My Facebook was blowing up. Apparently I had been banned from the Top Secret Metal Fest II. It was all in good fun. I had talked some shit to D.J. from Buried Above Ground. He’s the one that puts on this amazing local festival and he had decided to make it the same day as the Pizza Luce Block Party that I go to every year. I knew I was going to choose the metal fest but I had to give him a hard time. In return, he had plastered that I was “banned” from the show all over Facebook. I think some people thought he was serious but I knew better. I’m the Girl At The Rock Shows and he knew damn well I was coming to his show. You can’t ban me.

I preach this every time I go to a local show… the Minnesota Metal scene is truly the best on the planet and everyone in it is part of a big, weird, happy family.

Before I go any further, I don’t want to spend too much time explaining what exactly makes this show “top secret” but feel free to read my post from last year here: Shhhh… It’s A Secret. That explains just how this show works and why it’s called “top secret”.

I left Iowa at the ass crack of dawn just to get back to the Twin Cities in time to see this show. I literally drove straight to the venue. I didn’t go home to shower, still had yet to check in on my cats, literally drove from Des Moines, Iowa to the parking lot at Amsterdam in St. Paul. I was exhausted to say the least but the second I got into the venue, chugged a few Redbulls, and saw my friends, the lack of sleep over the past couple of nights went away.

The best thing about the Top Secret Metal Fest is that it is all local. Sure, there was one band from South Dakota (Wolf Skin) and one from central Wisconsin (Constance) but that’s okay… we gladly claim them as locals. The people that go to this festival are the people that you see at every other show that happens in the cities. They are people you know or at least people that you’ve seen. There was nothing fake about the handshakes or hugs that were happening yesterday. If you didn’t know the person you were hugging, they were genuinely happy to meet you. If you had only seen the person you were shaking hands with before, you now knew their first name and chances are you shared a drink with them last night.

There was nothing but smiles as the 17 local bands powered through their short sets. It was local music overload in the best possibly way. I think it’s great that we have such a strong scene where D.J. easily found damn near 20 local bands that were willing to play this show. This could easily turn into a multiple day thing if he wanted it to be just due to the shear amount of amazing bands that are up here in the Twin Cities.

Sure, I could sit here and talk about every single one of the bands but that’s not what yesterday was about. Yesterday wasn’t about what band sounded the best. It wasn’t about what band had the most energy. It wasn’t about who had a bigger crowd. It wasn’t about who was playing first vs. who was playing last. It was about all of us celebrating this great, amazing, scene as a family.

There were two stages set up in the venue that would alternate back and forth with bands playing on them. When one band would end on one of the stages, the whole crowd would migrate over to the other stage. It was a sight to see and more proof of just how great and supportive this scene is. You didn’t care who was playing next. You didn’t care if you knew one of the members or not. You went from stage to stage just having a great time and not wanting to miss a single band.

In order to determine the order of the last three bands, there was a chug off between a member of each of the bands. The crowd hollered as they three men chugged a plastic cup of beer down as fast as they could. It was a friendly rivalry and a perfect way to determine the line-up of the last three bands. There was no favoritism, no bias, just a clean, fair, and funny competition to watch.

Unfortunately, time had slipped away and the last band was cut off early as to get the minors out of the bar before curfew. It was a bummer and the crowd pleaded with the band to play one more song but rules are rules and it is what it is. The minors reluctantly left the venue as us old people took over to have one more beer and socialize for just a little bit longer.

Yesterday was about family… my family.

Sure, I could write about how I absolutely despise two of the bands that I saw yesterday. I could tell you what band I enjoyed the most and what band should probably just keep it in the garage but that’s not what yesterday was about.

I say this from the bottom of my heart, I truly love each and every single one of you idiots in this scene and am more than honored to call you my family.

I am more than honored to call this scene home.

Line Up:

Wolf Skin

More Weight



The Culture Of



Oklahoma Caddy Shack




Fail To Decay


Roads of Glass

Reaping Asmodeia

By The Thousands

Buried Above Ground

Venue: Amsterdam Bar & Hall

Sausage Fest Meter- 17 out of 10

Average Age of the Crowd- 22

Crowd Surfers- 0

Stage Divers-2

Moshability- High

Broken Bones- None Noticed

Drunkards Taken Out By Security- None Noticed

Shout Out #1- Haydin– Bill of Metalsota and I had the job of picking who was going hardest in the pit as the winner of a guitar. Unfortunately, because the show was cut off suddenly and Haydin was underage, he was unable to get the recognition he deserved. Haydin- you earned that guitar… keep on supporting this scene. We need more people like you!

Shout Out #2- D.J.– Even though you tried to ban me, what you made happen yesterday was nothing short of amazing. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to our family!

Celebrity Sightings- Everyone Who Is Anyone In This Scene Was There

Overall Score- 9 out of 10

Show on Deck- Gwen Stefani