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I went to Castle Donington's Download Festival.
I'm kind of a metal idiot, so it was a good learning experience for me.
One thing I picked up is that metal can be tiring. The slogan of the
festival was (and I promise I'm not making this up) "Rock by day, rest
by night."

Metal fans like to do things properly. This was taken while Devildriver were trying (and failing) to break the world record for largest circle pit in the presence of an official from the Guinness Book of Records.

Dreadlocks are the perfect hairdo for hiding a receding hairline.

Even the most hardcore fans need a 30-minute vacay from the mosh pit for a little shiatsu.

Limp Bizkit have really shitty security. This is me pissing in their tour bus shower.

And on their floor.

And the copy of Beerfest I stole from them (it's "unrated"!!!).

Metal fans take Guitar Hero way too seriously. While Dragon Force were playing that one song from GH III, all of the fans had their hands in the air doing the moves from the game. I guess it's kind of like when me and my friend Jenna were 13 and we watched the video for "Reach" by S Club 7 over and over until we could do the hand routines.

You're never too old to throw on a Slipknot boiler suit and take your homemade Slipknot flag to the barrier and wait ten hours for your heroes to take to the stage (this pic was taken at 11 AM; Slipknot were on at 9 PM).

Slamming guitar riffs in a pit of hellfire can be murder on your skin (SPF 45 at least!).

The staff at Metal Hammer like their mini packages of chips in a fancy wooden bowl.

Marilyn Manson is ugly and stupid and annoying and boring and old enough to know better.

And so is this guy.

Nothing says "metal" like distressed denim, a tailored shirt, brand new Converse, hair gel, and a fitted blazer (you're gonna have to take my word for it when I say that's what he's wearing). Apparently it's also really metal to not let any photographers into the photo pit unless they've been pre-approved by your management and filled in all the correct release forms.

Rock does not discriminate.

He is gay.

If his day keeps going this way he just might break your fucking face tonight. (BTW, it took five people to help him get down from the stage to the barrier, including Satan's own steward.)

Arts and crafts are big in the metal community.

Journey's singer is the Archangel Gabriel.

Rock fans like to drink beer. And they're not afraid to let EVERYONE know it.

And if they can combine that with their love of crafts, then great!

Punk's not dead. It lives on in fake Burberry-print Kangol hats.