Headbangers’ Brawl is a weekly column where Metal Insider’s contributors take a moment to debate and analyze two opposing sides of a topical issue occurring in the world of metal and/or the music industry.
By now, most fans have already heard the news that Metallica will be holding a two day festival in Atantic City, NJ this coming June. However, what came as more of a surprise to many was the actual lineup to the the Orion Music +More’s inaugural year. There are still plenty of acts that will still be confirmed for the “interactive” festival. So far, though, it’s looking more like an indie rock concert than what many would assume a “Metallica festival” would be, with Avenged Sevenfold, The Sword and Liturgy being the only ‘metal’ bands announced so far. With so much buzz surrounding Metallica’s choices for the bill so far, Bram, Zach, and Melissa decided to debate whether the Orion Music + More fest is worth going to or not.
Bram: I’m on Facebook, this crazy new social network. And when news of this came out, I couldn’t believe how many people were seriously butt-hurt about the lineup. First of all, they’re Metallica, and they’ve earned the right to do whatever the fuck they want. Have a problem with it? Sell 15 million albums and book your own damn festival. I’m oversimplifying it, and to a point I can understand why some people might be pissed, but there are a few things to keep in mind. It’s hard to say how much input Metallica truly had, but if they really did hand-select the lineup, then there’s nothing wrong with them putting some of their favorite bands on there. Also, Some people might be pissed about the likes of Modest Mouse and Cage the Elephant being among the bands playing, or maybe confused that they didn’t know some of the bands. But Fucked Up and A Place To Bury Strangers are both heavy bands that will probably pick up a few fans that had never heard of them before. And even a show that just had Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, The Sword and Liturgy performing is worth it. And there are still some bands yet to be added. Metalheads can hope that a few of them are metal.
Zach: My issue isn’t the fact that the bill lacks metal. I’m sure more heavier acts will be added to the lineup. And as an enormous fan of both Metallica and A7X, I am vveerryy tempted to shell out $150 to go to both days. However, this lineup still rubs me the wrong way. Metallica said that they wanted to create a “diverse” lineup for their own festival. Granted, I am not that familiar with half the acts on the bill, and Modest Mouse being on the same stage as A7X is pretty unusual. BUT it’s hard for me to call a lineup that’s basically Metallica with lots of indie rock and punk bands “diverse.” Again, there are still lots of bands that will be added, and maybe a few more odd choices will be included. But I am disappointed that so far Metallica really haven’t gone far out of their way to make their own festival as “diverse” as they say they want it to be.
Melissa: Look, I’m a metal chick. If I dish out my hard-earned bucks, I want the line up to be fucking stellar. Sure, there are some killer bands on the bill, but I’m not convinced that I want to wait in the heat and the crowd through Modest Mouse. I really like Gaslight Anthem, but I don’t want to see them open up for Metallica. Yes, we can go to the beach or gamble during their set, but why dish out the dough to walk out on parts of a festival? I made the comment on Facebook that if I wanted to see Metallica perform at a festival, I will dish out $1000 for a plane ticket to see them with a line up that consists of The Prodigy, Black Sabbath (most of them at least), Tenacious D, BLS and many others at the Download Festival. Yes, they are in my backyard, but if I went to Download, I get to see them play the Black Album, see my friends from around the world and hang out in the UK for a week.
I really believe the Metallica alienated their fans and commenting on this issue has been nothing but a pain in my ass. I have had nothing but people call me close-minded and stuck in my box. It’s my money, I choose to spend it on the entertainment that I think is worthy of my time. Leaving a festival between sets and to wait around for Metallica is not worth it to me. That $150 bucks are better spent somewhere else. Besides, it’s the same weekend of the Ministry reunion in New York. Bram, have a good time getting out there, waiting around and paying for $15 beers. I’ll hang out in the city, pregame with friends, and drink cheap whiskey afterwards.
B: I’d have to think some of your international friends might actually be in Atlantic City. I know a lot of Metallica die-hards will probably fly in for it. And sure, Download has some solid bands, but if you think you’re going to be sitting in rapt attention while You Me At Six, Terrorvision, Billy Talent and Chase and Status play, then you’re a better person than I. But forreals, I think paying $75/day to see an inaugural festival in a new setting that’s a short drive away is totally worth it, and I honestly think that if fans go into it with an open mind, they might find a few new bands to like. Except for Modest Mouse. I fucking hate them.
Z: Funny, cause I actually like Modest Mouse. Yeah, I said it! I also agree with Bram in that for the price it’s a pretty solid deal, and chances are I’ll discover some new music. I guess I just wish there was a little more to the lineup. And not necessarily more metal (though Sirius XM Liquid Metal DJ Jose Mangin’s daughter makes some good suggestions). I just feel that the lineup doesn’t equal to how big of a thing Metallica is trying to make. I don’t want to say it’s a lame lineup, but besides Metallica and A7X it doesn’t excite me either. But again, maybe a few more big names will be added soon.
M: You’re telling me to have an open mind and yet you still harp on Modest Mouse. I said I liked a lot of the bands on the bill, but I don’t want to see them at a show with Metallica. It’s not even about whether or not I’m closed minded, it just doesn’t make sense for me to pay $75 a day to skip 30% of the show! How about this, Bram. I will totally be more open minded- just buy my ticket and my beer. Cool? Thanks buddy!