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Love the band, hate the fans

Shirt by Affliction

Do you ever love a band, but hate its fans?

If so, is there self-hate involved, since you’re a fan also?

Recently I was walking and passed by fans exiting a Lamb of God show: dozens of young men with Affliction t-shirts and no necks. I shuddered and thought, “Man, I’m glad I wasn’t there.” Which is unfortunate, as I actually like Lamb of God. Then I shuddered at another thought. As a fellow fan, am I really like them? Am I somehow at heart a neck-less, Affliction-wearing young man?

Given Lamb of God’s popularity, their fans are actually probably quite diverse. More power to LoG, that they can bring otherwise unconnected people together under one roof. How much should we be around people who are like us, anyway? Maryland Deathfest (review here) was a fun immersion in a world of metalheads. But I’m glad it ended. A world full of people in agreement is a boring one.

Henry Rollins has a good story about seeing the reunited Van Halen with David Lee Roth. He’s a big fan, but so are many others, literally. He makes fun of their obesity and their Velveeta-smothered snacks. Yet he’s singing along and having a great old time. He isn’t insecure about hipsters or fat people or Affliction-wearing people liking the same music he does. Maybe it really is just about the music.

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