Full Metal Racket 

Headbanging and bowl-hugging at the Gigantour.

My experiences with heavy metal are as follows (crickets chirping, tumbleweeds blowing in the breeze) … I had a Metallica poster on my wall in seventh grade. Does that count?


So last week’s Gigantour was to be my grand awakening into the world of all things Metal.


The weather had won, pouring down cold sheets of rain on Friday, Sept. 15, so the multiband fest was moved from its original outdoor location at the Usana Amphitheater indoors to the E Center. Hey, still West Valley City; still metal.


Once I arrived inside, my initial impression after looking at a Rocker Dude'who had quite possibly gotten in a fight not 20 minutes earlier'and hearing people hurling insults at security, was that I’d stepped right into an episode of Cops. With a lot more hair. So much hair.


The first band I witnessed was Sweden’s Arch Enemy. They had a female singer who walked like a man and sang like the spawn of demons. But then in a sweet, chirpy voice that could bake cookies, between songs would say, “Hey, thanks for coming out!” I liked them, mostly for the fact that they had a hot woman in the band, and that could she only be from Viking country to make that kind of noise.


Shortly (Minutes! Impressive) after Arch Enemy came Opeth, the only band of the night I was actually familiar with. They did some of their shredder songs but then announced they had to play a slow ballad to ensure they were getting laid that night. These were the songs I actually enjoyed the most'even more so watching the kids in the mosh pit circling each other like vultures, waiting for it to pick up. Which for the next seven to eight minutes of the song, it didn’t. Trying to show off my vast Opeth knowledge, I turned to my friend and said, “Are these guys from Australia?” Which resulted in gales of laughter followed by, “Close, very close. They’re from Sweden.”


While waiting on Lamb of God (not Swedish, but Virginian), it became apparent that they were to be the Main Attraction. I heard several people around me saying how bored they were with the other bands and that they were only there for Lamb of God. My curiosity was piqued.


Once Lamb of God took the stage, it was a cue for every male at the concert to either hit something, take their shirts off, or both. I really did try to give the band a chance, but it was so much Pantera-meets-the-testosterone-that-only-puberty-stricken-boys-could-love. It also seemed as though the singer knew only four words of the English language: Salt! Lake! City! and F'k! Not only that, he could only use them in the most metal of voices, which completely diminished my capacity to take them seriously. I giggled throughout Lamb of God’s entire set while everyone around me rocked so hard that I just knew their necks would be sore the next day.


A stomach full of food, beer and metal led to my unfortunate bout with the hiccups, right about the time that Megadeth was slated to rock. My most non-metal moment of the night (or most metal, depending on whom you ask) was spent doubled-over in the bathroom of the E Center throwing up my dinner for about the first 20 minutes of Megadeth. Not wanting to miss them entirely, I finally made my way out to the floor again and caught some pyrotechnics to rival Great White ... never mind, bad form.


Still feeling the wrath of my never-ending rock hiccups, we decided it was time to bail out on the show a bit early'if only to fit in with the other fleeing headbangers who’d just come for Lamb of God.


I’m thinking about getting a metal stomach. It’ll be a risky operation but worth it.

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