Whether its a huge stadium show or a small intimate gig, there is nothing better than the thrills and chills you get when experiencing live metal music. You can expect high volume, high energy, some unruly people and a few cuts and bruises here or there but over the thousands of shows played every year, there are a few things that stand out every time. Some of them we love and some of them we HATE.
10. Playing your favourite song
The energy thats in a crowd when a band plays that song is indescribable, you tend to forget about the annoying things around you and just enjoy the music. Everybody loves the classics and the greatest hits but when a band plays something they dont usually play, or a song that wasnt one of their biggest, but you loved it anyway, it really makes a show.
09. Making friends in the mosh
The majority of people at metal shows are awesome, hey they love metal whats better than that? Whether its letting someone stand in front of you, offering them a ciggie or realising you have the same favourite song, its always fun when you make a friend in the mosh. Often you become friends connecting over your hate of the people in front of you doing the five things listed below. Either way mosh friends are the best friends.
When you go to a metal gig youre there because you value strong musicianship, heavy riffs and talented lyricism but sometimes the most memorable parts of the show are the gimmicks and the metal genre boasts the best gimmicks. Bands like GWAR have travelled across the universe to enslave mankind and torture our politicians and celebrities, and we are willing to embrace this fate. Whether its readily getting sprayed in the face with blood and semen or seeing our Prime Minister decapitated, its not a live GWAR show until youre covered in something. Gimmicks definitely make the list.
07. Extended solos
Sorry to bring up Stairway, but Jimmy Page was one of the first metal musicians to do it and it has been a long and outstanding part of metal and rock ever since. When you think your face is almost completely melted from a guitar solo it is ripped right off with that extra thirty seconds or a minute. And lets not give guitarists all the praise, a drum solo can hold that glory any day.
What is better after two hours of live metal music, than more metal music? Youve just watched one of the best sets of your life and yeah they didnt play that song but who cares it was awesome anyway. But wait, they come back on stage, you hold your breath and yep they play that song. Encores are a long-standing tradition in live shows and for a damn good reasonthey rock.
One thing that sucks about going to shows as part of the technological generation, is lining up a clear view of the stage, position perfect, and all you can pay attention to is the guy in front of you on his smartphone. Whether hes sending lame messages to his friend about how many hot girls there are here or taking one of those shaky, sound distorted videos from the back of the mosh to run home and put on YouTube, smartphones will kill the mood. Plus those 100 blurry photos are really not doing anyone any favours.
04. That wasted guy
Its nice to have a few beers before the show or during the show if youre lucky enough to hold onto it, but we usually save it for after the show. You dont want to end up as that wasted guy stumbling around the mosh, spilling drinks on everyone and belting out the lyrics two seconds behind the lead singer like my grandma does at church, so dont be that guy. There is nothing worse than getting two or three songs into a set and seeing the cleaner approaching a spot near you with a mop and bucket of sawdust or worse still, getting pulled into the drunk guy hug. Booze is great but save it for the after party.
03. Not washing your dreads
This is may not be a common trend in all metal gigs but youre at a Korn gig where lets be honest, 70% of the audience has dreadlocks and some of them just smell really bad. And its not like a BO smell, sweat is fine, were prepared for that but no one likes mouldy dreads. Dont get me wrong, dreadlocks are rad but if people could wash them first, then Ill happily have you headbang them all over my face.
02. Yelling out song requests
We all pray that the song we want to hear will get played. Yes, I really want Opeth to play Blackwater Park too, and so does the rest of the crowd, but screaming half way from the back of the stage probably wont help the cause. The only people that can hear you arent Opeth and besides, every Opeth song is awesome so just go along with it and feel blessed to be hearing anything they decide to play live.
01. Annoying couples
One thing that will certainly ruin your live metal experience is annoying couples. They can come in various forms, shapes and sizes but there are two types that stand out. One is the over affectionate couple who find it necessary to make out to every song, holding each other at all times and giving you dirty looks for ruining their moment. The second is the slightly out of place muscly boyfriend with the Ed Hardy hat, whose girlfriend is dancing uncontrollably, knocking everyone over and showing signs of being that drunk guy. Generally these types of couples will cause drama so if you spot one, its always wise to keep to the opposite side of the mosh.
At the end of the list, we conclude that the likes outweigh the hates. Even if youre halfway down the back of the mosh, behind an annoying drunk couple, who both have dirty dreads and are holding smartphones in your face, yelling out song requests every two secondsokay wow that sounds really bad but you get the idea, apart from this we love live metal gigs. We love the gimmicks, we love random mosh friends, we love encores and solos and mostly we love the music. Actually you should probably get your ass to a live show right now.