When I start to right this I don’t know why but I keep humming the intro to the Devil in I by Slipknot. Not the heavy alternate picking part but the part before it ! Yes, it’s almost like the calm before the storm. That’s how I felt on the day hours before the Summer’s Last Stand Tour.
It was my first proper metal concert. And when I say proper it can’t get any better than this. Summer’s last stand tour headlined by Slipknot, supported by Lamb of God, Bullet for my Valentine and Motionless in White. I didn’t care much for Motionless in White even though I know they are a decent band and I love their song “Reincarnate”, we pretty much missed their entire set and I have no worries on that. But the other two bands and the headliner ! It was one hell of a line up. It being my first metal concert in the USA I was a bit nervous and to be honest I was but scared, but little did I know that it was going to change my entire perspective of metal music and the heavy metal community.
I initially had gotten the lawn tickets far away from all the madness for me and my friend, but my other two friends who kind of are my close concert buddies now got the pit tickets. You can’t blame me cause I was a bit cautious. A couple of weeks before the concert, I had twisted my ankle real bad while playing soccer, and had a protective brace on my ankle. To make matters worse my friend dropped out and I had to get pit tickets myself cause I didn’t want to go alone. I’d rather be with friends in between the madness rather than far away from the stage alone. So by the time we went got to Jiffy Lube, fighting through traffic, Motionless in White had finished their set. I could hear them playing Reincarnate as we stood in long line to get something to drink. I wore a Lemmy Kilmister, Motörhead t shirt and got a few fist bumps from fellow Motörhead fans. By the time had gotten our drinks, Bullet had started their set, all blazing. We could hear them play, Your Betrayal, I wanted to run towards the stage but kept my cool. Didn’t want to look too eager. When I entered the pit, reality struck me. It was absolute carnage out there. People going absolutely crazy and already had a mosh pit going on. As I saw Matthew Tuck, I still couldn’t believe how close he was standing from me. It took me a while to realize that I was actually there. Bullet’s set was short, but great. They played their hits and right in the midst of Scream, Aim, Fire there was a huge mosh going on. I was so into the music that I decided to join in. At the part where Matt Tuck screams and there is a heavy break down I snapped my ankle real bad. I slowly tried to get out of the mosh and stood away. It hurt real bad I thought I had fractured my ankle. I could see it swell fast. As Bullet finished their set with Waking the Demon I was kind of disappointed, I wanted to see a longer set but with such big acts you can’t expect more. My ankle was hurting real bad. I walked back to get something to drink with my friends before Lamb of god started. As I tried walking the pain in my leg worsened. And then Lamb of God started their set.
Can you relate to a moment in life where their is so much going around you but you are completely lost ? I never believed in such moments, but it happened to me. As Mark Morton started to play the into to Walk with me in Hell and as I saw Randy Blythe walk towards the stage with his water bottle I was completely lost in the music. I was completely lost in the moment, my ankle was hurting very bad but it just didn’t matter, ever since that day everytime I go to a concert I long for such a moment but never has something similar happened. I have seen Lamb again but it just did not happen. Let me tell you something , people relate to different things when they are down and depressed, some go to church, some pray, some confide to a close friend, some cry. For me as absurd as it might sound, I think whatever life throws at me I can handle if I listen to lamb of god. It has helped me during so many low points in my life. Some people cannot understand, I feel sorry for you if you don’t. But Lamb of God has been a shining beacon for me amidst all hardships. Their set was perfect. And they are one of the best live bands I have seen. Randy Blythe does so well in keeping the crowd involved. Chris Adler plays with a grace that is so hard to miss. I was very sad when they had to finish their set but I told to myself that never would I miss Lamb of God if they are in town again.
Next the guys in their Jumpsuits and scary masks were on stage. I wonder how they can perform with so much energy at each show especially during such a long tour. With my ankle injured and being right in the middle of the pit I couldn’t handle that much energy. Slipknot was more like a organized show than a live band performance. With all that extra percussion, striking the drums with baseball bats and the pyrotechnics it was intense ! Those guys give their all at every show and it is remarkable to think how they are able to do that consistently. They had a long setlist and were done with some of their biggest hits right in the middle. That kind of made it worse for me cause I would have preferred to see an encore maybe but who am I to complain ? They are Slipknot they play whatever they want and whenever they want. I was completely worn out by the time they finished their set. As I limped towards the parking lot after the show, I realized what an amazing experience it was. To this day it is the best concert I have been to.