The genre of metal is such a misunderstood type of music. People do not understand the small intricacies and hidden beauty that the genre is made up of. All people can see and avoid looking past are the occult associations, absolutely terrible band names like Anthrax, Black Death and Axe to name a few and a following of some of the worst kinds of people (because as awesome as metal heads are, some are just complete and utter assholes). Never do people stop and actually try and understand the genre of music that they hate for little to no reason. Never has my love of metal and my appreciation for the musicians that make this unique and special kind of music been more validated than seeing Russian Circles, Between the Buried and Me and Coheed and Cambria live.
I had never heard a single Russian Circles song before I went to see them live, but I was not worried at all. Any band that has the right and privilege to tour with BTBAM and Coheed must be worth my time. I have never been more right in my life. Energy and pure unadulterated music just exuded from their instruments. No vocals, and certainty no talking with the crowd was the theme of the night. But their true message that they communicated to me with their powerful and purely instrumental music was far greater than anything I have ever experienced. As silly and foolish as the term “do what’s in your heart” is that is exactly what I felt like Russian Circles was trying to tell me with their performance. They walked onto stage, said zero words, and immediately started playing, never stopping to take a break or talk, or anything but play more music for their extremely short set of 30 minutes. It ranged from slow guitar rift build ups to driving, sludging bass heavy parts all that intermingled together in an almost poetic way. They did not care that the people had come to see the later bands, nor did they care about anything really, except making their music. And I appreciated that more than I think I realized at the time. Me and my friends and one group of people fairly close to us were the only people really getting into it yet, because of what the band on stage was exuding in the forms of no judgment, no one else in the crowd really cared that we were freaking out before the main attraction had reach the stage. It did not matter to me in the slightest that I spent my 31 bucks to see someone else. Russian Circles were simply amazing. It all ended so soon too, but my neck cried out thankfully, because I had already managed to whip lash myself into quite the predicament of pain before the real moshing had even began.
Fear has an interesting way of mixing with enjoyment. People love going on roller coasters and love skydiving. Well, moshing with some of the trolls at this show was fairly comparable to that. I legitimately feared for my life many times during the set, as men weighing at least 250 pounds smashed me around like I was little more than a rag doll. At times I physically could not enter the pit because of how large and rough people were being. Luckily my friends were with me and I could take solace and rest whenever I saw one of them also taking a breather outside of the pit. Except MacCosbe of course, he had made friends with one of the scariest people there by accidently pushing him a little too violently. But, because we were at a metal show and not anywhere else, the guy loved it and loved MacCosbe and every time I looked around they had their arms around each other.
Moshing at metal shows is such an experience that I feel is extremely misunderstood. Feeling the camaraderie that exists in a mosh pit even with the total violence that is going on is one of the most unique feelings I have ever experienced. The music is so raw that the need to act as erratically as possible is there, but because of the people that are drawn to the music; there will always be that bond of instant friendship once you enter a mosh pit. BTBAM did a wonderful job of allowing an environment capable of sustaining such interactions flourish. What surprised me most about the show was the fact I was actually able to recognize a couple songs they played. In all honesty, Colors is the only BTBAM album I have ever truly taken the time to learn and it was my luck that they threw in a couple tracks I could place. I also was able to figure out what the new tracks were simply because of the difference in instrumentation that exists on their latest release. It really all comes back to how there was such a pure kind of energy that they created with their music. They took few if any breaks and were in a constant motion, sweat dripped off their bodies as the entire crowd basked in their metallic glow. Metal really just is a beautiful art, full of viciousness and passion and love all combined into one. Music is such a raw creation and metal takes all animalistic elements of humanity and gives them life and sound. Embracing metal takes the proper realization and inner acceptance to properly love and BTBAM embodied all of this in their short 45 minute set.
So when Coheed & Cambria came on, it was almost like the energy of the show had taken a step backwards. Coheed just cannot compare with the kind of energy that BTBAM creates. It’s not harsh enough, nor is it really friendly to moshing. In my honest opinion Coheed should have chosen better touring bands but, I was not going to complain knowing I got to see two bands I love at the same show. Either way, the moshing of BTBAM had tired me out both mentally and physically and it took me some time to get into Coheed. As the show went on, I started to recognize more and more songs, and of course, my friend was drunk off his ass and got really into it. Seeing how happy he was though made me realize how much of a wimp I was being and I slowly began to help him mosh our way to the middle of the crowd. I ended up almost dead center and knew about seven songs by the end of the night. But once they played their encore (I will not insult the beauty of the song by naming it here) I knew why people had become so enamored and cult like about Coheed. The song is just so powerfully awesome and being able to hear it live, with the crowd almost out singing Claudio’s magnificent voice was like an angel was reaching down from heaven to speak to me. When I heard that opening guitar lick, I freaked, I jumped around and then was promptly shoved out of the way as the mosh pit opened into people flinging themselves with little abandonment. It was the epitome of the entire show, and was the perfect way to end the night.