So I have always known that my music tastes were not extreme, but they were extreme for my family. It’s like the Dana Carvey sketch. I would listen to Metallica, Disturbed, Linkin Park, Three Days Grace, and select songs from other bands. My parents thought I was quite deviant with my music taste and I went with it. Then I started dating Brazilian Helicopter Pilot who comes across as the mildest of mild-mannered individuals. When I ask him to put on music he plays Jack Johnson, Bob Marley, and slow Brazilian music. He has told me a couple times that he likes metal, and my brain just did the comparison thing and said “he likes heavy metal and rock music like me.”
Well, a few months ago Brazilian Helicopter Pilot sent me an excited text about how Lamb of God and Slayer were going to be playing at Madison Square Garden and didn’t I want to go? Wouldn’t this be fun!?!? The band titles sounded familiar so I said, sure, give me a playlist so I can know their music. Then I learned there was a major difference between my heavy metal and Brazilian Helicopter’s heavy metal, which leans more towards the subgenres of thrash metal and nu metal , whereas I am heavy metal and alternative rock. We’ll just be honest and say I listened to the playlist maybe twice through before switching back to pop music – I didn’t need to rage quit my new job because of violent thrash metal.
So the concert came upon us and I carefully surveyed my closet full of work-appropriate attire. I picked out a pair of tight, black, jean-style pants and a black, knit, peek-a-boo top, with low-heeled, black boots. I looked pretty badass at work, and went about with my usual air of confidence and flair.
Then we got to Madison Square Garden.
I have never been anywhere that security pat-downs take longer for men than for women. I put down my tote bag full of empty tupperware, my wallet, and sweatshirt and was quickly shooshed through. Brazilian Helicopter Pilot was patted down, they turned up his pants, went spelunking in his backpack, and then gave him a heavy dose of side-eye. The guy next to him had his jean vest confiscated because it had metal spikes on the shoulders, while the guy after him almost had his shoes taken because of their spikes.
I might have been starting to get a little worried.
We finally reached the concession area and Brazilian Helicopter Pilot hesitantly shuffled up to the merch table, giving me little looks, afraid I would chastise him for wanting to spend $80 on a Lamb of God hoodie. I shrugged and waved him on, I would probably drop that much on one of my favorite bands’ merchandise. Sweatshirt obtained we moved over to the concession stand to get water and as I reached for the water bottle, the guy behind the counter shook his head, “No bottles tonight.”
“Why?” I asked, resplendent in my innocence.
“So no one throws them,” Brazilian Helicopter Pilot and the concession worker said almost in tandem. Obviously this was going to be a much different concert than Britney Spears and Toby Keith.
Brazilian Helicopter Pilot had purchased assigned seating for us, we were not in the pit. This had been one of my only stipulations. Having survived KRockathon 2012, I did not need to find myself in the middle of another mosh pit or crushed to death underneath some idiot who was crowd surfing. We made our way to our seats and I remained quiet, drinking in the atmosphere of thrash metal/nu metal fans. The floor in front of the stage was already a seething mass of bodies, agitating themselves gently. Brazilian Helicopter Pilot was nearly vibrating with excitement. I was wondering if the people around us might suddenly decide I was opportune slamming material.
The opening band was Behemoth, a Polish death metal band that came out onto the stage and sent the crowd roaring and the pit began to mosh – to the other innocents in the crowd, this means the run around and bodyslam each other for no reason other than they find it fun. A mosh pit from a distance kind of looks like an invisible spoon has been stuck into the middle of the crowd and is stirring the people counterclockwise. Brazilian Helicopter Pilot and I had earplugs in, and I watched, wide-eyed, and unable to comprehend a single word growled into the microphone. It was an interesting anthropological exercise. When Behemoth exited the stage, I turned to Brazilian Helicopter Pilot and said:
“I’ll have you know, I paid very close attention to their performance, and they used every single color light except pink and orange. Real metal bands use pink lights.” This of course led to a conversation where I opened my eyes really big and deliberately called Behemoth by the wrong name (Bohemian) and Brazilian Helicopter Pilot narrowed his eyes at me, and I am sure our neighbors thought I was a complete airhead, but it was fun to tease him.
Then Lamb of God came on and Brazilian Helicopter Pilot was ENTRANCED, bouncing and headbanging to the music. I am proud to say that I recognized the first song of the Lamb of God set, but that was it, everything else was just scream-growling that I couldn’t understand. The only song I was able to understand the lyrics to enough to sing along to was the one that was “for the troops,” which I have to admit I was a little concerned about. Saying that you’re singing in support of the troops and then screaming “NOW YOU’VE GOT SOMETHING TO DIE FOR” is a little disconcerting for me. It was crazy to see the most pit grow more and more frenzied as the concert went on. When Slayer came on stage they of course stirred the pot even more, encouraging the crowd to whip itself up and up their bodyslamming game. We left half-way through the Slayer set because Brazilian Helicopter Pilot was more interested in Lamb of God than Slayer.
Needless to say, I am trying to figure out our next concert – Carly Rae Jepsen? Taylor Swift?