wanted to do was chill, have a drink and talk….I told her what my day job was, and she was blown away just as much as I was with the people.
Rewind back to Day 1, with Endast, I do not think I have met a more down to earth band. Big James hung out in the Jager world area, and we met him there. He gave us beer, and just chatted. While Diamond Head played. I am not going to bother with the details of the conversation, just general stuff about where the band was going, do they plan on staying independent etc, and day to day band stuff…the guy shook everyone’s hand, and seemed to never get sick of just being with the fans. no big rock star attitude that seems to happen with many folks….that and Andy Hawke (sup d00d!) from urArtist Network (Endast managing company)was also great to speak with
We were introduced (Thanks Jo-Ann!!!) to other bands, namely Joe from Remain (currently in the transition stage, and I am getting some weird warnings about the website, so I will refrain from hyper linking the link, but for those of you who dare, its Remain.cc), which we had a candid conversation with, and have made it a point that I seek out their material, we review it and do an interview.
I spotted a rather lovely young lady wearing a “Sacrifice” shirt, and I made comment (LINK) on it, turns out she had JUST finished texting Rob Urbinati…about all the people making comment about the band…his daughter apparently rides horse with her…..small world huh?
We also bumped into a few others who were in bands (kids), and the one name still stands out in my mind, was this shirtless dude, just seemed so happy we were talking to him about his band..ready for it? Interstellar Skullfuck.
Man, I laughed….
And finally, what really brought it all together for me… as I watched Slayer, as everyone threw their hands up in the air to toss the horns, among the horns you even fucking saw people holding canes up. I am not fucking kidding…..CANES….if someone tossed a fucking walker into the crowd, I would have just died.
Boggles the mind, don’t it?
I am living the tail end of the early generations of Metal (Look at every 10 years) and watching these new bands fighting the ranks, and like dogs, have to be one of the most diverse and rapidly evolving music ever, and with that, we have the people along with the artists that make this all possible.
If anything guys, Heavy TO, Waken, Deathfest and others of it’s ilk, is not really all about the music, it’s the people and the whole fucking experience it brings, is something you will never EVER find in any other type of music. If you think otherwise you are missing the god damn boat.
We are a community, and we are fucking awesome.
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- July 25, 2011 / 12:13 pm