DOs and DONTs at the Big 4 Festival
|Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly|
While the ninnies in your life will warn you that the punishing (yet cathartic) volume of each band is hazardous to your health, the real drawbacks to the Big Four Festival lurk elsewhere.
Before you head to Indio, make sure to read our list of Dos and Donts to ensure you have the best time possible.
7. DON'T get too close to the old-timers
Each band has been around since the early '80s and by now has fans scraping the 50- and even 60 year-old mark. That means thousands of well-meaning but intrusive codgers will try to corner you with tales of awesome old concerts and their exploits before, during, and after.
Care to know what a self-proclaimed "roadie from back in the day" did with a bottle of Jack, a box of Roman candles and a one-armed stripper after a 1991 Megadeth show?
We didn't think so.
For maximum enjoyment on Saturday, let history be history and gaze upon the bands in the present tense. Thanks to rehab, arthritis medication and highly paid vocal coaches, they all still sound pretty good.
At the same time . . .
6. DON'T disregard the past altogether
There's a reason the elder fans are nuts about the old records and a little miffed by newer material from the Big Four.
Take Metallica, for example. While they still have a killer live sound well into their fourth decade, offstage, they've become the kind of guys their younger incarnations would have punished with wedgies, swirlies and unprovoked beatdowns.
Don't believe us? Then you obviously forgot about this picture.
Just because we don't want to hear your tall tales about snorting coke with Lars Ulrich in 1989 doesn't mean we're unimpressed you preserved your And Justice for All T-shirt from the same year.
Actually, we're a little unnerved you held on to your T-shirt that long, but we are impressed nonetheless.
4. DON'T wear ear plugs . . .
. . . unless you secure a spot near the stage or directly beneath Slayer's mountain of Marshall amps. Yeah, yeah, we know how important it is to preserve your hearing, but if you end up thousands of feet from the stage, you can leave the ear plugs at home--especially if they're the high-tech ones that look alarmingly like sex toys.
Nonetheless . . .
3. DO wear sunscreen
It is an outdoor festival, and the sun will be as unrelenting as Slayer's kick drum. Slather it on until nightfall because sunburns are painful and make you look like a hillbilly.
2. DON'T be a hero
As with all festivals, some random guy is going to get too high or drunk and collapse, writhing in the grass like an alien is about to burst from his chest.
Aside from calling for help, do not intervene, even if you are a doctor. On Saturday, you will be a metalhead first, and your Hippocratic Oath will be superseded by the oath you made to Scott Ian and the other guys in Anthrax back in junior high school.
1. DON'T pack a vegan or macrobiotic lunch
We don't care about your dietary needs and preferences--this is a metal festival. The food allergies you exaggerate to get attention won't be tolerated Saturday.
No one's asking you to amputate your own arm, just to give the whole "I'll end up in the hospital if I eat wheat or chicken" bullshit a rest. Coachella was last week.