solo show.

October 15, 2009

There is an element of stoic pride in going to see a rock show all by your lonesome. There is an arrogant self righteous sense of defiance in not caring if no one else you know wants to go. Your internal dialogue immediately writes off your friends that decided to blow it off at the last minute as lame and undeserving of the Rock anyway. No one is going to stop me from rocking!  Besides, I hate it when people talk to me when I’m seeing and hearing a band in some club.

I also hate it when people around me carry on conversations during the band’s set. Though due to our human race’s seemingly ever growing narcissistic need to receive constant attention it is an occurrence that is unavoidable these days. I can barely recall a show I’ve attended over the last few years where I wasn’t annoyed by someone who simply couldn’t shut the fuck up and just enjoy the show that they had just paid to see and hear.  I yelled at a girl half my size and likely a dozen years my junior at a show a few weeks ago. As she conversed nonchalantly with her friend back and forth during the middle of a band’s set, standing just a foot or so from me, I muttered a subtle “shut up” just loud enough for her to hear.  She stopped, paused as if shocked that she really heard that from a total stranger and then decided her response would be a snotty and dismissive, “Whaaat?” Her nerve pissed me off greatly, so I went off on her, yelling in her face to shut the fuck up and stop chatting through the entire song and to have some respect for other people around her. Some others standing nearby in the crowd actually thanked me. I appreciated that, but I was totally acting out of anger and I think I probably scared that girl. After I calmed down I didn’t feel good about it.  Even though she deserved it for talking through an entire song, and one of the quietest of the set at that, I felt shitty for yelling at some young girl I don’t even know. Seems loutish, and I’d rather not be a lout, even if she deserved loutishness and I’m rightly pissed off. Anyway, this is one of the reasons I still love Metal shows. (Metal is always capitalized.)

Go see a Metal gig and it doesn’t matter who is talking throughout the set, who is drunk and obnoxious, how many annoying hipsters are hanging out being too cool for the room, who is right in front of you texting non-stop, who thinks the band sucks and isn’t interested yet stays right in front of you anyway, or who is yelling at someone they don’t know out of anger. In fact, more often than not, the music itself is rooted in anger to begin with. A good righteous anger being exorcised on guitar, bass and drums burns all of those little insignificant annoyances in an instant. Whoever or whatever it is that might distract you is no match for the sheer volume and vigor of the performance. One killer riff will simply decimate all of the bullshit in the room. This is why Metal has remained such a huge part of my musical landscape. I’ve never moved on, never grown out of it, and never turned my back on it when it wasn’t “in.” Metal not only just sounds good to my ears, it feels good to my being. It’s cathartic. Therapeutic, even.

This past Monday night’s therapy session was thrown down by Red Fang and Saviours. Both bands played absolutely killer sets. Red Fang in particular with their genuine likable Metal burnout dude persona, huge guitar tones, and pummeling vibe. When you’re 36 years old and you find yourself going to Monday night Metal shows after a day of working in a grey cubicle, followed by an hour plus commute, by yourself because the few friends you have left that will actually even entertain going to a Monday night Metal show in the first place bailed out on you the day of the show, and your wife who just started grad school has a class and probably wouldn’t have gone regardless, you are:

  1. seriously, one cool motherfucker.
  2. totally Metal, no poser.
  3. someone who doesn’t quite have their shit together.
  4. old and getting older, trying to hold on to one of the few things that you have left that makes you still feel young and irresponsible.
  5. trying to escape the mundane details of your spirit-defeating weekday work life for a few hours.
  6. that kind of weird old-ish guy standing there by himself at the all-ages Rock show.

I am all of these.
Nothing like a good Monday night Metal show to put things in perspective.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: