Love them or hate them, heavy metal bands are evidently a high commodity item here in Nashville, as proven last night when Asking Alexandria tore down the house at Nashville’s historic and absolutely breathtaking War Memorial Auditorium (WMA).
It was my first time at the gorgeous WMA (at least since I was a teenager) and only my second time at a heavy metal concert in general, and you know, though I wouldn’t ever be inclined to buy a CD or play this genre on a regular basis, I couldn’t have had more fun than I did last night, partying with a bunch of young – and a few not so young - death metal lovers.
I guess open mindedness is one of the characteristics I am most proud of owning; I’m not afraid to try new foods, places, adventures or music genres, so here I am, at 57 years old, dressed in my crazy wild leggings, sturdy combat boots and fur-collared ankle length duster, hanging with the best of them, at one of the coolest venues I’ve ever seen, rocking to some pretty good music, though very different from my norm.
Traveling with the Nashville concert headliner Asking Alexandria are Emmure (whom I saw last year at Municipal Auditorium with Five Finger Death Punch and Trivium), Christian band For Today, SevenDust and All That Remains. For what it’s worth, my favorite band of the whole night was SevenDust; the music seemed more melodic and made more sense to my heavy-metal-illiterate brain. But to me, the stand-out of the entire evening was the bassist from All That Remains, Jeanne Sagan. That chick (what else can you call a way cool woman in a metal band?) was undeniably a killer entertainer. Handling the bass like any pro you've ever seen, the woman with the rock worthy demeanor has the voice of an angel. Yea, she could throw down on some deep gruff vocal parts, but when she sang harmony, her soprano voice was outstanding.
A lot of us have the image of a death metal or heavy metal concert being an orgy of violence and drugs, with people throwing each other around in the pit, pushing, shoving and carrying one another overhead to the stage. And that IS what goes on (the pit action, NOT the orgy of violence and drugs part), but it is like an impromptu yet strangely choreographed-like performance in itself; the very passive rocker fans do indeed run in circles, shouldering one another to the side, but it’s done as in a synchronized dance movement and all with a camaraderie that's impressive to witness. Yes, some people better at the "pit dance" than others, indeed, like on any dance floor, but that’s really all it is – a dance, a strangely beautiful and peaceful means to express love for the music being performed.
Music and floor entertainment aside, I found myself in awe of this entertainment venue. WMA is plenty large, yet intimate, not a bad seat in the house as far as I could see, acoustics to rival Schermerhorn and architectural photo opps worth making an early arrival to the venue a top priority.
I totally recommend checking Nashville’s historic War Memorial Auditorium out, I know I plan on being a regular from now on; WMA (wmarocks.com) has an impressive season underway including the upcoming concerts: