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    Default Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    So in February I'm going to go to a metal concert for the first time. I'm going to go see Sabaton and Kreator with cyHra as the opening act (I hope no one gets mad at me, but I don't really care about seeing Kreator that much. I'm really going to see Sabaton. It's not that I think that they're bad, it's just that I don't really like thrash and black (People say they are the pioneers of black metal, not sure if they are still considered that) metal that much). As I currently have no knowledge of what they are like, I have some questions.

    How early should I arrive if I want to get near the front of the stage?

    There are two headliners. Do they play separately?

    I have a friend who has pictures of him with members of Metallica, Battle Beast, and Slaughter. However, he has never payed for backstage and has always only bought general admissions tickets. How can I meet the band while only paying for general admissions?

    How long is an opening act? How long is a headliner?

    Should I buy merchandise at a concert, or will I get a better deal online?

    The concert I'm going to has an age requirement of 16 and up. I'm not bringing any 15 year olds with me, but what are the reasons for this? Is it a liability thing?

    I know this is a lot, but I can't seem to find any of the answers by Googleing it. Do any of you metal fans in the playground know the answers?
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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    I go to a ton of shows, only a few metal shows (and rarely anything stadium big), but some general show knowledge might help:

    - depends on the crowd, but if you're 45-60 minutes before the doors open you can usually do okay. I've seen some shows where the line starts a few hours before the doors, others where there isn't a line at all. For the record, the best sound is not up front; usually you want to be about 20 yards back and center (depending on the size of the room, but I'd say maybe 1/5 to 1/4 of the size of the room away from the stage), but that's best for listening, not necessarily for seeing.

    - the two headliners do play separately

    - depends on the bands, but sometimes they'll come out to the merch table, or just to meet and sign things for the crowd. If you want to meet them, just stick around a while after, that usually does it.

    - again, depends on the band. I like a 20 minute opener, with two 45 minute co-headliners, though the top billed band might play longer. If you don't mind spoiling the songs they're playing, you can check setlist.fm for a show on the tour and estimate based on album lengths of songs. Live they might be shorter or longer, but you can get an idea.

    - you will get a better deal on merch online. But buying at the show directly supports the artist, gives you a tangible memory of the show, and sometimes you get rare things you might not find elsewhere.

    - yeah, mostly liability. Some shows are 21+, so they don't have to worry about underage drinking. Some shows are all ages. Depends on the venue/promoter.

    Enjoy the show! And bring ear plugs!

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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    Definitely bring earplugs.
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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    Quote Originally Posted by 8BitNinja View Post
    How early should I arrive if I want to get near the front of the stage?
    Irrelevant. The only way to get near the front is by force, and you'll have to defend your spot. The primary exception is if you're holding multiple beers, at which point people will generally let you edge through.
    There are two headliners. Do they play separately?
    Yes. The stage has multiple curtains, with each band's equipment behind a different one.

    I have a friend who has pictures of him with members of Metallica, Battle Beast, and Slaughter. However, he has never payed for backstage and has always only bought general admissions tickets. How can I meet the band while only paying for general admissions?
    Maybe. At the first concert I went to, Sabaton wound up drinking at the bar during Iced Earth's set, and the lead was practically inviting people to take pictures. That is on the whim of the band, and can't be counted on.

    How long is an opening act? How long is a headliner?
    At the Sabaton concerts I've been to (only one of which were they the headliner), they tend to play from an hour to an hour and a half. There tends to be a shorter opening act (about 45 minutes), and the other prominent band (I've seen them with Iced Earth once and Trillium once) plays a bit shorter than Sabaton does.
    Should I buy merchandise at a concert, or will I get a better deal online?
    Doesn't seem to be any significant difference cost-wise, but you might find it difficult to get exactly what you want due to supply. Make sure you take a close look at whatever you buy, though. I know a guy that got a Canadian Sabaton flag instead of an American (which he wanted) or Swedish (which he would have been more than happy with, due to the band's origin) one by mistake.

    The concert I'm going to has an age requirement of 16 and up. I'm not bringing any 15 year olds with me, but what are the reasons for this? Is it a liability thing?
    Could be a liability thing, could be due to content. I'm not that familiar with Kreator, but they do seem to be a bit on the vulgar and shock side of things.



    I'm going to the Chicago show, which was getting close to selling out last time I checked. Make sure you get tickets well in advance if you haven't already.

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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    It's been a few years since I've gone to any concerts, and a few more since I did them regularly, but some things never change.

    How early you need to get there varies a bit by venue and band. I'd say an hour before the doors open (which is probably 2 hours before the start of the show) will be enough to give you a shot. However, it's not a guarantee because some people will stand in line for HOURS before the show.

    Also, if you're able to claim a spot up front, you pretty much have to stay there the entire concert because you won't be able to get back up there if you leave for drinks, the bathroom, etc. And go up there before the opening band, because by the time Sabaton is next to take the stage, it will be too crowded to get up there easily.

    If the bands are co-headliners, that likely means they play sets of the same length and possibly trade off who goes on last at each show. If they were literally putting both bands on stage at the same time, they would likely advertise it specifically as that.

    There is no surefire way to get to meet the band. Some bands will come out to the merchandise tables for a meet & greet after they play, but not all do. As far as getting backstage without a pass, your best bet is to be a young, pretty female (I hate to say it, but it works) or to know someone that works at the venue. Sometimes you can catch the bands after the show, but then you're dodging the venue staff trying to shoo you out of the place. I never really bothered with it much, so I don't really have any more tips there.

    Most opening bands will have less than 30 minutes, often because they're touring their first album (if they even have one) and only have so much material. There isn't really a standard set length for headliners that I'm aware of, but I would expect most to be at least an hour.

    Buying at the concert vs. online is up to you. It will cost a LOT more at the concert, but as was mentioned by someone else, more of that money will go to the band themselves than if you buy elsewhere, if that matters to you.

    I've never seen 16 as the cutoff limit for shows - usually it's 18 or 21. 18 if there might be adult content or if they just don't want any potential bad PR from having minors see the show, or 21 if they don't want to have to worry about underage drinking.

    A few general tips and suggestions that you didn't ask for, but I'm going to provide anyway:

    1. Food and drink at concerts is always pricey. I suggest you eat beforehand, and drink enough that you won't be too thirsty, but not so much that you'll have to pee during the show. Bathrooms at concert venues are invariably disgusting even by public bathroom standards. It's pretty much a requirement.

    2. There will most likely be a mosh pit and crowd surfing. Your tickets may say "no moshing, crowd surging, or stage diving," and there will definitely be a sign on the wall to that effect. Doesn't stop it from happening anyway, so be aware of that fact. Certain genres of metal inspire moshing more than others, for whatever reason - I think it likely there will be a pit during Kreator, but I'm not sure about the other bands.
    If you do manage to get all the way to the front, you won't be in the pit itself but you may have people bump you from behind and will probably be squeezed against the railings. If you're more than one or two rows back, you are in danger of being in the pit and should probably move elsewhere unless that's what you want.

    3. Bring earplugs. All rock bands play loud, metal bands are often moreso. Better to have them and not need them than the other way around.

    Have fun and let us know how you enjoy the show!

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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post

    Buying at the concert vs. online is up to you. It will cost a LOT more at the concert, but as was mentioned by someone else, more of that money will go to the band themselves than if you buy elsewhere, if that matters to you.
    As someone else mentioned, it can also be a matter of buying at the show so that you have a momento. After all, you can buy on-line without ever going to a show.

    I've never seen 16 as the cutoff limit for shows - usually it's 18 or 21. 18 if there might be adult content or if they just don't want any potential bad PR from having minors see the show, or 21 if they don't want to have to worry about underage drinking.
    Yeah, 16 seems an odd age.

    A few general tips and suggestions that you didn't ask for, but I'm going to provide anyway:

    1. Food and drink at concerts is always pricey. I suggest you eat beforehand, and drink enough that you won't be too thirsty, but not so much that you'll have to pee during the show. Bathrooms at concert venues are invariably disgusting even by public bathroom standards. It's pretty much a requirement.
    And don't drink so much that you pass out and miss the show. Last concert we went to, some drunk chick passed out right in front of us right as the show started and missed everything except the encore. And if you are drinking, please have a safe way home; don't drink and drive.

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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    Irrelevant. The only way to get near the front is by force, and you'll have to defend your spot.
    Repeating this for emphasis. Metal shows can get a little rough, especially down on the floor in front of the stage. You will be crowded, you will be bumped, and if you wind up standing where people decide to start a mosh pit, may God have mercy on your soul. If you move, you will not get to come back; someone will take your spot and almost certainly won't care that you might want it again.
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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade Paladin View Post
    Repeating this for emphasis. Metal shows can get a little rough, especially down on the floor in front of the stage. You will be crowded, you will be bumped, and if you wind up standing where people decide to start a mosh pit, may God have mercy on your soul. If you move, you will not get to come back; someone will take your spot and almost certainly won't care that you might want it again.
    Usually a myriad of hands will attempt to grab you and pull you back to a safe place, from my experience. There's barely ever something to be afraid (as far as safety goes), other than dropping whatever you had the bad luck judgement to keep in your pockets instead of someplace safer. Metal people always keep an eye on their peers

    Also, before rushing to the front, I would recommend making a quick assessment if it's truly worth the effort given the dimensions of the amphitheater/stadium. I happened to be in a lot of shows where you could stand in the sweet spot for sound/view and still be relatively close to the band while avoiding to become a mashed potato for 2-3 hs. Being on the front you are sacrificing the full enjoyment of the spectacle in exchange for getting a smell distance to your favorite musicians. They don't generally smell that good

    On a side note: whenever there is more than one band on the same scenario, there's usually a change of frontliners, so you can take advantage from that if your band plays later.
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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    Quote Originally Posted by joeltion View Post
    Usually a myriad of hands will attempt to grab you and pull you back to a safe place, from my experience. There's barely ever something to be afraid (as far as safety goes), other than dropping whatever you had the bad luck judgement to keep in your pockets instead of someplace safer. Metal people always keep an eye on their peers
    Quite. The crowd isn't fundamentally rough, it is simply that these shows tend to be quite packed, and have a very high-energy crowd.

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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    I didn't mean to suggest he'd get roughed up, just that if he leaves a gap, people will crowd into it and he's not going to get to come back. Last show I went to was a Nightwish tour a couple of years back. My group was up in the balcony, and we basically had to lock arms and have the guys at the end grab onto the rail to keep from being crowded backwards by people slipping in front of us around the edges.
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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    I have a dissenting opinion on getting to the front. Granted, this was the only show is ever been to (and it would take almost ten years for me to go to another), but I went to see Iron Maiden at Madison Square Garden back in July '06, I believe (could be off in the year). Friend and I got general admittance tickets, drove 19 hours to NYC, left our hotel room and got in line roughly 5 hours early, and once we got in, everyone started running. Not to be left behind, we joined the race, eventually leading us into the auditorium. We got to the front, on the fence (as it happened, right in front of where Steve Harris hung out most of the show. Our luck was out of this world). Once we were there, there was no violence, no shining, no crowding, no anything. Just the most amazing experience id ever had in my life, with the greatest band ever playing not five feet away from me sometimes. If we hadnt been so stupidly early, that wouldn't have happened.

    I dunno if that's particular to that specific venue, or if Maiden concerts are just better non-violence-wise than other metal shows, or what, but there's my completely un-scientific anecdote.
    Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking).

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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    And did you leave the front before the show was over? Nobody's going to deliberately try to shunt you out; it just happens, especially if the venue's full. But if you leave a prime spot at the front to go to the bathroom or whatever, it isn't going to be saved for you unless you have a large group doing the saving.
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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    Don't bring anything to the concert you're not prepared to have confiscated by overzealous security

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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade Paladin View Post
    And did you leave the front before the show was over? Nobody's going to deliberately try to shunt you out; it just happens, especially if the venue's full. But if you leave a prime spot at the front to go to the bathroom or whatever, it isn't going to be saved for you unless you have a large group doing the saving.
    Point taken. Of course I didn't, it was Iron freaking Maiden. You don't just leave the fence when they're gonna play.
    Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking).

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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebum2002 View Post
    It would be nice to just change the title of this thread to be "stuff about Jedi"

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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    This post is just to let you guys know that my silence is not me leaving the thread. I've been reading all your comments and I thank you all so far for your helpful information.
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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I have a dissenting opinion on getting to the front. Granted, this was the only show is ever been to (and it would take almost ten years for me to go to another), but I went to see Iron Maiden at Madison Square Garden back in July '06, I believe (could be off in the year). Friend and I got general admittance tickets, drove 19 hours to NYC, left our hotel room and got in line roughly 5 hours early, and once we got in, everyone started running. Not to be left behind, we joined the race, eventually leading us into the auditorium. We got to the front, on the fence (as it happened, right in front of where Steve Harris hung out most of the show. Our luck was out of this world). Once we were there, there was no violence, no shining, no crowding, no anything. Just the most amazing experience id ever had in my life, with the greatest band ever playing not five feet away from me sometimes. If we hadnt been so stupidly early, that wouldn't have happened.

    I dunno if that's particular to that specific venue, or if Maiden concerts are just better non-violence-wise than other metal shows, or what, but there's my completely un-scientific anecdote.
    I'm super jealous! I've seen Maiden three times, and never been anywhere near that close!

    Anyway, my experience is that the crowds are different for different bands and genres for metal. Iron Maiden tends to draw large crowds, but they're usually not very rowdy - there's little to no moshing or crowdsurfing that I've seen. If I can stereotype a bit, that's usually the case for more melodic styles of metal like symphonic, progressive, and power metal, while the heavier stuff like thrash, grindcore, even nu metal is where you'll run into more of the moshing and such.

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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    I also just want to reiterate make sure you have earplugs. The music is loud enough you will still enjoy it through the plugs. Being hearing impaired sucks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    I also just want to reiterate make sure you have earplugs. The music is loud enough you will still enjoy it through the plugs. Being hearing impaired sucks.
    And yet still not as loud as the DJ at my company's holiday party

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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    I'm super jealous! I've seen Maiden three times, and never been anywhere near that close!
    It was the greatest thing ever! Those guys pour their hearts and souls into the shows. If you were blind and deaf, you would still have known the second they went onstage. The whole building just became electrified. Words just can't do it justice.

    Still have yet to see Judas Priest, sadly. I love me some Rob Halford.
    Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking).

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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebum2002 View Post
    It would be nice to just change the title of this thread to be "stuff about Jedi"

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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    I'm super jealous! I've seen Maiden three times, and never been anywhere near that close!

    Anyway, my experience is that the crowds are different for different bands and genres for metal. Iron Maiden tends to draw large crowds, but they're usually not very rowdy - there's little to no moshing or crowdsurfing that I've seen. If I can stereotype a bit, that's usually the case for more melodic styles of metal like symphonic, progressive, and power metal, while the heavier stuff like thrash, grindcore, even nu metal is where you'll run into more of the moshing and such.
    I guess this is a good of time as ever to save some people some Google searches. Kreator is thrash metal (they are also one of the pioneers of black metal), Sabaton is power metal, and I don't know what cyHra is considered. All I know is that they are a very new band with members from Annihilator, In Flames, and Rhapsody of Fire.

    So a very diverse set of genres presented here.
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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    Since all of my questions have been answered, I would like to thank everyone who helped me. Thanks for helping me out guys.
    I'm a Lawful Good Human Paladin
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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    You're very welcome. Enjoy the show.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    It was the greatest thing ever! Those guys pour their hearts and souls into the shows. If you were blind and deaf, you would still have known the second they went onstage. The whole building just became electrified. Words just can't do it justice.

    Still have yet to see Judas Priest, sadly. I love me some Rob Halford.
    When other bands play, Maiden kills! I don't think they would approve this quote tho...


    The ONLY other band I seen that could compete with Maiden's performance on stage, would be last Helloween tour (Pumpkins United). Of course, that doesn't make enough justice for them, since Maiden's performance always excels, as far as people and music goes. Helloween's was probably just a lucky shot
    (sic)

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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    It was the greatest thing ever! Those guys pour their hearts and souls into the shows. If you were blind and deaf, you would still have known the second they went onstage. The whole building just became electrified. Words just can't do it justice.

    Still have yet to see Judas Priest, sadly. I love me some Rob Halford.
    I know just what you mean. You can see just how much they all love being up there on stage. And for a guy in his 50's, Bruce has more energy on stage than most singers half his age.

    Judas Priest has just as much presence as Iron Maiden, but in a different way. Where Maiden's energy is more frenetic with Bruce running all over the place, Priest is solid. Halford doesn't move much on stage from what I remember, but you can still feel the stage presence just oozing off of him. I like Maiden's live show a little more (and their music as well), but both are truly awesome live experiences.


    Quote Originally Posted by joeltion View Post
    When other bands play, Maiden kills! I don't think they would approve this quote tho...
    Nice Manowar reference!

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    Default Re: Some Questions about Metal Concerts

    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    I know just what you mean. You can see just how much they all love being up there on stage. And for a guy in his 50's, Bruce has more energy on stage than most singers half his age.
    Well, to be fair, he is also an Olympic-level fencer. And a commercial airline pilot. And now a commercial airline owner. And an author. And a film director. And lead singer of a world-famous band.

    Most singers half his age are lucky just to get to that last part.
    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    Judas Priest has just as much presence as Iron Maiden, but in a different way. Where Maiden's energy is more frenetic with Bruce running all over the place, Priest is solid. Halford doesn't move much on stage from what I remember, but you can still feel the stage presence just oozing off of him. I like Maiden's live show a little more (and their music as well), but both are truly awesome live experiences.
    Oh, I've seen plenty of videos. I like that they do their own thing, and I'm not expecting Halford to ride up in a motorcycle anymore, but dude can still rock the mic like almost nobody else. Hell, just to pick a single example, their newer version of their cover of Diamonds and Rust is fantastic, despite being a huge departure from their original cover of it (which was fantastic).
    Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking).

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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebum2002 View Post
    It would be nice to just change the title of this thread to be "stuff about Jedi"

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