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Metalhead Ned’s First Metal Concert Experience [Video]

Rachel Vanstee Photography

Lots of people accuse me.

“Metalhead Ned. Why are you called Metalhead Ned? You don’t play metal on air!”

That’s an interesting point, when did you need to play metal on air in order to be a metalhead?

I support local metal; and I listen pretty much exclusively to bands like Lamb of God, Behemoth, Dethklok, Amon Amarth, Hatebreed, Mushroomhead, etc. I live a metal lifestyle, and everyday at the office you can find me in a black concert shirt.

That brings me to remember my first metal concert experience!

How could I forget it?

It was right after I got out of my first relationship, where I thought I was SO in love and all that mushy crap. I was a sophomore in high school and the only concerts that I had ever seen was where I stood in a seat and watched from the nosebleeds (KISS was my first concert, whom got me into the rock genre).

I was pretty down and walked around my high school with my head down, which is typical for someone who just went through a break-up. Then, a couple friends of mine came up and asked if I wanted to go to this place I had never been to before called The Orbit Room.

They told me that there was a band playing there that I had heard of at the time, but never really took an interest going to see. It was a band called Drowning Pool, and they had this hit song that EVERYONE knew called “Bodies.”

Like I said, I was down and depressed. So, I needed some distraction.

Well, of course in high school, you can’t just break up with someone. You try to make it work, with well knowing that it just isn’t going to happen.

The day arrived, and I ended up going to a play called “The Hobbit” at Civic Theatre with her and I had a friend in the play.

Why? I really don’t know; and it just made it worse.

Later on in the night, though, I went with the friends to The Orbit Room.

A few opening bands came up, and we stood back and watched. One of them was called Dropbox.

Then I saw something I had never seen till that day: the mosh pit. People pushing, shoving, getting knocked down, and overall just having fun and letting out the aggression.

This band called Taproot came on stage and played the familiar song “Poem.” I had heard it on WGRD many times prior and LOVED it. Something crazy went on in my head and I just jumped right into that mosh pit and had the TIME OF MY LIFE!

I didn’t stop there, though.

Drowning Pool came on stage and just had the most epic intro ever and just pumped up the crowd. They were going nuts and so was I.

I then started seeing people flying over the crowd. This was when I got introduced to crowd surfing. My friends had at the time had never done such a thing, and they had been to a few shows prior to this one.

Then all of a sudden, they saw a blue Converse Chuck Taylor flying over their heads. It was me crowd surfing.

I didn’t stop that entire night! I was moshing, sweating, flying, yelling and screaming. It was an experience that little did I know at the time would lay out what I really wanted to dedicate a majority of my life to, and that was metal.

My shoes the next day were caked in beer, sweat and sludge. They smelled awful and my mother made me keep them outside (with very good reasoning).

Since this first show, I have witnessed more than 200 different concerts and counting. Most are good, and some are really bad. At the time, though, I would have never thought that I would be the one on stage to introduce these bands or even meet and interview some of them. It’s mind blowing!

It just goes to show that if you have a goal and you have dedication and focus, you’ll get there.

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