A month ago I attended a hardcore show. It was my first time experiencing a concert of that kind. Like most folks my age who grew up in church my first concert was Carman. My second concert was the Gaither Vocal Band.
This might come as a shock but a hardcore show is nothing like a Carman concert. For starters my mom didn’t have to drag me to it. Also, Zoe Girl wasn’t the opening act.
The point is I was a sheltered youth. Slowly over the years I’ve been trying to break away and try as many different experiences I may have missed out on inside the shelter. Usually when people say this they mean drugs and other things you’d find in a Miley Cyrus music video. That’s not what I’m talking about.
And I’m also not talking about a strictly Christian sheltered life. My friends in high school weren’t Christian and we were SO BORING. I’m sure they’d admit it too.
It was as if we wanted to avoid any and all interactions with the world where “something could go wrong.” And we all know those are the most memorable experiences! Any motivational poster will tell you “the higher the risk the greater the reward.”
Can “something go wrong” at a hardcore show? Have you seen pictures? It looks like an overcrowded fight club set to music! But I wanted to experience it and it turns out it was a lot of fun.
4 Things I Discovered About Hardcore Shows
1. The Volume
First thing you’ll notice is that hardcore shows are loud. Then you won’t notice it anymore because your ears are permanently damaged. Enjoy that ringing for the next two days!
2. The Sweat
You will end up covered in sweat. It might be yours but it’s probably everyone’s sweat mixing together. The point is you will leave damp. No matter where you stand or what you do. Sweat. Will. Get. On. You.
I came to terms with this early in the show. However, I did reach a breaking point when dirty sweaty dread locks started whipping me in the face. That’s when I knew it was time to go.
3. That Girl Over There Smells Really Bad. Stay Away From Her.
“What girl? Who are you talking about? What will she look like?” Trust me. You’ll know her when you see her.
4. Everyone Looks Cooler Than You
Even the smelly girl. She still looks cooler than you. Even if you end up stage diving. Actually, let me rephrase that: ESPECIALLY if you stage dive.
I reluctantly found myself crowd surfing my way to getting dumped on stage. I stood up and looked out at the sea of people I was about to throw myself on. I’m kind of tall and a few of the faces I made eye contact with didn’t seem thrilled with having to support my body weight. My sweaty body weight.
I raised my arms and made a face that said “sorry guys, but I’ve got to do this” and I jumped. I was held up for a second and then dropped to the ground.
I thought it was a fine experience until I saw footage. My whole nonverbal exchange with the audience is completely lost in the lighting! I just look like an overenthusiastic doofus. It just looks like I raise my hands in excitement and then jump to my death. I’m a Boy Scout trust falling into the cool kids. It’s so embarrassing for me to watch. I’m sure you’ll have a different reaction.
What have you learned about hardcore? If you’re in that scene, why? What do you like about it? What draws you to it? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail. I want to know and I want to do a follow up with your answers.