Social Call: Teen Christian ministry rocks the park with Austin, Victoria metal bands

Members of Vincent's Betrayal - Ruben Garza, Erick Pollard, Mike Caldwell and J.T. Cano - will perform at Rock the Park on Saturday at Ethel Lee Tracy Park.
  • IF YOU GO

  • • WHAT: Rock the Park hosted by Finding Wings Ministry, featuring Dear Grace, Vincent's Betrayal, Living Scars and Seize the Eternal

    •  WHEN: 4-8 p.m. Saturday

    • WHERE: Ethel Lee Tracy Park, 701 E. Larkspur St., Victoria

    • COST: Free

A place to be themselves.

That's what Mike and Angela Arnold set out to create when they started planning their Christian ministry's first metal show.

Angela Arnold, who used to work for the Victoria school district, started to notice several of her students were misunderstood youths who needed some sort of guiding light.

"They're trying to find their wings in order to fly," Mike Arnold said.

High school can be a confusing time for a teen trying to figure out right from wrong. Everyone's telling you to be good while leaving their own dirty laundry out in the open.

On Saturday, Rock the Park will feature a slew of Austin and Victoria metal bands at Ethel Lee Tracy Park.

It'll be a great time to bust out the picnic blanket and Frisbee to welcome the summertime.

My first taste of metal was last year at the Bayou Music Center. The Big Metal Show was headlined by Downfall, composed of members from my hometown, Humble, and Carry the Storm.

My sister, Martha, was the veteran metal head who discouraged me from head banging for too long, but after the first few sets, the urge was hard to resist.

By the end of the night, I was worried of any minor self-inflicted brain damage my "raging" might have caused.

But the adrenaline rush and heavy cover version of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" was well worth it.

For so long, metal was this untouched, frightening genre I kept away from in high school and college. But after the bayou show, what once seemed to be a monotone, noisy style of music turned into classical poetry.

It's hard to not make the comparisons between metal and Beethoven after a while.

Classical and metal music both grab their listeners through an almost silent-film journey that can be simultaneously cognitively and physically stimulating.

So if you're out at Ethel Lee Tracy this weekend, try not to shake your head too much - unless you're not afraid of suffering an extreme headache afterward.

And don't be afraid to be a genre jumper; it's a risk worth making.