Saturday, September 28, 2013


When I got to the stage I took a look around. Every single piece of equipment on that stage was covered in plastic. Every inch of speaker, mic, amp, and soundboard was taped up, and even the camera that was going to be used to record the show was wearing a plastic raincoat.

A few girls in the crowd who were near the front had their own plastic ponchos, and as the crowd started to fill out more and more people packed in wearing white T-shirts.

I moved into a nice location that I hoped would keep me from getting coated in blood but would allow me a good view of the stage. From where I was standing I watched as the sun in Chicago magically set, sending the park into a sudden twilight darkness illuminated by stage lights. Suddenly a gigantic gimp wandered on to center stage.

The gimp was holding a ridiculous (bulbous?) woman’s body, which looked in some ways like the Venus of Willendorf, a bit of a stump, recognizably female, but with no real head or arms or legs. The gimp then proceeded to rip it in half and spray the audience with the first jets of blood that would eventually coat the audience. The crowd erupted in frenzied screams and surged forward to get caught up in the soak. I edged back just slightly, trying to stay out of the direct spray, as I did have to work on Monday and I was not sure exactly how lasting that was going to be.

Shortly after the stump was bled dry, another imp snuck up behind the gimp and promptly beheaded him, around the same time as the band took stage, so that the first song was thrashed out along to the dancing, bobbing, and swaying of a headless gimp spraying the audience with blood gushing from his artery.

The crowd loved it.

This was followed by a few more songs and the announcement of the band. The leader, Demon from hell the first, wore very realistic make up, and was sporting a gigantic erection as he thrashed along with the guitar, his demon spawn wings pinched and rotting around his shoulders. The other members of the band wore little more than thongs or leather chaps, also with their own masks, and they all thrashed away.

The second part of the act was the onstage sacrifice of a priest. This is part of a regular routine, where a familiar cast of characters are paraded on stage for some conversation with the lead singing Demon, where after saying something untoward to the Demon (or in some cases just because) they are promptly disemboweled, spraying the audience with gore and blood.

The priest was ritually disemboweled and the crowd laughed and cheered and swooned. After the second song, as the character finished his bleeding-out routine, the Demon noted that there was not much real rioting going on at Riot Fest, but maybe they could fix it. This went on with another round of smashing songs, and suddenly the crowd waved and I could see the mosh pit that had opened up behind me. A large circle cleared out by riot boys throwing themselves at each other, some throwing knuckles, others just running and jumping at each other, all eventually falling backward into the group that ringed the edge of the pit, some who were less amused than others. One poor girl kept getting smashed into by disoriented moshers, and she reacted by violently throwing and kicking them back into the pit, while still not jumping in herself. To my amusement, in the middle of the mosh pit, there was one man who stood out. He gently swayed to the death metal coming off the stage as if it were the music of Sinatra, not the music of the damned, in a three-piece white suit, with a pink shirt.

As the mosh pit started to engulf more of the crowd and the blood flew off the stage (they had just sacrificed Queen Elizabeth and the new baby prince, swinging the corpse around like a bloody bolo) I moved to get out of the crowd and head over to see Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

I overheard from the stage as I was working my way out of the crowd, and managed to catch a glimpse on the big screen, of the lead Demon saying “Would you like us to recreate the cruxification for you? Would you like us to sacrifice Jesus Christ for your amusement?” The crowd screamed. I just laughed. It was so ridiculous it was hard not to laugh.

No comments: