"What genre do you cover?" is a question I get often.
"All of them." And I do. I post about and promote all genres of music.
So last week, after enjoying dinner at Oliver's with my oldest and her boyfriend while Pocket Mouse played, I decided to move on to my next show. We had spent so much time talking that I realized I had only two options left open to me from our events list. The Open Mic night at the Red Barn (which I always love) or Persie's in Creve Coeur, where three metal bands were playing.
Which one do you think was most inside my comfort zone? The Red Barn, of course!
But really, if I say we cover every genre, I knew I should once again step out of my comfort zone and head to see my first metal show.
On my way there I remembered I was wearing my Joe Stamm Band t-shirt and wondered if I should put on the hoodie that was in my back seat... because who wears a country t-shirt to a metal show?
Instead, I convinced myself nobody would even notice what I was wearing and forgot about it.
I walked into Persie's and started fishing for my ID. The guy who was waiting to check it said, "Joe Stamm, huh?"
Really? The first person when I walk in? I hadn't even taken off my jacket yet.
The he said, "I think I've heard of him. Local, right?"
"Yep. There was a release party for their newest single last night."
He nodded and handed me back my ID.
I was right. Nobody cared what I was wearing.
I spotted some friends from church and went over to say hi, talked about some other bands, and then I went to check out the show.
When multiple bands play in one night, it is difficult for me to be able to see all of them. By the time I arrived, the final band of the night was getting ready to go on. As I was watching Cemetery Gatez, a Pantera tribute band, set up and run sound check it occurred to me that I didn't know what Pantera sounded like.
Note to future self... if you are going to pop in on a tribute band, listen to some stuff by the band they are paying tribute to ahead of time.
There were obviously things about the show that didn't resonate with me. The language was a little extreme for my tastes. It's not that I never swear, it happens. But from the stage this was hard to listen to sometimes.
And, never having heard Pantera before, I had a hard time understanding words to the songs. I could have easily taken a few videos and left after 15 minutes and nobody would have thought anything of it.
Instead I decided to figure out what I did like about it... and that's when I started enjoying myself and the show.
The personalities in the band and the way they meshed was interesting. It's probably not something I would have even thought about at any other type of show... but I was trying to understand something completely new and different to me.
The drummer, Buddy Jackson, was clearly frustrated after the first song that the drum riser is so far back on the stage. Between the distance and the lights, he couldn't see the audience... and he needed to see the audience.
He needed to feed on the energy the band was creating in them.
Between songs he would jump up and walk to the front of the stage, soaking it in... and head back to his spot. Then the other members of the band started taking turns moving to the back to play near him... almost like conduits for some of that energy that wasn't quite making it to him on its own.
Later, Rick Henderson, the lead singer, called members of the previous bands up on the stage to play another song with them. They were having a blast and the audience loved it.
As a non-fan of metal music who had never been to a show, it was easy for me to believe prior to going that there is no musicality present in metal. That might make some people mad... but when you don't know anything about metal, it's an easy assumption to make.
There was definitely a lot of musical talent on this stage. All four of the guys in Cemetery Gatez, as well as the guys who joined them from other bands, made it a great show to watch. They were unphased by sometimes complicated harmonies, riffs, and rhythms while also putting a lot of physical energy into the performance.
I started seeing pretty quickly how some people could come to love this type of music.
Will you find a Pantera CD in my car any time soon? Probably not.
Did I learn something by stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new? Of course. I always do.
Will I go to more metal concerts? Absolutely!
Want to know where to find them? Check out our "Shows" tab or our Facebook page!
Here is a clip I took from that show: