Worthy of at least three exclamation marks, as well as throwing the horns \m/ and gratuitous windmilling, Satanfest is an annual weekend festival of extreme metal held in New Zealand, and this year I was lucky because it happened in my town.
Live metal music really does stir the soul, and then it punctures your breast bone with sheer power and hammers you into the ground. High was my heart and brave my steps in the warm eventide of Beltane as I made my way into the seedy Embankment pub, my sinuses already fucked but my chest infection mostly under control. And it was all on
I will say something about going to gigs at my age. I go with people who say nah, I can't stay for the last set because I'm working in the morning, and I can only go on Sunday because the ex missus has the kids then. And we don't drink much, and we mostly lurk and listen, except for my excursions into the mosh pit.
I will say something about being sexually harassed in the mosh pit. That was of no moment, but what was more interesting was a young man standing beside me at the front by the stage. He looked concerned, and gestured to me to ask if I was OK. I gestured back that I was fine. Later he came over to me and said he was glad I was all right, that he had been worried I appeared unsafe, that there is too much of that sort of thing at metal gigs and it has to stop. Generally I have found metal heads to be nice young men and respectful of their elders.
On the second night I got knocked down in the mosh pit. A dozen hands reached down to pull me up. You really don't want to stay down in there. I noticed it was not just me - whenever anyone looked like they were in trouble, people helped out. Someone dropped a phone and someone else cleared a space so he could hold it up and find its owner.
The final act of the festival was Organectomy, a very competent local band. One of the vocalists, a lean young man with very long hair, took his shirt off. Several women at the front, where I was, began essentially to assault him. They reached out and touched him, and actually groped his buttock and poked fingers into his navel. He seemed to take it with humour. Being me, I wondered what he really thought. If he had been a woman, people would have seen that behaviour as sexist and entitled. Was he flattered? Was he disgusted? Was he annoyed?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylFU-4YA3ok for Organectomy, 'Beckoning the Horrors of the Depths'.
On the first night I went, the final act was Vargafrost, which was old school Norwegian style Black Metal with motifs so specific you can listen and call them out phrase by phrase - like, that is from Thorns' 'Aerie Descent', a weirdly influential track from 1992. Here is Vargafrost, the cover of their album Honour, Blood, Spirit and Love.
Naturally they come from Tasman, in New Zealand. Tasman does not look like their album cover. It looks like this:
And here are Vargafrost* in their natural habitat, feeling the stern wisdom of the Norse Gods as the chilly wind from the fjords freezes their bones to darkness, contemplating the rape of their noble heathen culture by evil Xtians and planning their next Pagan Black Metal attack on those soft souls not Tru to the Kult \m/ \m/. Because as you can see in Tasman there is absolutely fucking nothing to do, nothing at all, it just makes you want to slit your wrists with broken glass from the window of a VW Kombi
*Actually probably not Vargafrost. Probably just random tourists.