Report: Wichita's Rock And Metal Scene Is Thriving

Jillian Cohan of The Wichita Eagle has issued the following report:

As the sun set outside the Cotillion Ballroom, Steven Gisich stamped his feet to stay warm, a prairie wind pushing back his long hair and sending the chill through his IRON MAIDEN T-shirt. He's the biggest metal fan among them, Gisich's friends said as they waited to see ANTHRAX perform Jan. 17. "There's not a flaw as far as I can see, except that it's a dying genre," Gisich said.

His observation set off a debate with a few of the other fans in line, mimicking a perennial music industry argument.

Critics have pronounced metal's demise time and again since the 1970s, when acts like LED ZEPPELIN and BLACK SABBATH ruled arenas. In Wichita, though, heavier music is alive and well.

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While the market for pop concerts seems DOA, hard rock and metal acts regularly schedule tours in the area, banking on a passionate fan base and a musical style that endures regardless of Top 40 trends.

"A lot of people are wanting to hear metal because (mainstream) radio can get mundane and repetitive," said Aaron Allen, a DJ who goes by the name Cooper on T-95 FM's weekend metal show.

In the past few months, top-selling artists like P.O.D. and MUDVAYNE have rocked the Cotillion. This weekend the sold-out Winterfresh Snocore tour came to town, featuring SEETHER, SHINEDOWN and a slew of other artists. In March, NINE INCH NAILS will take the stage at the Kansas Coliseum.

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