Last night was one of the best ideas I have ever heard of when it comes to local metal shows. It was a night where families were the focus. Instead of finding myself in the middle of a mosh pit, I was the center of a game of hide and go seek between two extremely young kids.
I go to all ages shows all the time but I’ve never been to an all ages show like last night. Like I said, families were the focus of the night. There was face painting being done by a local tattoo artist. Plates of kids meals containing hot dogs, french fries, and other kid friendly foods, were flying out of the kitchen. The bartenders were kept busy by the high demand of Shirley Temple drinks.
The music did not match the innocence of the event but I think that was part of the idea. Why hide your kids from good music just because it’s loud? I’m a firm believer in the idea that metal music is for people of all ages. My father never really tried to hide the world of metal music from me. He may not have understood why, at the age of twelve, I was listening to music with lyrics like “People = Shit” (Slipknot) but he didn’t question it too much. It was so nice to see other parents with the same mindset. They didn’t care that there was cursing in the music. They were right up front with their kids teaching them how to head-bang and how to hold up those devil fingers. It was by far one of the cutest things I have ever seen in my life.
I think last night was a great representation of how welcoming and friendly the metal scene, especially in Minnesota, can be. Parents were able to have a couple beers as their children ran around the open space. The parents didn’t seem too worried about their kids because they knew they were in a safe place. Random people were interacting with the little kids (and I mean freaking little like some kids were still in diapers) and keeping an on eye them. If one of them fell down, there were easily three random strangers helping that kid back up. It was just like a mosh pit at any of the other shows I go to only so much cuter as these kids were imitating whatever their parents or the rest of the crowd was doing.
Towards the end of the show, Nuisance (the headlining act and the organizers of the event) invited all of the kids up on stage. What a wonderful thing. I feel like metal music has this stigma attached to it that because it’s loud and aggressive music, the people are the same way. Now, I’m not saying that a metal show is the nicest or (physically) safest place to be. Yes, people get hurt. But the people in the metal scene are some of the nicest and most genuine people you will ever meet. These parents trusted their kids on stage with this band dressed up with scary face paint on, spikes in their clothing, giant black boots on, the whole nine yards. The kids weren’t scared. They were the children, nephews, nieces, of the band members. To them it wasn’t the singer of Nuisance, the local Minnesota metal band, it was just Uncle Vince.
The music last night could have been amazing had the sound been a bit more on point. Even with the terrible feedback and un-level levels, all of the bands did the best with what they were given. What was even better than the music was the interaction between the musicians and the children.
My Zero got the crowd laughing when they introduced a song as a “fast song for all of the kids with ADHD”. It was great to watch the kids jump around and bang their heads right next to their parents. The singer of Royal’z tried to get a high five out of the young girl being held by her mom in the front row but was greeted with some knuckles instead. After the bands were done, the members of the bands were swarmed by the young crowd. All of the kids wanted a drumstick, a pick, anything they could get their hands on. It was so heartwarming to see these musicians go with it. The musicians gave away damn near everything they could to these kids. The kids would walk away with the biggest smiles on their faces and go back to brag to their parents about how they just met a rock star.
Last night was completely different than anything I have ever been to. I found myself sipping on a Shirley Temple and playing hide and go seek with kids instead of drinking one too many beers and having to call my roommate for a ride home. It was such an amazing concept for a show and I truly hope it happens again.
Venue: Niesen’s Bar & Grill
Sausage Fest Meter- 0 out of 10
Broken Bones- None
Average Age- 6
Drink of Choice For The Crowd- Shirley Temples
Level of Moshing- None
Crowd Surfers- I saw some parents carrying their kids in the air like they were crowd surfing
Stage Divers- A couple kids were standing on the edge of the stage and would jump into their parent’s arms
Fights- I had to shove a 7 year old to get to my Shirley Temple… just kidding
Celebrity Sightings- The little kids were the celebrities of the night
Music Score- 6 out of 10
Overall Idea Of the Show Score- 1423 out of 10
Show On Deck- Lydia Can’t Breathe