My Brief Trip Home

Hoho, I got you with the title, didn’t I? Bwahaha.. No, I didn’t actually return to California… but I did feel much more at home than I had so far during my stay in Germany!

In November, the night before I headed off to Berlin, I had the extreme pleasure of attending a concert in Stuttgart with a fellow SSU Seawolf from California and a good German friend of mine.

This concert featured two bands that I have been listening to since I was about 13: Finnish melodic death metal band Children of Bodom, and heavy metal band Lamb of God from Virginia, USA. Now, I am aware that most of my readers are not fans of metal, but chances are, each of you has a certain type of music (or maybe more than one) that just….feels right. The genre that pulses through your veins and gets your heart pumping just a little stronger, the music that resonates within your soul. For me, that is metal. It has always been my favorite genre, and I am almost always in the mood to listen to it.

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Children of Bodom singer Alexi Laiho. No, I did not take this photo.

I have been to lots of shows, mostly in the metal genre, but also all kinds of others: pop, punk, pop-punk, rap, goth, hardcore, ska, acoustic; you name it, I’ve probably checked it out. But there is nothing quite like a metal concert. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with how I feel about the music, but to me, the atmosphere is different.

When I am in a crowded room of metalheads, I feel like I am among friends. I don’t feel threatened, or like I have to keep checking my pockets, or like I should always know where my friends are. When I jump in the moshpit, I feel safe knowing that my fellow moshers (and those surrounding the pit as well) are ready to help me up or pull me out if necessary. There is a strong sense of camaraderie at most metal shows that keeps me going back, despite my disinterest in large crowds of people.

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Lamb of God bassist John Campbell and vocalist Randy Blythe. Nope, didn’t take this one either.

Walking through the venue, amongst all the black leather and long hair, I was suddenly whisked back to California. Although all of the conversations that I overheard were in German, as soon as the fog began to spread across the stage and the first chord was struck, we all spoke the same language.

Those of us who knew the lyrics sang along, and those who didn’t jammed out, banging heads and thrashing around to the skipping double bass and screaming guitar riffs. Both bands did a phenomenal job in my opinion, particularly because they both played songs that I know and love. I ignored my aching neck and the drops of sweat hitting my face, and my huge grin nearly split open my cheeks. Words can’t describe how full of emotion I was that night; it truly was one of my happiest moments here in Germany so far.

I forgot my US phone in the car, which is what I normally use to take photos, so I used my German phone. This thing probably has a 2MP camera, so the photos didn’t come out that great, but oh well! I’m posting them anyway. Enjoy!

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