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Mikado Metal Mayhem

Ben Krawec
November 30, 2010

So I almost didnít go to see this show but luckily I was walking past Mikadoís to my buddyís place and heard the most beautiful racket coming from inside. I took a look at the flyers posted in the windows and realized that I had spaced on the show I was going to go see and hurried inside. After Chapter, Gutwrench, What Doesnít Kill You, Horizons and Call the Cavalry were playing that night and I figured anything called ďGutwrenchĒ had to be a good time, and any band that wound up in the same line up as a band called Gutwrench must also be half decent. I knew for a fact that Gutwrench and After Chapter were going to be great, Iíd seen them both before and knew I was in for a great show with plenty of audience interaction and aggression. I was impressed with Horizons, they were a little emo sounding at times but you could definitely bang your head to what they were playing. They could have stood to be a little more prepared for the show as well, they had some technical difficulties in the middle of their set but they played good, intense music that was a nice balance of thrashy and melodic. Call the Cavalry have some kinks to work out of their sound but theyíre certainly on the right track, they had fun playing their set and it showed in their music, I look forward to seeing them progress and Iím keeping my eyes open for shows they might play in the future. The last two bands, Gutwrench and After Chapter, were nothing short of amazing. Every time Iíve seen these bands theyíve never failed to deliver hard hitting, fast paced metal that gets my fists pumping and my head banging. The bands were great, Iíd strongly recommend that anybody who likes fast paced, aggressive music go see them any chance you get and support your local scene. The audience was a different story.

See, the quality of the bandsí music is only half of any decent metal show. Itís not just about music, if it were then I would have saved my thirteen bucks and sat at home by myself and listened to CDs. A show is about the energy, itís about getting together with a bunch of other people who like awesome music and shoving each other around, feeding off each othersí enthusiasm and letting loose. The mosh pit had its moments that night but overall the crowd disappointed me. I looked around and I saw people with blank faces standing still around a largely non-existent mosh pit. The bands that played were talented and enthusiastic, the music was amazing and deserved a far better audience reaction than they got. To hell with standing around like youíre too cool to let go. A key element in having a fun show is to belt out the lyrics with the band until your throat is hoarse, mosh like youíll never tire and headbang at the front of the stage with your arms around the psychos to either side of you until you canít move your frigginí neck. It doesnít matter how old or young you are, how cool you think you may be or whether or not this sort of thing is ďyour scene,Ē after that guy on crutches started moshing nobody had any kind of excuse not to. This sort of music is about more than just gathering together to listen to music, itís meant to be an interactive, thrilling experience and if thatís what itís going to be then the audience has to get involved. Some of the best shows Iíve ever been to werenít great just because the bands were great, they were great because the audience went crazy, they piled up in front of the microphone for a chance to sing the chorus with the lead singer, they spun like whirling dervishes on meth in a circle pit, they crowd surfed and did stage dives, things like that turn a good show into a GREAT show. The bands played beautifully, they changed up their tempos enough to give people a break here and there and had great lead ups to give us a chance to get psyched up before the climax of the song, great techniques that the audience did not take advantage of nearly enough. Iíll admit that this is partially because of the venue. An inconveniently placed pillar prevented the pit from getting too large and the placement of some of the tables presented a bit of a hazard. Also, while I appreciate that the bouncer was diligent about keeping people safe and making sure nobody did anything dangerous in the pit he could have stood to be a little more hands off and let people have their fun, rowdiness is the whole point of a metal show and generally people are pretty good about self-policing and letting people know when they step out-of-bounds. Overall I had a great time and I canít wait to see any of these bands again but I really hope that next time I do that Iíll see a larger turn out and a more enthusiastic audience.

Ben Krawec