Flashback Show Review Part 1: My First Metal Show

by Vick Sacha

So, Mike and I have been tossing the idea around to do a series of articles about shows long passed, and behold, here we are!  But we want to do things a little different. So if you’ve been to a killer show, tell us, so we can convince you to write about it!  Surely, you’ve been to better shows than the one I’m going to tell you about, so let us hear it!  Either these are going to be the coolest stories you’ve ever heard, or you’re going to be bored as hell.  We can’t predict the future, but these are definitely worth a shot.

So, without further adieu…

Up until a few months before this show, I engulfed myself with every great pop-punk band that me and my highschool cohorts swooned over.  After I graduated, literally overnight, I decided that all I wanted was to be a metalhead. And a metalhead I became.  I was completely ignorant, but I was doing my research. I remember walking into Best Buy and buying the most metal looking CDs I could find, picking up the likes of Born of Osiris, Blackguard, and the almighty Shadows Fall.  I started staying up late, prodding all over MySpace for stuff I might like, and listening to everything 103.3’s Steve Keicher played on his underground metal show on Sunday nights. Actually, I’d like to dedicate this article to that insomnia that filled my late teenage years and Steve Keicher’s midnight metal show because surely, without either I most likely wouldn’t be listening to anything close to what I’m into now, and I definitely wouldn’t have known anything about this show.

Date: Mid-October 2008.
Line-up: Trivium, All That Remains, 36 Crazyfists, The Human Abstract
Venue: Town Ballroom,  Buffalo, NY

Still pretty damn ignorant about all things metal, 18 year-old me had zero idea who any of the bigger bands were.  I went solely to see The Human Abstract.  They were one of the bands Steve had played on his show; one of the few that I immediately fell in love with and set out on a quest to find more bands like them.  Unfortunately for me, I had to painfully convince my Dad to give me a lift and pick up a friend, so we ended up walking into the show really late, and I missed THA’s entire set, sans two songs. Well, 1.5 songs. I immediately flung myself to the front  during “Mea Culpa” so I could watch the remaining five minutes of their set in saddness.  They closed off their set with “Vela, Together We Await the Storm”- the song that made me fall in love with them, and my mood lightened a little.

Then, after their set, amongst the darkness of Town Ballroom, I ran into THA vocalist Nate Ells.  Of course, in trve Vick fashion, I totally fangirled and told him how awesome they were and absolutely needed to get a photo with him, and a hug and OMG I just need that hoodie *breathes*.

After I snagged my hoodie and gotten another hug from Ells *squeee*, the vocalist of 36 Crazyfists, Brock Lindow, was asked for his autograph on a shirt, but alas had no marker to do so.  Of course, I came prepared, and oh so willingly handed him my sharpie to keep.  In return, he told me I could have any shirt of theirs, free of charge.  Having never experienced such gratuity before, I couldn’t accept the offer, but he insisted.  Lindow pursed his lips, gave me a funny look and said “Hmm, you look like you have too many black shirts, have this one!” and handed me a white girly tee.  And of course, I had him sign it, because that shit is what I gave him that damn marker for.  I was totally elated, and my mood had done a 180.  The night could in no way turn on me and go bad, and behold, it indeed did not.

(From here, the article gets kind of boring, sorry, hahaha)

For 36CF’s set, I hung out with my friend on the balcony, though at this point the band deserved my full participation.  Though I had no idea who they were, I thought they had a couple pretty catchy tunes, even though their vocalist’s singing voice sounded kind of funny to me. After the show, I made the effort to look them up, and grabbed myself all four of the albums they had out.

Up next was All That Remains, and again, I was at a complete loss to who they were.  But, by now, I was completely stoked to be at this show.  So, I abandoned my friend on the balcony and had him hold onto my things while I moseyed over to the edge of the pit, contemplating whether I wanted to mosh or not. I had never before, so I threw my balls to the wall and myself into the pit, and proceeded to be tossed around like a pinball.  When I wasn’t moshing, I was marveling at the chick on bass, because fuck, I would have killed to be her right then.

I pumped out the same amount of energy for Trivium, who I had actually previously heard of via an old friend from highschool, but never took the time to look into them.  I moshed for their entire set as well, getting props from all the guys for being a young girl in the pit.  The only girl in the pit. At a point, someone in the crowd had lost their hat, and it ended up in my hands. Waving it around to hopefully catch the attention of its owner, my good Samaratinism got me nowhere, so I just turned around and tossed it back into the crowd.  It flung past the mass of people at the front, and landed flawlessly on Matt Heafy’s headstock.  I was laughing so hard at the edge of the pit that I got bowled over by some guy twice my size.  I turned my head just in time to see Heafy give the hat a funny look and pluck it off his headstock mid-riff.

I walked out of the show with a new friend whom I stayed pretty close with for several years, some new clothes, and my first metal show crossed off my list.  I woke up the next morning for work in some of the worst pain I had experienced up until that point.  My entire body was sore, and it was rather difficult to move.  My neck hurt the worst.  But my soreness was how I knew I had an incredible time.  For a first metal show, the lineup wasn’t the greatest, in my opinion, but it might just have been one of the most important events of my teenage years, and I happily view it as such.

So, where are these bands now?  Obviously, Trivium and All That Remains are still some of the biggest metalcore bands from the time period they emerged from.  They’re still pumping out albums and going on tour and I can’t foresee either of them calling it quits anytime soon. 36 Crazyfists just recently put out their seventh full length, but from my standpoint, not many people have heard of them because they’re from Alaska.

The Human Abstract’s story is a lot more sad, for me anyway.  They replaced Ells in 2009 and 2010 was the last time they released any music or went on tour. There hasn’t been an official hiatus or break up, though hoping for new music is a lost cause.  This show was one of two times I got to see THA before their disappearance from the scene, and this is precisely the reason why I always make an effort to go to shows, because you never know if that’s the last time you’ll get to see them.  And if you’ve made it this far into the article, THAT is what I want you to take away from it- go to shows, because you might never get to see those bands again.


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