I had not even heard of the band before my magazine called me to check if I could cover a couple of concerts this month. One was Akon, which yes, I had heard of. And the other was Cradle of Filth.
I’ve never been a metal head. I’ve heard and enjoyed some Iron Maiden but the closest I came to otherwise was borrow my brother’s Metallica tapes in high school. It isn’t particularly a genre of music I would load on my ipod but would perhaps enjoy hearing it at a… pub… for a while.
But a job’s a job and I was wondering how exactly to go about it, considering the event organizers in Bangalore were quite elusive and confusing. I researched the band and heard some of their music, and surprisingly, even liked a couple of songs. I interacted with the band, particularly Dani Filth, at the press conference and was looking forward to their music.
The lyrics, I was told, was inspired by 19th century poetry. Lemme be honest, I couldn’t decipher much when I heard the songs the first time… let alone realise that these were long songs. But the more I read of their songs, it really resembled poetry I used to read from the 19th century.
The band is supposed to be ‘satanic’ and their verses can be a little bloody. But then, they are metal and it suits them perfectly.
Which was why when I finally managed to find the venue for the concert, I was surprised to the see that the arrangements resembled something like what we’d have for a local band performing. The organizers did not particularly even want media coverage. I managed to convince them to let me take my camera inside… and unfortunately, the rain gods ruined my plans.
It poured. The skies cried for hours, soaking us to the bone. I started freezing midway and realised the only way I could enjoy the concert was if I got a little warmer. Of course, there were warmer clothes in the car, which was parked at a distance due to the aforementioned confusion of venue.
I trudged through wet roads, streams and pools and the moment I got dry, it stopped raining. Or mostly.
Rain suits a metal concert, I realised. It was my first metal concert. Actually, my first concert of any big band. I’ve attended solo, ‘dignified’ concerts of jazz and electronica but they are no where similar. Not even comparable.
The crowd was too little but the ones who were there were all clad in the metal uniform of black. The lights were bright and the sounds were strong. I was glad that the venue was small and the crowd was less… we could hear them and see them where we stood. The cameras were left in the car… and it continued to drizzle.
I’ve always believed that metal and rock concerts have an energy that is unmatched by any other. The previous week, Akon’s concert, which had easily three times the crowd simply could not match up to the reality of this one. The stage was better, the venue was bigger and so were the sounds but it all sounded so tinny in front of Cradle of Filth.
The band, to put it simply, blew me away. The energy, the aura, the company and yes, even the lyrics. People were headbanging, totally lost in the world. They were dancing… and more. It ended way too early… the cops believe that metal heads are trouble. I wish I could hear one more song. Or maybe two.