I don’t know how I managed to get suckered into it, but I attended a Metal concert last night at The Gramercy theater. How was it? Well let’s just say that if you like music that makes you feel like you just drank 5 red bulls and getting second hand high on cheap pot, I just found your happy place. It was basically what I expected maybe with less spiked dog collar and a little more un-showered hipster. After work, Ricky and I made our way to the famously grungy venue where I was surprised to see a) how clean the bathrooms were and b) the number of underage/shorter-than-me/seemingly normal teenage boys from the burbs. These kids were wonderfully pleasant to talk to and I began to feel idiotic for assuming they were a bunch of angry misfits. One boy even offered to body block me from the anticipated moshing as another reached over the bar for his Shirley Temple. What is this? Where was I?
As soon as I feel safe enough to whip out a fruit roll up from my Strand Tote, The Human Abstract begins to play. Cue the insane moshing. A grand-canyon hole suddenly appears in the middle of the floor to make way for a young Seth Rogan and some kids who who probably weighed as much as I did (when I was 10) to thrash about until their arms start looking like skinny little blurs. Ricky gives me his ear plugs which I very graciously and desperately accept. I spend most of the first set mesmerized by a female mosher who undoubtedly lacked the capacity to feel pain. However, when she falls, the moshers around all stop to help her up and ask her if she’s okay. These guys are constantly throwing me for a loop! I start to feel like maybe Ricky was right when he said this music wasn’t angry, just energetic. You really can feel the intensity in the crowd. Feel it, see it, hear it, smell it… For those who are wondering what intensity smells like, it smells a lot like B.O.
The Human Abstract finishes and the next band starts to set up. This band Textures is visiting all the way from the Netherlands and soon after the first song, I decide they are my favorite of the night. Even someone like me, whose iTunes consists of the mellow melancholia of Sufjan Stevens and Death Cab for Cutie, can appreciate how gifted these guys were in their technical ability as well as their sheer star and performance power. I don’t know when or how it happened, but I start shaking and moving with the best of them! It was quite a sight to see when everyone is simultaneously, dare I say it, head bangin’. Most of the lyrics are incomprehensible viking grunts, but these guys sure made it a thrill to watch. Half of me is mesmerized by their tenacious energy, while the other half of me couldn’t stop staring at their beautiful mermaid hair. So lithe. So voluminous. How I envy them. In conclusion, this band rocked my American socks off, which proves that matching camo cargo shorts + Pantene commercial + rhythmic screaming = one helluva show. Blurry pics and terrible videography to come.
The Contortionists played next and, to be honest, all I remember is a lot of cursing from the lead singer. Oh, I also remember that he did a stage dive and lost his mic a couple of times. Weirdly enough, I actually dozed off a couple of times during this performance. No offense to the band in any way. I was just really tired by this point. 10:00 is usually my bed time. Sorry! Finally Periphery comes on and Ricky goes off into the crowd. I stay sitting away from the moshers with all our coats. Don’t feel bad for me, I prefer it this way. The show was really spectacular, but I think I was too tired at this point to appreciate it. Plus, the venue was just starting to stink which is given due to the 4 hours of 500 or so teenage boys doing martial arts dancing. In the end, I was really glad I went and it was so nice to see Ricky enjoying himself so much. I’ve learned (because everything has to come with a life lesson) that just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean you should close yourself off to that experience. You never know what you could be missing.