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Eleven lessons I learned at my first metal show

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I love music. I really do. But I need to get something out in the air: I have been guilty of not giving all genres of music a chance. Because of that, I have never been to a serious metal show before. That all changed a few weeks ago when I spent the day at City Hall's Cue Room for the Westword Music Showcase. The bands started at noon and the last set went on at 6:45 p.m. Every group that played was generally what I would consider metal, although I know many belong to more specific genres. For me, it was all heavy and loud and awesome. Here are eleven lessons I learned:

1. These musicians put on a show. No half-assed head bobs here.

2. Watch out for the monitors. Those things will move and would hurt if they fell on a foot. Look out for said monitors and, if you're in the right position, move them back on stage when they start to dangle off.

3. Wear comfortable, closed-toed shoes. You will want to jump up and down. Don't be the one doing that in Birkenstocks.

4. The bands have the most badass names. Example: IAMSHOTGUN.

5. Metal dudes are some of the nicest guys ever.

6. They also have awesome fashion sense. The crafting skills that go into denim vests and patched pants is seriously impressive.

7. Also, they aren't scared to show a little personality with a bright red Hawaiian shirt or cut-off purple shorts. Comfort is key when you're playing this fast.

8. The vocal skills of singers in metal bands is mind-blowing. When I scream, I sound like a dying bear. When they "scream," it's melodic and captivating.

9. Being in a metal band is better than joining a gym. I wanted to get the bands water all the time. They rock out.

10. Standing by the speakers is comparative to sanding by a jackhammer. Your insides vibrate and it is weird.

11. Speaking of loud, ear-plugs are your friend. Don't be so cool you get tinnitus.

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