Confessions of a Pulp Summer Slam First Timer

The Pulp Summer Slam XIX was the first time I ever attended a hard metal rock concert in my entire life. While I had a great time at Rakrakan Festival and Dutdutan Festival’s annual convention, this is the first time I was brought together with hardcore metal heads at such a huge event.

To be honest, I had no idea what to expect. The only thing I thought of was that I would see some extravagant Japanese rock costumes at the venue. Of course, I was wrong. What was I thinking? I was going to Pulp Summer Slam, not a cosplay convention. Upon entering the venue, I was culture-shocked to see a literal sea of black in an overwhelmingly huge open space. This was my first time at Amoranto Stadium, too, and I was happily greeted by warm smiles by the metalheads that I bumped into.

One of the first things that I noticed was how they started on time. I have no idea what band was playing on stage when I got there, but I am 101% sure that they were following their lineup. I found this impressive because I’m used to concerts starting quite late despite sending out a lineup schedule.

What impressed me the most, though, is how organized everything was. You’d know at one glance where the food booths are, where to get some beer, and where to hang out. You could easily see where the emergency exits were and where the restrooms were. The general admission area wasn’t as chaotic as the usual scenario during rock concerts, either. Foreigners were having so much fun, and you could definitely see it on their faces.

The VIP area, of course, had a great view of the artists; but even the gen ad area got a great view of the performances. I expected to see a mosh pit and other random ‘slaman’ moments during the event, but I never felt safer than ever. I’m usually scared of being near a mosh pit during these kinds of concerts; but in this case, I gladly watched right at the circle while everyone was enjoying the pit and jiving to the music of the performers.

Truth be told, I didn’t know a single band that performed at Pulp Summer Slam XIX (except for Slayer, of course); but despite having zero knowledge about metal music, I can honestly say that I truly enjoyed hanging out at the Slam. Everyone was so friendly and funny, especially during those crowd surfing moments and during break times. You could see how fun metalheads are to be with and it definitely broke the stereotype that most people have about them.

It’s actually funny when I hear comments from people older than me at music festivals looking at rockers or “rakers” (how I fondly call them) saying that they are calling demons, or that they are mostly tambays or don’t know what they are doing with their lives. Some even say that most of them are bad people. However, I’ve been to several rock concerts/events by now; and being here in Pulp Summer Slam, I can say that they are none of those things. These rakers are actually fun to be with and they know what they are doing. They are simply enjoying their music and expressing themselves by moving freely with the beats of metal music.

I am a person who simply loves music. I love any genre from old classic music to pop music and now, I am having fun discovering this genre that they call metal rock. It doesn’t just teach me to appreciate a wider scope of music, but also to get to know the people who enjoy this kind of art. If you’re gonna ask me if I’d like to join Pulp Summer Slam again next year, I would proudly say YES!

For someone who isn’t really a metal head and just wants to discover new kinds of music, I am pretty lucky to have witnessed Slayer perform live for the last time here in Manila. I now understand what the rave is all about. My jaw literally dropped during their performance. From the extravagant production to the energy of the band members, everything was worth it. I was astounded by the fire effects that they had on stage and the changing of their backdrops, as well; it was all so dramatic. It felt like I was watching a legit rock concert in another country; I totally forgot that I was still in Amoranto Stadium that night.

I saw thousands of hardcore Slayer fans at the venue and I could really see how much love and appreciation they have for the band. After Slayer’s performance, you could see how overwhelmed and humbled the band members were by how warmly the Filipinos and foreigners received them. They made history through Pulp and that is something which will forever be remembered by their Filipino fans.

I sincerely send my gratitude to Pulp for giving us this one-of-a-kind experience. In times of troubles and mayhem, it’s fun and touching to see Filipinos enjoy their day and savor their moments with their idols.


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