Crowdsurfing and circle pits are part of a typical show-going experience in the scene—it’s hard to attend one without seeing either break out at some point.
As a result, Carrie Brum entered the grounds of the Mansfield, Massachusetts stop of the final cross-country Warped Tour run with three goals: start a circle pit, roll down a wall of death before it happens and crowdsurf. Brum achieved two of these goals, both while securely in her wheelchair.
Despite the way she traverses the grounds, Brum’s show experience isn’t all that different from the majority of show attendees.
“Other than the fact that I can’t always see, my experiences at shows are like anyone else’s,” she says. “Some venues aren’t handicap accessible, and strangers have helped me get inside so I can see. I just can’t stop myself from head banging and enjoying the energy of the bands.”
Thriving off that energy made Brum’s decision to have a more hands-on show experience a no-brainer. She reveals that starting the circle pit at Saving Vice’s early morning set at the Full Sail University stage was “thrilling.” She knew their set was the one she wanted to try to get the pit going for, and fellow fans helped her pull it off.
“All of their fans made it possible by getting the circle really going,” she says. “Seeing everyone else’s smiling faces made me even happier to be included in such a classic metal activity.”
The crowdsurfing moment at Ice Nine Kills’ gig wasn’t as seamless with Brum describing it as “a more frightening endeavor.” However, Boston’s own Ice Nine Kills were also an obvious decision for her next big moment.
“Being from Massachusetts, I’ve seen Ice Nine Kills too many times to count,” she explains. “The band have been a huge inspiration to me and my music, and it felt like the right time to try!”
The support from both the fans and frontman Spencer Charnas made it all worth it to Brum.
“Once I was up, it was like being on top of the world,” she says. “Looking around at the crowd in front of me as they clapped and cheered me on made my heart race. Hearing Spencer say into the mic, ‘This is what it’s all about!’ solidified to me what I want to do in life: make music.”
While Brum enjoys attending shows, she also loves performing them as the frontwoman for experimental progressive metal act Sunsinger.
“Being one in a small number of local female screamers, I also want to empower other female metal lovers and musicians,” she says. “I’ve been able to play shows with Sunsinger without fear of rejection, and I’ve even been able to bring my service dog with me onto the stage.”
Brum and the band work to make sure all are welcome at their shows.
“Part of the message that [Sunsinger try] to portray is that feeling of acceptance and community,” she explains. “I have met so many people from all walks of life who gather together because of their shared love for music. No matter where you come from or what background you have you are part of the family the moment you walk into a venue.”
That overall sense of community and drive has allowed Brum to tackle anything she has set her mind to over the years as a member of the scene.
“I want people to know that it is possible to do anything you set your mind to,” she says. “This scene has been incredibly welcoming to me despite my disabilities.”