Blasphemy Blog: Passion In The Pit

By Ola Mazzuca

Excitement is an understatement when you hear that your favourite band is coming to town. You read the show listing, the time, the date, and you immediately scan your brain to process your work schedule and the money you either have or lack to pay for the tickets. It will always be enjoyable to experience music in the comfort of your own home and solitude but nothing will ever compare to a live experience.

Last week, I encountered such a wide contrast in live music. I attended my very first rap/ hip-hop show with close relatives and I absorbed Summer Slaughter 2010, the ultimate summer death metal festival tour in North America. In regards to sheer enthusiasm fans show at concerts, there is no difference between rap and metal to electronic and indie rock, for it is only the mere fact that their energy is expressed in different forms. To the ignorant individuals out there, metal shows are associated with violence and danger, similar to the fact that rap shows are considered a venue for heavy drug use and alcohol consumption. These can be viewed as myths amongst those who are cultured and open-minded as anything can happen at any concert of any genre.

For once in my life, I chose to step away from the mosh pit, give my neck a rest for the night and embrace the emotions of others. As soon as Decapitated announced their final track of the set, the definitive “Spheres of Madness”, the audience became hysterical with joy with horns in the air; fully ready to release any tension or frustration they carried with them before as they tore apart the Opera House in Toronto. It gave me memories of when I first arrived on the metal scene, clad in my Amon Amarth tank and ballerina flats. When metal first ‘found’ me, similar to when poetry found Pablo Neruda, I knew that it would be a scene that I would carry with me forever. It wasn’t until a few months later where I began to attend Inertia promoted shows with so much vigor, horns in the air, screaming lyrics at the top of my lungs and headbanging my way to horrible pain the following morning. This is why I smile as I view others doing the same.

Though I have learned so much from metal, I continue to learn extensively by delving into other various genres of music. At the debut performance by Toronto rapper Drake this past Sunday; all were in attendance to absorb and connect to the rhymes of “Thank Me Later”. So maybe a mosh pit was non-existent, and fists in the air were replaced with strong applause but the highest form of energy was present. Passion for music exists at all times, but never is it evocative to the greatest degree as it is live.

Live entertainment has an overwhelming effect due to the anticipation of the outcome and admiration for the artists, but the most certain of factors lies within the relationship one has with the music. Concerts embody many memories throughout my life and I am certain I share this with other individuals. Passion represents a great deal when finding solace in music and it is even more significant when you can share it with everyone else. A universal outburst of emotion, love for music lingers in streets, cars, headphones, turntables, nightclubs, stages and moshpits.

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.