Metal4Africa.com » » Having Fun is a Prerequisite
This one started as a rant about South African Metal. How we are always years behind the international scene, save for a few bands. I was going to complain how it took the local scene years to get into genres like folk metal, while still producing hundreds of death metal and deathcore bands that were either very sloppy with the deliverance of their product live, or bands that couldn’t stand the one year test. It was an article about how unoriginal many of the bands are these days; it was going to expose how they are basically copies of better international bands. This article was going piss most of you off. It was going to make people angry. These small words were going make you think, make you feel, make you laugh, make you cry. This article was going to start a revolution in South African metal and propel us headfirst into the international scene!
Then I changed my mind. Writing revolutionary texts makes me edgy and seeing as I have been awake for about thirty-six hours, if I go though any emotional distress right now, I might die…
I would rather like to talk about my experience playing, supporting and listening to metal in the Mother City. Maybe some of what is said here may be applicable to the other cities, but this one is about my home. It may not be perfect, but hell, at least it’s not Pretoria. (Daai was ‘n grappie. Asseblief moet nou nie onnodig huil hieroor nie. Die enigste rede hoekom ek grappies maak oor Pretoria is omdat mense uit Johannesburg my met ‘n mes sal probeer steek.)
Life has an interesting way of making you relive certain moments. Moments like that fifty year old balding man at the Metallica show in 2006. I remember he started talking to me after I said, ‘Holy fuck, METALLICA!’ It’s not the he was a creepy guy, he was more like that one guy everybody knows. You know, that guy on the fringe, desperately seeking your affection, your approval? He said things like, ‘I like old Metallica. Like “Master of Puppets”.’ So I asked him what he song he liked more: “Welcome Home” or “Blackened”, to gauge what type of Metallica song he enjoys more. His vacant expression suggested either that
A) he was offended that I even suggested that there is a difference in the quality of the songs and that I should feel ashamed in suggesting otherwise
or B) he had no idea what I was talking about. Turns out the latter was closer to the truth, but he left with a smile on his face after the show. I think he knows the answer to my question. All and all, a great day.
Rammstein was also one of the best days in my metal life. Fire and hell, a bloody nose from headbanging unto the shoulder of a very large gentleman in front of me. Every time the pyrotechnics went off, more of my soul went to Nirvana. The happy place, not the conduit for Kurt’s proto-emo ramblings. As the fire rained, my spirit soared. Dehydration coupled with a long drive back to Stellenbosch made that night’s sleep extremely agreeable, even though every time I closed my eyes I could see the stage, on fire.
In 2011 or 2010, I have a slightly less pleasant memory. I decided that I need to see Axxon live, and was given the opportunity to do so in R.O.A.R. So I convinced some of my friends to go and off we went to that den of sin in Observatory. I think Strident played first, but the real show started when Axxon took the stage. While dancing with my girlfriend, which (for the record) is permitted during an Axxon set, I saw a person get on to the left speaker. Those who know me know that I am a very bad judge of age, so to my old-goat eyes, she was youthful. Maybe it was her childlike face, maybe it was the fact that most of her face was covered by an extremely long fringe or maybe her AAAA cup size breasts, but we were there to have fun and enjoying great bands, so we didn’t mind. As she was dancing, a man/boy, who could only be her boyfriend or probably the smoothest bastard this side of the Rio Grande, convinced her to take off her shirt.
And then her bra.
Then the man-child started to undo her belt, albeit coupled with struggle and yet single-minded devotion. And then he proceeded to take off her pants.
At that moment my mind went blank and icy cold. I was not raised liberally enough to witness approximately underage people engaging in intimate interactions in public. Litres of dread gripped the crowd as Axxon harmonized our panic with some crushing industrial madness. After the last song, the band walked off the stage, their vocalists unsure whether the scene that just transpired was real or not. Two shots of Jagermeister to the eyes could not erase my pain. After she donned the right speaker for the Termynatrix set, this time semi clothed, I ran outside, drenched in fear of police action. After a transvestite asked me for a cigarette, I saw the lady and manchild in question exit the venue. Her mother came to pick them up. It was 22:30.
In twenty-twenty vision hindsight, one of the metal faithful might have “flapped” her. Hell, I think I might have been flapped myself… Yet though all the pain and shock and Flapper’s penis, what a great night that was.
And that, my dear reader, is the beauty of this genre, and of the people. Sure, we might fight about whether the new Job for a Cowboy album sucks or not. Sure, some people might argue that brutal melodic progressive deathcore is a genre. And sure, alleged underage breasts are not plan A. But we take it all with a smile. We are all cogs in this machine, called the South African Metal scene. Though we disagree, we still have a good time. Even if that good time might end in some jail time.