Heavy metal concert serves as great Christmas present

Promer and cousin meet the drummer of the band Escape the Fate after the show.

Dec. 22 was a rather cool evening, with the Santa Ana wind blowing softly through the streets of West Hollywood. 

Finding a parking spot was a bit of a hassle, but soon enough we were walking down the street, toward the one and only Whiskey A Go-Go, a moderately famous building in Hollywood where all the famous bands play. The Doors, Metallica, you name it, they’ve played it. 

As we walked passed the people hanging around outside for a smoking break or just a simple break from all comotion inside, we could hear, no, we could feel the music coming from inside. 

After being informed that it was a one time entry, we were allowed to go inside. Our eyes adjusted quickly in the dark venue, already used to the dark outside, as we made our way into the crowd, inching our way closer to the stage, peering over and through people as we eyed our longest awaited Christmas present, the last stop for Escape The Fate’s 10th anniversary tour for their “This War Is Ours” album. Finally, we were here and we were ready.

It was still one of the first opening bands, so we knew we still had a lot of time to make our way to the front. So we did what we must do, stand in our places, inching our way to the front little by little, hoping to be in a good spot when Escape The Fate finally came out to play. 

The wait was unbearable as we frequently glanced up the stairs to where the band members were sure to emerge from. 

For a long time, all was calm within the crowd. A little pushing and shoving, no doubt, but nothing too crazy. That is, until the second to last opening band showed up. 

Now, I fail to remember their name, but I doubt it would be hard to find them. Though I don’t think I, myself, would ever be listening to them again. 

These guys seemed to show up from nowhere, dressed in crisp, full suits, no doubt standing out above the crowd of people wearing dark, torn clothes. It seemed that they didn’t belong there. What could they possibly have to offer at a rock/heavy metal show? 

It surprised us all when the soft spoken lead singer took the mic and began to scream out lyrics with a deep voice. 

I would have taken the time to watch and admire their performance if we hadn’t been bombarded with the mosh pit starting right in front of us. 

For those of you who are unaware of what a mosh pit is, it is basically a rather large area usually right in the middle of the crowd kept clear for the many men and boys who want to roughhouse, push each other and ram into the sides of the ring of people with all of their might all in the name of “fun.” 

Now lucky us, we were pushed back forcefully as the moshpit decided to form right in front of us. Boys threw themselves into each other as well as the sides of the ring of people, and this time, that ring of people included us. 

Quickly, my dad and I placed ourselves in front of my younger cousin, shielding her from the worst of the mosh pit’s horribly rough pushing and shoving. 

Now don’t take me wrong, a mosh pit can be just fine and all—that is if they would please for the love of anyone, stop pushing into the people on the outside of the ring, especially if the people on the outside are exceptionally small or, I don’t know, children? If you are one who participates in such things as mosh pits, I sure hope you do take into consideration the people around you who would rather not be anywhere near, though I do suppose one must make sacrifices when wanting to be as close to the stage as possible. 

After a few horribly long songs and terrible pushing and shoving and an almost fight between myself and a butt-hurt mosh pit enthusiast, the nicely dressed band was gone, packing up their instruments and making their way off the stage. The mosh pit ceased to exist for just a moment much to mine as well as my dad’s and cousin’s relief. 

With a large push from the crowd behind us, provoked by the security guards behind everyone, we were made to stand closer to the front. 

I eyed a few guys I recognized from the mosh pit, daring them in my mind to start that again so close to us, but luckily they were a few rows of people away this time. I just hoped it would stay that way.

Finally, the last opening band was set up and ready to play. The lead singer was a normal looking teenage girl, laid back with a seemingly bored expression on her face as she spoke to the crowd about her band. 

Everyone settled into their spots, prepared for them to play and be over with so we could move on to Escape The Fate. Though when this girl started singing, everyone’s heads were turned. 

Did I say singing? I meant screaming. This girl was amazingly scary and impressive at the same time. Her voice was so deep, it was like an actual demon took hold of her vocal cords and ripped them to shreds, replacing them with their own. 

The crowd was a mix of impressed shock and amazed shouts of approval. I have to admit, even though I couldn’t understand any of their lyrics, they were pretty amazing. With my dad being the sacrifice and blockade against the newly formed mosh pit behind us, my cousin and I were able to (mostly) comfortably watch their performance.

After they had packed up and made their way off stage, the crowd was a mess of buzz and excitement as we knew who was coming on next. Everyone’s eyes were on the stairs next the the stage where the band members would appear. 

When they finally did, one at a time, they slowly walked down the steps, soaking up the loud, excited cheers from their fans. 

When it seemed like they would never begin, they finally began to play.

The music filled the venue, drum beats beating in our chests, becoming our heartbeat for this night. Lyrics flew from our mouths in a loud chorus that none of us could fully hear. Our voices merged as one, powerful voice brought together by one song after another. 

At this moment, we forgot about the mosh pit guys pushing into the crowd with all their might, we forgot about the outside world, we forgot of our own existence and we became one.

Bodies pressed together, close enough that we could smell the smoke from cigarettes on people’s clothes and the alcohol on the breath of others. Though none of that mattered. Brought together by Escape The Fate, this large crowd of people, my dad, my cousin and I were able to all connect through our love for music, our love for the band and the thrill of a live performance. 

The end came too soon. With a few attempts at catching one of the many thrown guitar pics and one near-death experience of being tackled to the ground by a horde of girls as we attempted to catch a thrown drum stick, we were finally able to make our way up the stairs to buy a shirt. 

We made it back down again without much trouble, only to find the drummer of Escape The Fate, Robert Ortiz standing off the stage surrounded by tons of fans. 

With a quick decision, my cousin and I pushed our way through to get our picture taken with him.

Meeting Robert for the first time was amazing. He was so nice. He was funny when we were about to take the picture.

“Whoa, hey, you gotta turn this way. You have to use this lighting to your advantage,” he said as he instructed my dad where to stand to get our picture. 

We left with one last thank you and a goodbye. My cousin and I were very glad to have been able to meet at least one of the band members, and we were even more happy that he had been so nice. Though we would like to meet the other band members, I’m sure we wouldn’t mind having a chat with Robert again.

As we walked back to the car, legs shaking from the hours of standing in place, shoulders sore from bracing against the most pit, ears ringing from being so close to the loud music, we knew we couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas present.

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