Satanic metal heads and Christian scenesters butted heads in Irvine at the Sounds of the Underground Tour. Well renowned metal acts such as Shadows Fall joined headliners GWAR and Suicidal Tendencies for this annual concert showcasing the best in metal and hardcore music.
The crowd was surprisingly sparse, but perhaps most intriguing was the bizarre juxtaposition of adamantly Christian hardcore band, the Devil Wears Prada, against the concert’s sinister and evil metal acts. The band’s trademark breakdowns and hardcore dancing fans were loudly booed, and devil horns and middle fingers were waved as they preached about Jesus’ eternal love.
Though not Christian, several other scene bands took to the stage with an equal amount of booing and middle fingers. The Number 12 Looks Like You and Heavy Heavy Low Low both excelled with dynamic, energetic sets, but were dismissed by the majority of the audience.
As the show progressed, the polarized audience began to shift as older, more authentic metal bands took to the stage. Head bangers such as Darkest Hour and Shadows Fall pleased fans with their hard and refreshingly mature sounds.
Fighting back, Every Time I Die brought its trademark, breakdown-filled southern hardcore which filled the gap that divided the audience earlier. Headliner GWAR put on an outrageous show as usual consisting of enormous costumes and fire hose streams of blood. Suicidal Tendencies, a special guest headliner, turned out to be the real reason most fans came out.
In an event that could be viewed as a premonition, veteran metal acts effortlessly shut down young, teenage hardcore bands that have grown to epic popularity over the past few years. Coincidence? Only time will tell.