My First Death Metal Show

The scene outside Ossian Bar
The scene outside Ossian Bar

Awhile back, Martin had mentioned our friend David from Mexico went to rock concerts here in Medellin.

I enjoy live shows, and thought it would be fun to attend one with David since he seemed to be “in the know.”

I mentioned it to him a few weeks ago, and he began to forward me fliers for upcoming shows.  Shows with names like “Night of the Living Death.”

Clearly, these were not the kind of rock shows I was use to at home!  All the same, my curiosity was piqued and I decided to check one out.

I met up with David last Saturday afternoon, and we took the metro to Universidad de Antioquia.

It turned out the show would be at Ossian Bar, one of the little dive bars across the street from the main entrance to campus.  Not knowing the neighborhood or venue in advance, safety concerns were on my mind.

Once I realized where we were, I felt completely at ease.  In fact the dive bar was so small, there would be no room for physical slam dancing anyways.

Metal band
Metal band

David was excited, so we arrived at 6pm, the start time indicated on the flier.  Unfortunately, things often run behind schedule in Colombia.  We took a seat outside the venue at one of the little tables, and talked.

Iron Maiden songs were the only ones I recognized from the stereo as the first band set up.  As time went by, more and more black-clad metal heads arrived and milled about on the sidewalk.

In addition to my pale white, bald head and (beautiful) blue eyes, my red t-shirt and blue jeans must’ve made me stick out like a sore thumb, but no one seemed to care about my presence.

Poster for Festival de Metal Extrema
Poster for Festival de Metal Extrema

The entry fee was all of about $1.60.  Around 7 pm, the first band went on, and played some interesting music under a red light in the dimly lit bar.  David said it wasn’t death metal.  It was too slow.  I think he categorized it as “doom.”

One thing I learned from this experience was there are many more sub-genres to metal than I ever realized.  And the fact that the songs were in Spanish made no difference, given you could not distinguish words from the lead singer’s guttural vocals anyways.

After the opening band finished up, we got to talking again outside.  An hour passed, and eventually it was 9:15 pm, and due to a late bass player, there was no anticipated time for the second band to get started.

David was  little annoyed by the delay too, but much more invested in hearing death metal that night.  I, on the other hand, had a reggae band to catch up in Poblado at Casa Kiwi Hostel for Paul’s birthday, and decided to leave.

I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to see more, but maybe if I go again, I will arrive later to ensure an hour or two of the best bands of the night, instead of the reverse.

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