Although I’m a fan of many genres, anyone who knows me will know that pop music is the one that takes priority in my day to day listening habits, along with my huge soft spot for boy bands. Show me good haircuts and a catchy chorus and you can guarantee I’ll be into it. However, while at Reading Festival, my Editor Chris thought it would be fun for me to watch The Dillinger Escape Plan to experience something totally opposite to what I’m used to. With an unsurprising lack of boybands on the line-up, I thought why not? Maybe I’ll find a whole new genre of music to enjoy.
So there I was, stood side of the stage of The Pit, ready for my very first metalcore/ mathcore (which I think sounds like something the gifted kids at school had to study) experience. As someone who has two copies of the McBusted album on iTunes, it’s fair to say I was feeling a little bit out of my comfort zone.
As the band came on stage, the crowd barely had time to cheer and clap before they began their first song, going from 0 to 100mph in about three seconds. Fortunately, I remembered my earplugs, but the noise was still pretty deafening – yes, I realise that sentence makes me sound 85. On an already sweltering evening, the band thrashed around the stage like their lives depended on it. Gone were the carefully rehearsed dance moves, Busted jumps, and dramatic hand movements I’m used to. For the first time in my life, I witnessed more screaming on stage than from the audience. It wasn’t long before they were picking up amps just to throw them down again, swinging guitars around their heads and jumping off platforms – I genuinely felt like I needed 999 on speed dial. That night I witnessed vocalist Greg Puciato kick a bottle of water at a girl and then wink at her. I suppose this could appear a charming gesture to some, but I think I’d still prefer a cheeky wink from Liam Payne without a bottle to the face instead. The fact there were five band members is where any similarity to One Direction ended, and even that isn’t technically correct anymore – RIP Zayn. Another thing I noticed about Greg was that he was wearing an extremely long t-shirt over his jeans, a bit like JLS used to do back in the day. Proof that terrible fashion isn’t always genre specific!
At live shows I usually frequent; I’m used to drinking a few ciders and singing my heart out to whatever pop bangers. Watching The Dillinger Escape Plan, I genuinely had no idea what was happening for 90% of the time. The screaming and shouting were absolutely impossible to understand, meaning any hope of trying to sing-a-long was swiftly thrown out the window. If there hadn’t been a slight pause between songs, my delicate pop-trained ears would never have known when one song ended and the next begun.
Having said all that, although I don’t think it will ever be a genre I enjoy or understand why anyone else can either – it was evident how fanatical the band were about what they were doing, and so were the crowd. And it’s that which makes music so brilliant; it brings people together because of their one shared passion, even if that passion is ridiculously loud screaming and throwing stuff at each other.
While I won’t be first in the queue to watch any such genre again anytime soon, my ears are still recovering, for one, I’m glad I could experience the polar opposite of pop music for one night. Now, where did I leave my McFly CDs?
Photo Credit: Jessica Bridgeman – Twitter / Instagram