Nick Hughes

Opinion Editor

The metal show I attended this past weekend exemplified awesome in every sense of the word. I loved every second that I attended, but there was a catch. Not attending the whole concert due to sensory overload. This happened halfway into the concert and I left the concert venue.

The concert in question was the Judiciary, Necrot, Gatecreeper and Exhumed show at the Chameleon Club on Friday night this past weekend. I love all four of these bands but after the Necrot set, I had to leave for my own sanity. The mosh pit for part of the Necrot set is where I was. For those who do not know, a mosh pit is an area in the crowd that will pop up where fans ‘dance’ to the music. This dance usually involves punching and kicking and flailing around to the music. Most of the time it is a lot of shoving and pushing that is never mean in nature.

I reviewed the concert for the features section and like I said in that section review, I loved the entirety of the set I was able to attend. A good, foot-sized bruise later and I left the pit and continued to watch the show. I started to feel a strong pressure in my chest and I knew that I was going to have a panic attack. Trying to power through the panic attack served me well and watched the rest of the Necrot set. I was able to buy a t-shirt as well. I shook the lead singer’s hand and congratulated him on a great set.

My senses?

My friend that was with me during the concert left with a slight black eye and noticed that I was uncomfortable after the Necrot set. I told him that I had to get outside and we left the concert. My overloaded senses got to me at this point and I needed to lower the stimulation that I was feeling. It has happened before at different concerts that I have been to and I am not surprised that it happened but I am saddened that it did. If my readers are unaware, I am autistic and I am a mental health advocate for that condition.

What I am most proud of is that I am able to go to concerts now. Five years ago this would not have even been a possibility. I had many fears of people and crowds all tied to my autism. My sensory overload was a daily issue and, while I loved metal back then as well, I never had a sense of wanting to go to a concert. I am impressed with my growth over the past five years and I have increased my social threshold so much. Autism is hard to deal with and it is a daily struggle that confident with my ability to deal with autism and all my issues now.

The metal Conclusion?

The main facet of my own mind that I need to stay mindful of is that I have limits and to stay aware of those limits. That is true of everyone and I find that this experience is and will continue to be a great learning experience for me. I am striving to better my mental well-being and I hope that this concert was a way for me to continue that trend.