“Warning: This concert will be extremely loud and consist of continuous strobing lights”.

Ummm, as if there’s any other way for a concert to be?  And posting an 8.5×11″ sheet of printed paper on the door of the arena as you enter is ample warning?

Hehe, as if the people that bought tix to last night’s show didn’t know what they were getting themselves into.

And it was a completely different crowd from Thursday night’s B.B. King concert that Goddess and I enjoyed.  Completely different.  And that’s why Goddess stayed home.

Did I mention it would be loud and out of control?  Check.  It was.

My ears are still ringing.

The body is tired.  As it should be after two hours in the crowd and flailing around in the pit.  I wonder how I can track that in my journal.  Perhaps it would count as an interval workout.

First up was Trivium.  Meh.  Technically a good band, musically pretty soulless.  The guitarist could throw down some decent chords, but it was all about trying to impress, not build a good song.  One of Son’s friends that accompanied us loves this band and took quite a bit of offense when we told him that they just weren’t good.

Next up was Coheed and Cambria.  We saw them last year when they were warm-up for Linkin Park.  They did not impress then, they did not impress now.  Next.

Now for the loud and out of control.


Photo by David Shaw
Photo by David Shaw

These guys know how to put on a show.  They lived up to expectations.  Their 100-minute show was a non-stop visual and aural assault.  Hands down one of the best concerts I’ve been to (and I’ve been to quite a few over the past 30 years).

The real surprise was the crowd.  I fully expected an out-of-control, violent explosion of bodies from the get-go.  Not so much.  The crowd was definitely excited and fully in to the band, but we had to work our way completely through the crowd to find the pit.  Once we got there, I was surprised to find out how well-mannered it was.  They were actually abiding by proper pit etiquette, making sure no fists went above chest level and no kicking.  Everyone was looking out for each other and if anyone went down, ten sets of hands instantaneously went down to pick the guy up off the floor.

For those who have never experienced it, I know that from the outside a pit sure looks violent.  Sometimes it is.  And those are the ones I stay out of, mainly because I have a very short fuse.  I grew up in the pits of the SoCal punk scene during the ’80s, where we all looked out for each other.  It’s not about getting hurt or hurting someone else, it’s about enjoying the music and letting off some steam.  If an outsider showed up and wanted to get violent, he usually got his wish and the pit returned to normal.  In these big shows, there typically isn’t that sense of brotherhood.  Last night was different.

A good introduction for a friend, who had never experienced anything like that before.

Anyway, back to the show.

Y’all likely have been to concerts where the performer works the crowd.  Slipknot worked the crowd, but I guarantee it was like none other.  Several times some of the guys (there are nine in the band) left the stage and walked through the crowd.  No barriers.  One even walked up between a couple of sections in the arena, then wend his way through the aisles, actually having to step over shocked concert-goers to make it to the next section.  Even on the floor we got to high-five one of the percussionists, Shawn “Clown” Crahan, as he worked through the floor crowd.

If they’re your cup of tea, you’ll go.  If not, watch the videos below (volume down if you prefer) and watch the entertainment factor.

Although this video is a few years old, it’s still a pretty darn good representation of what last night was like.

And a cell-phone video from a couple of weeks ago that shows some of the energy of this year’s tour:

Definitely a good time.