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Metal concerts for dummies

It was Saturday evening, May 24, and the AfterMath stage was graced by four metal bands from the lower mainland: First Reign, Curse the Forsaken, Obsidian, and the Darker Days.

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Image: Ted Van Pelt/Flickr

By Melissa Ly (Contributor) – Email

Print Edition: June 4, 2014

Image:  Ted Van Pelt/Flickr

“Moshing is not simply a crowd of head-banging people, but a dance in which participants push and slam themselves into each other.”

Curse the Forsaken was immersed in the song they were playing. The lead singer’s facial expression was full of raw emotion, the music was blasting, there were crowds of people—sitting, standing, bobbing their heads, even full-on head banging — all with a beer in hand. When the band was done their segment, everyone rushed out into the fresh air as First Reign began setting up to rock the house.  

It was Saturday evening, May 24, and the AfterMath stage was graced by four metal bands from the lower mainland: First Reign, Curse the Forsaken, Obsidian, and the Darker Days. 

Speaking from the unbiased viewpoint of never having listened to metal music before, the show has opened me up to this genre of music and was an intriguing experience. 

For those of you who are in the same boat and thought “metal” was a solid material found on the periodic table, Jason Campbell, singer and guitar player of Obsidian, explained the concept. 

According to Jason, metal is not solely about violence, Vikings, Satanism, the way one dresses, or even just about the music. “It’s a mindset, a sense of community. No matter how big or small that community is, you know you can walk down the street with your favorite band shirt on and someone passing by will nod at you like, ‘hey, I’m down with that.’”

Moshing, mosh pit, sound familiar? 

From my very own eyes I saw moshing in all its glory. Moshing is not simply a crowd of head-banging people, but a dance in which participants push and slam themselves into each other. 

The crowd parted slightly whenever moshing broke out. I could feel the air of euphoria emanating from the small group of participants, which in turn put a childish smile on my face.

Being 5’1 and petite, rough-housing in the middle of a mosh pit would probably not go well for me.  However, something about watching the dance is immensely entertaining. 

If joining the mosh pit is not your thing, there is always head-banging or simply bobbing your head to the rhythm. From the expert Daniel Clark, lead singer of Darker Days, the proper way to avoid neck injury is to move your head in an almost circular motion rather than shaking your head forward and backwards. 

Throughout parts of the show, a group of guys was shoulder-to-shoulder head-banging in extreme mode. Then there is head-bobbing — the thundering of the music made my eardrums feel like they were in an earthquake, which automatically made my head twitch back and forth. So no worries if you are awkward at moving your head to the rhythm — the music will do it for you. 

A full night later my ears were still ringing. 

Amy Smith, the organizer, was pleased with the event: “It was awesome, the crowd loved it, the bands killed it, I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.”

Sean Lang from First Reign says the show “was a good sign that metal is still alive and well in Abbotsford.” 

Now that you have the basic skills needed for metal concerts, are you ready to join Abbotsford’s metal music scene?

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