November 27, 2001
POD : New York Hammerstein Ballroom
Say 'konnichi-wa' to bubblegum pop-metal...
I like Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, System Of A Down, Alien Ant Farm, POD and all those other shitty pop-metal bands. They're good, bubblegum music for kids.
When I watch them I pretend I live in Japan and I'm watching a Far Eastern parody of American culture. Try it. Once you realise they deserve as much rock'n'roll credence as Japanese punk rockers Guitar Wolf, going to
their shows becomes pure joy.
When confirmed Christian and POD frontman Sonny came out on the stage and started the show with "I'm an outkast but don't count me out", it was fun to go "yeahhhh" over the intro riffs of their hit single 'Outkast' - really fun. The pit was filled with every teenager there is: from crusty ravers to punks with red mohawks. There were straight-edge jocks pounding their heads and there were preppy high school kids sitting at the back. Everyone was there to rock out to a band whose name is an acronym for Payable On Death. A shout out to judgment day when all those who haven't accepted Christ as their saviour will be sent to a lake of fire where their pain will never cease. Ohhhh kaaaye.
The point is, it didn't matter how completely absurd this show was. It didn't matter how totally un-metal, un-punk and basically un-cool everyone around me was. The songs were tight and hard and everyone was having a great time. It was like a surreal version of a Bad Brains show. A Japanese Bad Brains, if you will.
When 'Alive' came on, the crowd was singing so loud they drowned out the band. I was next to guys in tattoos and shaved heads singing, "Now that I know you I could never turn my back away/Now that I see you I believe no matter what they say/Now I feel so alive/For the very first time/I can't deny you".
It could be a sign that irony is finally over. It could be the fact that post-terrorist New Yorkers are up for anything. It could be that God is an amazing guy and he deserves stagedives in his name.
All I know is, going to the wussiest show I've been to in years, ended up being a total fucking blast.
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