To most people, “Metal” music is what they listen to when they’re pissed off, or working out, or something involving aggression, and a lot of people just wont listen to it. To me, Metal is the complete opposite. A crushing guitar riff, backed by an intricate drum beat, and all topped off with vocals that can be a blanket of emotions around the listener. When I listen to a favorite band, or group, I am overcome with emotion. I sit and listen to a brutal riff with an insane drum part, and I can just feel the stampede running through my ears.
It is the most satisfying feeling in the world. So for me to get to go to my first Metal concert a few years ago, you can imagine there was no happier guy on earth that day. It was a school day, but as you can guess, i had no intention of going to school. I had bought that beautiful little piece of paper reading, “Lamb of God. Floor” a couple months ahead of time, and had been counting each painfully slow minute since. The calendar had been mocking me, testing my patience for the last two months, but today i come out on top.
My suffering has almost come to an end. My patience is finally about to pay off. The only thing standing between myself, and the most glorious experience of my life, was a few hundred miles of interstate, and a line of eager fans much like myself. Now, I had been waiting for this life changing experience for far too long to not be right up front, looking my idols in the eye. So i planned my trip so I would be the first person in line, and the first to the front of that stage. It’s 4 in the morning, and I have to leave right now!
Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite time for my voyage to start just yet, I had to pick up a couple people to come with me before I left, but i sure as hell made sure they were ready to go fifteen minutes before I even left to pick them up. My buddy Ty, and my bands manager Dillon were also big fans of all of the bands on the line-up for that night, so they were hitching a ride with me. Ty is pretty much an acquired taste kind of person. He definitely isn’t warm and welcoming right off the bat, and he generally never has money. “hey man let me bum a smoke”, or “ bro do you wanna buy me some food? were often heard sneaking out of his mouth, as if his mouth didn’t really want to let it out because it knew he was being an ass. You could also say he isn’t the best looking guy around. We all make jokes that he looks like Lars Ulrich of Metallica, poor guy. Then there’s Dillon. You know Thomas the Train, “The little engine that could”? Well Dillon was “The big manager that couldn’t”. Always making horrible deals, and sending us to terrible shows, resulting in his termination as manager, but i digress. He’s a big brute who doesn’t take shit from anyone, and loves to drink and listen to heavy metal and hang out with chicks.
Thus the reason we hired him. So I picked them up, and off we go, on an epic journey to our personal heaven. Once I started the car, It was on. I said, “guys, i hope you pissed before this morning because I’m not stopping until we’re there”. I suppose i should tell you, we lived in the middle of nowhere in Nebraska at the time, and “ there “ was in Colorado. Against my will, my screaming stomach forced me to stop at a McDonalds about half-way there, which was good because Dillon had informed me that he was about to piss his pants, and i had just got done extensively cleaning my car. After the short break, it was back to business.
More driving, down that seemingly endless stretch of pavement leading to the best day of my life. Im going to go ahead and skip the rest of that agonizing drive for you, because I’m too embarrassed to talk about the fact that I got us lost for about 20 minutes. So here we come, over a small hill, looking down on the colossal venue that were about to see our idols in, and you can almost hear some triumphant symphony in the distance saying, “you’re here! ”. We park in what seems to be a ghost town at the moment, but soon we will be three members of an army of metal heads ready to brutalize this town with metal!
I thought that time was done mocking me, seeings how its today, i’m here. I was sadly mistaken. I didn’t realize that the wait in line would drag on slower than a one legged turtle trying to get across a muddy cornfield. I will tell you right now, that it was far beyond worth the wait when finally, down the street I see several tour busses heading our way. I apologize if my language offends you here, but i almost shit myself with excitement when They pulled up. The clock could finally stop staring at me with that devilish smirk, and I could finally take my rightful place as ruler of the front row.
The big doors to the venue,which proudly I stood directly in front of, slowly creaked open, as if asking “are you sure you’re ready? ”, and we all started scampering in like dogs that had been left outside in the rain all day. I proudly handed the first ticket over to the burly dude collecting tickets, and immediately ran to the front of the stage. I guess I forgot about Ty and Dillon, but they ended up making their way up to the front anyway. Standing there, you could feel the thick anticipation in the air, and smell the musty, sweaty bodies that had been waiting outside all day.
I didn’t notice on my way up, probably due to being overly excited, but your shoes stuck to the ground like the floor was made of duct tape. There was apparently a concert the night before that the cleanup crew got lazy on. Oh well, I didn’t care. My life was about to be complete. I stood patiently through the first three bands who were not nearly as important as the headliners, but very good bands none the less. Finally, those magical words were said that seemed to bring a tidal wave of screams from the floor up that filled the whole stadium and shook the earth. Welcome to the stage, Lamb. Of. GOD! ”. My heart jumped and so did I. “check it out dude! there they are! ” I screamed in Ty’s ear as the band members came through the back of the stage, surrounded in a sheath of fog. “Hell yeah! ” was the reply i got. We waited, and waited, and waited a little more. Boom! the lights go out and the lasers and strobes immediately go off. It looked like what I imagined the apocalypse to look like, but the insane music I was hearing behind those lights assured me, this was far from the apocalypse.
I was screaming and reaching up to randy (the singer) so much, I felt like a teenage girl at a justin bieber concert. I wanted him to know that I, Tyler Lewis, was their biggest fan. Eventually, after having gallons of other guys sweat and a lot of beer spilled on me,and after getting punched in the back of the head 30 times, my efforts paid off. Randy reached his boney, sweaty hand down to mine, shook it hard as if He was a girls father that I was meeting for the first time, and then gave me the metal horns.
You know, hold your hand out with just the pinky and the pointer finger extended? Yes, Randal Blythe gave me the horns. This happened on their last song, and i couldn’t have asked for anything more. When the show was over, everyone stumble out in a drunken haze and went their separate ways, myself included. As you could guess, the drive home was not nearly as exhilarating as the drive there. I felt like i was leaving behind everything i had been waiting my whole life for. but to this day, i could not tell you another point in my life, where i felt any luckier, or any more alive.