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Unexpected new friends found at heavy metal concert

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bleed_the_sky1.JPGMy first heavy metal show was attending Soulfly’s Conquer Tour on Nov. 25. To put it lightly, I had the time of my life. 

My best friends listen to heavy metal, death metal and black metal. They suggested I try something new and go to a heavy metal show.

Heavy metal has not had the greatest reputation in past years. It has been blamed for deaths due to “subliminal messages” in the music and school shootings among other things.

It was something new to me. I wanted to understand instead of fear it. I was ready to expect the unexpected.

My first stop was the merchandise table. Yes, I picked myself up a Soulfly shirt. It has the tour dates on the back. I was stoked. I bought my cousin one too. My cousin’s shirt says “Soulfly Conquer” with a skull on it.

I talked to members of Bleed The Sky. They were the typical long bearded, long haired, tattoo sleeved and pierced rockers you would expect to see. However, they were amazing individuals, and even signed a poster for me.

I rushed to the front row and saw Devastation. From what I understand, the band toured with Sepultura over 18 years ago. I didn’t know they were that old.

The drummer from Bleed The Sky tapped me on the shoulder and waved his hand to follow him. I was confused, but went anyway. He took me on stage and I rocked out with the band. I head banged and I had my devil horns up. Justin from Bleed The Sky threw up his devil horns and head banged alongside with me.

There were only three members of Devastation. I think some fell ill or quit the band, and there was a constant rotation of bass players throughout their set. It was like a revolving door of people at a hotel.

Incite was up next. They were intense. I don’t remember much but being in the front row. The lead singer wasn’t happy with the small size of the mosh pit. After their set, the lead singer signed autographs by the merchandise booth. I bought their demo and he personalized it for me before getting a picture with him.

Bleed The Sky was up next and I was in the front row again.

The drummer walked by me and I said, “Kick some @$$ tonight!”

He smiled and gave me a handshake.  The drummer and bass player nodded to me multiple times while they were playing. Justin, a member of the band, was caught in the moment. His heart was in it. I have so much respect for these guys. They are my favorite heavy metal band.

Justin said he wanted to pull me on stage to rock with them, but he couldn’t find me. I wasn’t worried about it. I was happy enough to just get a picture with them.

Throughout the night, I went to my car over and over to drop the merchandise off.

Soulfly was up next and guess where I was. Still in the front row! The lead singer of Soulfly, Max, had more wardrobe changes than Janet Jackson. Fortunately, he did not have a ‘wardrobe malfunction’. Max was in camouflage gear for the first few songs. Throughout the rest of Soulfly’s set, Max changed into the shirts of the different bands he was on tour with.

I snuck a couple of photos even though there were no cameras allowed. The lady next to me smiled at me. She thought I was quite clever.

Soulfly had an amazing drum session with the rest of the bands. Max even brought up a child to take part in the drum session.

After the set, I asked the security guard if I could have one of Soulfly’s set list. He didn’t mind getting one for me. What a guy!

Throughout the night, the mosh pits reminded me of different levels of hurricanes. When Devastation performed, it was like a level one hurricane. Incite was a level two, and Bleed The Sky was level three. When Soulfly performed, it was a level 100 hurricane. I felt the people behind me pushing me up against the barricade.

I went to Bleed The Sky’s merchandise booth to buy a shirt. All they had was small. As you all know, I’m a man of my word. I bought a small shirt and they gave me stickers too.

My first heavy metal experience is definitely one for the ages. I made some great friends in Bleed The Sky.

This is my last concert review for this semester. However, I have great news. I will be back next semester, and will continue with my concert reviews. I’ll explore more genres and can’t wait to share my experiences with you.

“…rhythm is life and life is rhythm.”

  • – Warren G., 1994