Taste of Chaos, metallic and gritty

Mary-Alex Andrusco

Like moths to the flame, Crowds drew to the Taste of Chaos tour stage, in Long Beach last Thursday, in search of heavy metal. Roadies and technicians, complete with all-access passes dangling from their necks or back pockets, positioned microphones and tested equipment for optimal quality as the crowd gradually formed on the floor and above in the stadium seats.

Women and men of various ages stood close enough to fuse together while pushing toward the main stage. A lucky few pushed their way through the crowd to a position behind and against the black cold metal barrier keeping them two feet from the stage. They rested their arms uncomfortably atop the hard black metal railing, fighting for elbow room with strangers.

Some in the audience stood motionless as they listened, others clung to their camera phones trying desperately to capture images of their favorite metal bands. Still others stood with hands raised and mouths wide screaming along with the music.

Dredg was welcomed to the main stage by muffled chanting that became familiar only after more of the audience joined in. Dredg brought an eccentric approach to the arena with their use of instruments uncharacteristic to the genre such as the trumpet and steel guitar.

A small opening emerged in the audience during As I Lay Dying’s set much like a tornado, yet while some audience members retreated, others accepted it with erratic dance moves and took their chances inside. A triumphant roar escaped from the audience when the band announced they would be playing “94 Hours” from their 2003 album “Frail Words Collapse.” The band brought intense energy to the stage that continually increased through the night as headlining bands performed.

Veteran Atreyu fans were treated to the familiar sounds of the band’s older albums, even with the release of a new album one week prior to the concert. The drummer sat on a raised platform significantly higher than the rest of the stage which emphasized his drumming and vocal contributions.

Absurd carnival type music flooded the speakers before the headlining band, the Deftones, took the stage. The audience became restless swaying toward and away from the stage like a single organism. When the band took the stage the audience erupted in screams with fists raised. The singer was less then graceful as he knocked over the drummer’s microphone stand while jumping around the stage.

Mary-Alex Andrusco can be reached at ane@sundial.csun.edu.