D. I. whY not?

By Monsieur “Monzy” Mason

Cover Photo by Kaitlyn Johnston

When I went to my first house show, it was quite an unforgettable experience. Game Changers, Let It Fly, Gardens, The Feedback Fiends, Mishandled and Flight Plan played that show. Watching 200+ kids moshing, finger pointing and singing along at one guy’s house was just amazing and knowing that they cared so much about Game Changers’ last show made it even more special to me.

It was at this show that I really got a feel for the local scene and what local scenes mean to everybody. I was happy singing with my friends and making new ones, too. However, the best part of the whole experience was that there were people of color defying stereotypes left and right.

Growing up a black person in a black community, I was taught that rap was the acceptable genre for my people and any form of rock music was just unorthodox. I would to listen to Blink-182 and the RENT soundtrack in secret. For a period of time in high school, I even I hid the fact that I loved Toxicity by System Of A Down from everyone I knew. Why?

One: I didn’t want the black kids to think I was weird, and

Two: I didn’t want the non-people of color to think that I was a token or that I was “special” from other black kids.

why not
Gardens // Photo provided by Monzy Mason. Photographer unknown

I was crippled by fear because I had not seen much representation of people of color liking the same music that I did. Later on in high school, I learned to be proud of the things that I was in to. I wore band merch, I did plays, I debated people on which Slipknot album was better. I felt a change, but I was still pretty insecure about it and I still wasn’t seeing much representation. To add to my insecurities, I was learning that I am bisexual and didn’t see much representation of the LGBTQ+ community within the local scene either, so one could only imagine how much I stuck out like a sore thumb in my own home.

Words cannot express how much my local scene means to me. So many great bands doing such great things, such as Sleep On It being on the full Vans Warped Tour, Homesafe killing it on Pure Noise records, and so many local bands doing their own tours around North America. It just shows how far hard work and support can get you.

However, when I was first starting to go to these shows, I wasn’t seeing many people that looked like me or identified with what I was. Maybe because they were scared, maybe because they didn’t feel included within that community; I don’t know. But if I can be of any testimonial value, I can say that my local scene is more than welcoming and loving. Hell, they might just be as awkward and anxious to go to a show as you! But they made me feel comfortable and proud to be where I’m from, and proud of the bands and artists that have worked hard to see an inkling of success in their careers, whether they take it seriously or not. I know that if things get hard at home or I feel like I’m blindly being discriminated against by my own family, there are so many people that I’ve met from going to shows that have got my back. That’s my connection to my local scene, and it’s pretty amazing.

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