Wednesday, January 12, 2011

TRV METAL HISTORY: Venue Patrons Take a Seat for Sonic Syndicate

The day was the first of December in 2007. The place: The Palladium Nightclub in Worcester, Massachusetts. The headlining act was Amon Amarth, and their appropriate fan base filled the venue with a sea of scraggly hair and unkempt beards. We stood and conversed loudly and proudly amongst ourselves, sharing stories of concerts past, while we eagerly awaited the opening act to take stage and give us a sufficient appetizer before our main metal course.

The classic rock background music was abruptly silenced, and the crowd began to clap and cheer with excitement. Even if this was just the opening act, we paid to see some live metal, and the more of it the merrier. The first time I ever saw the name "Sonic Syndicate" in my life, was when I took a look at my ticket stub after I bought it and walked into the venue. It was a really stupid name, but I'm not one to judge a book by its title. I had literally no idea coming in to this what I was in for. When I saw the mutual look of horror that spread across the concert-goers' faces when the band members took the stage, I imagine that was the case for everyone else there.

We were greeted with guy-liner, skunk hairdos and tight muscle shirts. I was convinced that somebody had kidnapped the opening act for the Amon Amarth show and replaced them with a Swedish version of Bleeding Through to play a prank on us. This was the wussiest batch of screamo music I had ever witnessed at a metal show... and I've been to Ozzfest before. When the singer crooned their first clean chorus, I couldn't help but cringe. I thought there would be a riot. We were Amon Amarth fans standing here having to watch this. Who could be responsible for such a horrible mix up?

Truthfully, this kind of thing has been an ongoing problem at metal shows ever since metalcore and all its sub-genres first came out of the closet. I don't know who isn't getting the hint, but Bullet for my Valentine is not someone you should have open for Iron Maiden. Nor is Emmure a band you should have open for Motorhead. (I wouldn't have been able to make that last one up if I didn't see it happen in person.) Some of these band lineups they have going on tour with one another are like a bad joke, and its only getting worse. Marilyn Manson and Slayer? I'm sure those fans got along great.

So there we were, the truest fans of our kind face to face with the falsest of the false. This was a nightmare. Fans booed and threw up middle fingers as high as they could be stuck, there were even demands for the chick bassist to show us the goods. No matter what, the message just wasn't getting sent to these jerkoffs. They were up there prancing around, playing their fairy breakup music, like we didn't even exist or matter to them. We had to do something drastic to get these pillow biters off the stage and fast...

I'm probably in this photo somewhere. Probably.
Then I saw him: a bright-eyed young man in the crowd, trying to get everybody's attention. His voice just wasn't able to cut through the garbage that was blaring through the massive PA system, and I did the best I could to read his lips and figure out his hand motions. "Everybody SIT DOWN." It was brilliant in its simplicity. I couldn't think of any better way to disrespect a rock band more than to not even bother remaining standing for their performance. Immediately, I turned to the disgruntled metal fans and the friends I came with around me, and repeated his orders as loud as I could. I shouted for everybody to sit the hell down, and without missing a beat, planted my ass on the cold concrete floor. Four or five people in the crowd were happy to follow. Then nine or ten. Suddenly, we had the majority of the venue sitting down during the remainder of Sonic Syndicate's set. We were staging a big, fat, lazy revolt.

Sonic Syndicate tried to remain professional and continue playing, (God bless 'em,) but with our display of such overwhelming defiance against them, they couldn't help but falter. They missed beats, their voices cracked, they stumbled with lyrics. Lead singer Richard Sjunnesson then proceeded to tell us to go take our fat American asses to Quizno's and eat some sandwiches in the best English that he could muster, before storming off the stage in a huff. They may have played all of the songs in their set; they may not have. Regardless, this victory was ours, even if the only thing we got out of it was that Sonic Syndicate had slight feelings of regret for touring with a band as supremely metal as Amon Amarth. We can only hope...

Did we hurt your feelings? WRITE A SONG ABOUT IT.

So if you find yourselves paying to see a genuine metal show, and the opening act they offer you is some wussy buttcore that gives your genre a bad name, don't start throwing bottles, that will only get you ejected, or the lead singer will call you out in front of everyone. (After all, it's easy to act tough when you're standing on top of a stage that's behind a guard rail and a group of bouncers). Just brush off that concrete floor, check twice for vomit and have yourself a seat.

Who says protest can't be civil?

All photographs credited to


  1. They deserved that for making shit music

  2. That was awesome. I never heard anyone yell sit down, I just did it before anyone started because I was bored and their music sucked and I was tired of standing around listening to that shit. I also vividly remember giving the bird, prompting most of those around us to do the same.

  3. FromtheDeep9991/13/2011 4:23 PM

    I dont remember the yell either, but i do remember the unison chant of 'FUCK YOU!'While repeatedly flipping them off. Good times, good times.

  4. The only people who were standing were the guys waltzing with each other and the guy at the stage hitting on the female guitarist. It may be one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

  5. KiteHellScream5/16/2011 2:06 PM

    Did we hurt your feelings? WRITE A SONG ABOUT IT.

    I think they read this...

  6. LOL has anyone seen their latest excuse for a "metal" song? This song makes their other stuff sound like grindcore.

  7. Oh man i would really like to know if they did finish the set, and maybe some video footage of to youtube. It's sad when there are local bands you know would melt these mallcore bands faces off, but yet they get to open for the heavyweights.

  8. they have nothing to do with melodic death metal. they're making such a great genre look awful. can't even believe they're from Sweden.

  9. This...This is just beautiful. There needs to be a sign at all gigs saying "In case of shitty Mallcore band, sit the fuck down"

  10. Dude, I probably am the only Sonic Syndicate/The Unguided fan here, and I understand it must suck having to listen to something you don't like while waiting for your favorite band (all the proper respect to Amon Amarth), and I do agree it was someone's big mistake in placing together two completely different genres.
    But one thing is protesting against something you don't like, (sitting down, which is even badass), and other thing is being assholes.
    This will probably get me called names like a fairy or something. Still, I don't care, you had the chance to watch one of my favorite bands live (before they went downhill and like a Phoenix rose again as The Unguided), and I may never be able to see one of their shows.


All readers that post under the name "Anonymous" and are too frail and weak to represent themselves properly with a title, shall be deemed false metal poseurs for the remainder of their pitiful existence.