My friend, Simon, invited me to watch the band he is in, Xile, (they’re from NZ) play on their Australia Tour in Brisbane.
Now I’ve been to a bunch of ‘heavy metal’ gigs in NZ… but nothing could have prepared me for this!
Xile have recently been picked up by a European record and this is their first tour outside New Zealand, next up will likely be Europe around September.
I wandered in, paid my $15 entry and made my room into a testosterone fueled room, full of guys in black singlets. Thank god I had changed into a black singlet and faux leather pants myself or I would have stuck out like a sore thumb. As it was, I was one of about four other chicks there and the only one wearing heels. Actually, the only one not wearing vans or runners in the entire place.
Simon ran over, said hi and was straight onstage to set up. Most of the guys there seemed to know each other and were chatting about… then the music started and they formed lines facing each other on each side of the room… when the music got heavy, they started this… I have no idea how to explain it… like air-fighting, running through each other?? They stomp and kick and punch but don’t touch each other and it creates this violent looking dance, that isn’t violent at all. Can you imagine just standing there and that starts?! It was the funniest thing. I almost thought a giant brawl was breaking out, but it was missing the aggression. They give each other a little tap or push back into the centre when they get too close to the people walls on the side. I was blown away! I had a big cheese on my face watching them, they were all having a blast and even the few chicks were getting in on it!
Xile were awesome, I have no idea how to describe metal so I won’t even start but my head was banging and my feet were tapping… and I felt like a teeny bopper imposter in this full on environment. A guy even crowd surfed at one point, they nailed the set.
After Xile had played, Simon and I went outside and I basically said ‘what the f#%k was that?! That violent, non violent warrior dancing thingymajig in the middle?! You could have warned me!’ Apparently it’s called, throwing down and is the best thing a hardcore band can hope to happen at a gig!
So, according to Urban Dictionary, ‘hardcore dancing and throwing down refers to the dance that hardcore or scene kids do at hardcore shows. The time you throwdown is during the breakdown of the song. Two-stepping is done at the two-step of the song. There are many variations of throwing down; the windmill, spin kick, picking up pennies, floor punch, etc. The difference between throwing down and moshing is that you DON’T HIT EACH OTHER. It is usually non-violent.’ Well there you go.
We went back inside and watched more throwing down while the other bands played.
A guy accidentally fell on me and I fell on the aircon. I have some epic war bruises on my thigh and arm. Kind of looks like a golf ball is trying to escape my thigh today – good story though!
The thing that struck me the most about the entire night was how accepting and non judgemental everyone was. The guys were encouraging and kind and gentle while throwing down. To look at, these guys could be taken as a bit rough or intimidating. They’re dressed all in black band gear, covered in tats and lots of long hair, piercings etc, then they all look after each other and encourage each other to let loose in the middle – it was rad to witness.
Don’t judge a book by its cover folks!
If you ever get the chance to watch hardcore, go for it! I loved the energy in the room from the throwing down and I guess I’ve always liked that kind of music anyway. Cool experience!
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