I’ve been going to metal nights at Idrabar every Sunday for the past few weeks. Metal nights in Jerusalem is not a usual occurrence, so whenever it does happen, I try to be there and support the scene.
Last night, there was another metal night. This time, it took place at Uganda. There were two live gigs aside from the metal that was spinning before, in between and after the shows. It was nice to see familiar faces. The scene is pretty small, so the people who show up are always the same and always know each other.
Jerusalem is not the kind of city you would expect there to be a metal night, so when you find yourself walking within the walls of the holy city and happen to catch the deep dark tones of heavy guitar and guttural growls emanating from some small venue that may very well feature the sign “abandon all hope ye who enter here” posted on the door, it pretty much blows you away.
However, simply stumbling upon a bar that just happens to feature some metal music on a particular night rarely ever happens in Jerusalem. So if it does happen, consider yourself lucky.
Personally, it took me quite a few years to find the small nucleus of the metal community in Jerusalem. At first, I was pretty sure it didn’t even exist. But then there was Scream bar, which I found out about through Facebook. I went there once or twice before they closed. Then I signed up to the Yellow Submarine mailing list hoping to catch one of their metal fests featuring local bands. That was until my email got phished and couldn’t be accessed anymore. And anyway, most of the people who attended these metal nights at the Submarine were Tel Avivians and my search for the elusive Jerusalemite metal community continued.
As luck would have it, I became involved with Jerusalem guys from the scene who I met online. The first introduced me to many of the metal bands I listen to today. The second, who is actually my boyfriend, introduced me to the Jerusalem metal community he was lucky enough to find. He also introduced me to bars that feature the most face-melting metal you can hope to find within the confines of this city. He also took me to European metal festivals, some of which I had heard of but never dared to so much as dream about going to. So yes, it took some time and required some special effort, but it was worth it.
For now, I have yet to find a riot grrrl community in Jerusalem, but as time goes on, it becomes less and less promising. And since the metal community contains an overwhelming majority of the testosterone variety, I feel the need to drag my current girlfriends to metal nights whether they like it or not. Yes it is a bit selfish, but being the only girl in a crowd full of dudes, makes me feel small and shoved to the sidelines.
So last night, I got my German friend to join me. I had a great time, and I think that she did too. The only problems were those that cannot be remedied on any metal night I go to:
1) The volume was beyond ear-perforating, so I had to scream during a conversation and lose my voice in the process.
2) There are two equally irritating sitting options: Option A is sitting outside the bar, feeling the frosty air of the Jerusalemite winter night penetrate deep into your bones; and option B is sitting inside and go back home smelling like an ashtray.
3) If you’re going to get smashed but don’t want to pay a ridiculous amount of cheddar to a sketchy taxi driver to drive you back home, make sure you leave the bar before the busses stop running; this means setting yourself a Cinderella curfew before the clock strikes midnight. Just don’t lose your shoes!
However, sacrificing your hearing, vocal chords, wonderful soapy aroma, and your chance for a state of inebriation is a small price to pay for those truly dedicated to the metal scene. So wherever they choose to stick us, as long as we have a place to congregate and enjoy wholesome extreme metal, we’ll be just fine and dandy.
Peace, love and \m/