Metalheads for Jesus

For me, an intriguing musical oxymoron is Christian heavy metal. How does a young headbanger reconcile satanic noisemaking with the worship of God’s sacrificial lamb, a.k.a. Jesus? (Last time I entered a Christian bookstore, there were still titles warning parents about evil acts their kids will commit due to listening to Marilyn Manson.) Clicking around on the Internet led me to a crushingly loud Christian metal band from Redlands, Calif., called Sleeping Giant.

The band’s last album, 2009’s Sons of Thunder, crucified my eardrums with the clamor of five guys giving sonic life to Revelations—you know, the part of the Bible where the world’s end is vividly described? Even better, turns out the Giant is setting its massive foot into Area 702 skatepark (3040 Simmons St., Ste. 104) in North Las Vegas on May 15 with a slew of other less Jesus-freaking heshers, including Bleeding Through and Born of Osiris. Giant vocalist Thom Green is worried about confronting a secular audience, though.

“For the most part, people know what we’re about and come to be encouraged in their relationships with God,” says Green, en route to Pensacola, Fla. “Some people we expect to be angry, because they’re there for the other bands.”

On the phone, Green is very open his commitment to God. On record, however, his lyrics, while decipherable, are consistently delivered in growling metalcore fashion. It’s not easy to hear his devotion over the apocalypse his band unleashes.

“I’m just hoping people get a different perspective. I want them to see you can have a relationship with Jesus, and it doesn’t have to fit into a neat little box.”

Speaking of boxes, Area 702 is basically one massive indoor skate ramp. What would Jesus make of skateboarding? “He’d be all for it,” Green laughs. “God takes pleasure in the existence of humanity. He created man, loves man, and enjoys our tricks and how we’re always goofy.”

It may not be the Christian thing to do, but I hate Jimmy Kimmel. And so should everyone in Vegas who loves live music. The comedian, UNLV grad and former KUNV 91.5 FM DJ did our city a grave disservice by inviting Scottish indie-rockers Frightened Rabbit to perform on his show—on May 24! Which is when the acclaimed band had been scheduled to perform at Beauty Bar. Not anymore. Jimmy, reviews for the band’s just-released third album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, are so positive they’re cringe-inducing. Why keep us from experiencing the most praised band of 2010 just to boost ratings? (Don’t get too upset, people. There’s talk of rescheduling the show for summer.)

Apologies, Soundcsrapers. I gave you the wrong date for Reggae in the Desert at Clark County Amphitheater (500 S. Grand Central Parkway) a couple weeks ago. It’s June 12. As Pilate said to Jesus, “What is the truth?” OK, it’s what’ll help you to enjoy a great afternoon of music. My bad.

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