Maryland Deathfest 2013 begins tomorrow. I haven’t been to a music festival of any kind since Lollapalooza… 1996. Ok, that’s not entirely true, I did go to local hair band fest a few years back, but I got in for free and was only there for an hour to see Ace Frehley play and grab a tenderloin, so I don’t think that one really counts. Anyway, every year when MDF rolls around, there’s a part of me that wishes like hell that I was going. Take this year’s installment for instance; I’d kill to see the likes of Integrity, Manilla Road, Revenge, Aosoth and Bolt Thrower, what metalhead in their right mind wouldn’t?
Then there’s the other part of me that knows I wouldn’t last five minutes. The heat, the crowds, the scads of bands I don’t give a shit about; these things are the bane of existence for a metal curmudgeon such as I. My anxiety when surrounded by large groups is often such that I can barely stand to be crammed into a mid-size venue to see two or three bands, let alone braving the veritable sea of humanity that will be at MDF in order to take in five to six bands per day spread across four grueling days. Of course I realize you aren’t required to hang around the fest grounds all day, but that just means sore feet from trudging back and forth to the hotel in addition to the sore neck and back (both of which have locked up for no apparent reason more times than I’d care to admit lately) that comes with standing/headbanging through a bunch of bands when you’re in your mid-thirties and out of shape.
On top of this, there is the substantial added anxiety that would undoubtedly come with being forced to choose between bands. For instance, if I’m reading the schedule for this year’s MDF correctly, Manilla Road is playing at the same time as Integrity. How in the blue hell are you gonna make a muthafucka choose between Manilla Road and Integrity?! Where I come from that’s just cruel and unusual. Couple that with the fact that I’m probably the most indecisive person on planet Earth and I’m pretty sure my head would explode.
For a person that craves simplicity, MDF just seems like overload. Too many people, too many decisions, too many bands, too much metal. In other words, it isn’t exactly the type of environment I’d do well in, given my propensity for being an antisocial prick. I mean you’re talking to a guy that used to go to shows by himself on the regular, rarely talking to anyone but to order a beer from the bartender, and being that I live where I do, the majority of those shows were sparsely attended. Hey, there are a ton of you going to MDF this year that I would absolutely love to meet, it’s just that I probably can’t handle meeting all of you at once.
I’m not trying to be a downer, and this is not meant as any sort of knock on MDF. I think it’s totally beyond fantastic that the good ol’ U-S-of-A has a metal fest it can call its own and be proud of, not to mention one that can hang lineup-wise with just about any of the European fests you can think of. I hope that those of you that are going have an absolute blast. This is merely an honest assessment of why this crabby bastard won’t be there raging with you crazy fucks, as much as I often think I might really, really, really want to.
So, to my comrades attending this year’s festivities; have fun, please stay safe, and goddamn you all for getting to see Bolt Thrower! 😉