On being a false vs. Going to MDF…

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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! 😉

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3 thoughts on “On being a false vs. Going to MDF…

  1. I’ve been to MDF four times (’05, ’07, ’09, ’10) and I can tell you from experience, all of your concerns are valid. The fest got too big and too long (in my opinion) and since I always tried to see as many bands as I could, it was a serious endurance contest. 2010 was the tipping point where my main feeling was “pain and discomfort” instead of “holy fuck, all these bands!” I’m still glad I went all those times, but I’m pretty certain there’s no lineup they could announce that would get me back.

    The best sets I saw in all those years: Wormed ’05, Gronibard ’05, Rotten Sound ’07, Cock and Ball Torture ’07, Fuck the Facts ’07, Bolt Thrower ’09, Asphyx ’09, Napalm Death ’09, Devourment ’09, Trap Them ’09, Krallice ’09, Repulsion ’10, Portal ’10, Obliteration ’10

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  2. Dude, I can sooooo relate. I am ADHD/Aspergers + Iraq War PTSD 4 years your senior and last time I saw anyone was Dark Tranquillity/Scar Symmetry/Iced Earth/The Hunted in Philly in 2007. I just thought about how uncomfortable I felt being in large crowds and always liked to hang out in the back. I remember back in 1998, I saw Pantera/Slayer at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom. I made it thru Pantera, and a bit of Slayer but when Slayer burst into “Angel of Death” I passed out and they had to carry me out! I remember getting water from the bathroom sink and cursing myself aloud for skipping Slayer and in one of, if not the, best songs they’ve ever penned, and this large shirtless Mexican dude who helped carry me out (and, too, was missing the show!) went “Hey, Slayer’s a tough bro'”, and it made me feel like such a pussy!

    So when I read this your post I was like “STFU, motherfucker, I LIVE in Maryland, I totally need to go (is that Revocation logo and Exodus I see?) But once I read the entire article I understood ALL of your concerns and can identify with them all as well. Dude, we’re half way to the grave. I’m afraid our metalhead/headbanging experience is best created by ordering pizza, sitting down with a 12 pack and cranking up some death metal in the comfort of our own residences!:-(

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  3. This is pretty much exactly how I feel, even with local small shows. It doesn’t help that nobody I know in real life is into any kind of real metal. Disturbed does not count. If I had 1 person to go with I’d think about it.

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