Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Concert Going Folk

Attending a concert of a well known metal band is always an interesting experience. The sheer amount of different types of people that come out to the show usually blows my mind and I'll sometimes find myself paying less attention to the music and more attention to the people around me. Where else can you find such an eclectic, yet similar, group of people?

After Jared and I had finished out interview with Mudvayne's drummer, Matt, last night headed over to the lines that were forming outside the doors to the Roy Wilkins Auditorium, the venue the concert would be taking place at. Immediately I was assaulted by so many comical characters that I had trouble controlling my laughter. How people can dress and act like they do at heavy metal concerts is beyond me. Not all of the people there are complete and utter laugh-out-loud tools, but the good majority are.

As I was sitting in line, a group of two guys and a girl walked by. One guy was of average build and the girl was a tad bit overweight, but the third really stood out--he was huge, not fat huge, but I could rip you in half with the power in my biceps huge. His hair hung in long locks down to his shoulders and he walked with a permanent grimace on his face. Usually a guy like this is someone who I'd avoid and be deathly afraid of if met in an alley during the late hours of the night, but instead of timidly averting my gaze from him, I chuckled to myself. He was wearing a blazing pink t-shirt that proclaimed "Tough Guys Wear Pink".

Once inside the venue Jared and I moved to the front of the crowd so that we were standing amongst the group of people right up against the front barrier by the stage. We ended up in the second row of people and in the hour's worth of time we waited for the concert to begin, we encountered a good share of interesting folks, including a group of four guys who looked to be in their early thirties and who were so drunk that you wondered how they managed to keep standing.

One of the more talkative guys in the group came up and started talking to Jared and myself. I tried as hard as I could to keep myself competely turned away from him since I had no desire to talk to some old-ass dude who was intent on sharing his knowledge of the "hardcore" music scene by telling me about how one time he got spat on by Rob Zombie's guitarist and that Metallica are the most "hardcore" band he's ever seen. In fact, he proceeded to name a slew of utterly crappy nu-metal and 80's metal bands that he'd seen all the while calling them "hardcore" and claiming that he was a verteran of the music genre. When asked what he thought of Bloodsimple and American Head Charge, two of the opening bands that evening he professed that he'd never heard of them. He was just there to take in the "hardcore" scene. He was later seen being overtaken with his fascination of a balloon he found.

Another of the guys in this group ended up being a real pain in the ass almost the entire show. He was so drunk that he could not stand up on his own and once the crowd started moving forward, he just leaned right up agains Jared and myself. Not wanting to be complete assholes, we kindly asked him to try and stand. I don't think he understood us. Later during the show, we tried to throw him off of us, but the combination of there not really being any room to move up in the front of the crowd and his being built like a linebacker made it next to impossible to really get him far enough from us. Since he was drunk, annoying the hell out of us, and just being a pain to everyone around, another kid along with myself took it upon ourselves to make him understand how much of a jerk he was being. We accomplished this through a series of sucker punches, a few elbows to the face and back, and a good clap on the ears followed by vigorous head shaking to get his attention. Later I also helped to guide a crowd surfer's kicks into the side of his head. I'm not sure if it got through to him or not that we didn't like him, but if it didn't, it wasn't from lack of trying.

Not everyone that I dealt with yesterday was laughable or a waste of perfectly breathable air. I actually met a couple, Zach and Nina, in the throng of people that accumulated at the front of the crowd. They were both quite friendly and thankfully not drunk. I actually ended up talking with both of them quite a bit throughout the show, which I usually don't do. It wasn't always about music either. One of the more interesting topics that I ended up talking about Nina with was what exactly was attractive in a man. According to her guys that are chiseled in muscle just aren't attractive. They can't be fat either, but somewhat thick is nice. Hairy men are bad, especially if they have a slab of carpet found on their chest. Personality and shared interests are a must.

It seems like the more girls I talk to, the more I find out that they actually don't like muscular men. I'm still unconvinced, though, since girls are always found to be drooling over the hot, cut, and well built men that they see. I'm wondering if it's one of those things similar to when guys tell girls that they don't actually like seeing girls make out with each other when deep down, they really do. Girls might actually dig the hunky guys but don't want to offend their boyfriends (or any potential boyfriends) by saying they prefer muscles to the somewhat flabby exterior of who they're currently dating.

While on the topic of girls, there were a couple of girls at the show who thought it was their God-given mission to show their boobs to the bands, and in doing so the entire crowd. Usually I wouldn't complain about girls up on guys shoulders taking their shirts off, but last night the girls who did were, how can I put this somewhat nicely... not thin? Husky? Lacking in the skinny department? Possessing bigger fat pouches on their sides then on their chests? I guess there really isn't a nice way to put it after all. Just so everyone knows, it's not attractive or sexy for fat girls to show off their wholly unimpressive breasts to a rock concert crowd.

I'm not even going to make note of all the annoying little kids that were there because that's become a staple of any show I go to these days. They infest concerts like cockroaches infest a 90 year old wood house in the deep south. They do provide nice targets in the mosh pits, though...

You know, if you've never been to a rock or metal concert, you owe it to yourself to go just to see the myriad of weird and sometimes interesting people that frequent them. I know I'm routinely fascinated.

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