Strong Language, Sick Cat Kill Metal Hopes In Florida Town

Pinellas Park, Florida, hosted Hellraiser's Ball on Saturday.

Can there ever be too much metal in one's life? Well, that depends. When that metal is served up with foul language and eventually tops out at an ear-splitting 100 decibels — setting off feline vomiting — perhaps. That was enough for the peaceful denizens of Pinellas Park, Florida, to call for an end to metal concerts.

Hard music befell the otherwise tranquil settlement of Pinellas Park for the first — and last — time on October 1, with the appearance of Hatebreed, Meshuggah, Devildriver, God Forbid and Motörhead for the appropriately monikered Hellraiser's Ball, staged in the placid suburb's Town Square Plaza Park. But Pinellas Park was apparently ill-prepared for such a brutal dose of metal and, according to the St. Petersburg Times, has opted to quash all prospects for additional metal concerts in the town for the foreseeable future.

And all it took was five e-mails, five telephone calls and a sick cat to provoke that decision from local politicians.

An estimated 3,500 people turned out for the Hellraiser's Ball, which began at 11 a.m. and raged until 10 p.m., the Times reports. But it wasn't the sheer volume of the gig that prompted Pinellas Park residents to complain — it was what they'd heard between the bands' songs that set them off.

"No, we won't be doing that type of event again," Pinellas Park spokesperson Tim Caddell told the paper this week. "As soon as [the music would] stop, [the performers on stage would] go, 'F---!' You could hear that clear as anything, all the way through town. It was clear, I've got to admit. I heard every single one of them."

One town resident who e-mailed a complaint noted that he could forgive the concert's earth-rattling din, but "the strong language that was used ... Even several blocks away it was very clear what was being said."

Pinellas Park police, who made a single arrest during the event on charges of trespass after a warning, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence, measured the concert's noise level throughout the day. According to the Times, the sound ranged from 92 to 118 decibels — the latter surpassing noise levels typical of jet takeoffs. Pinellas Park's zoning code defines allowable noise levels as 72 decibels during the day and up to 55 at night.

Most complaints were lodged by folks who, admittedly, weren't fans of the genre. One called the event "a horrible nerve-grating racket. The repetitive screaming through the microphone and the incessant drumming was not to be believed."

The same resident claimed her cat was "so upset" by the music, the animal "actually vomited."

When asked whether it was the cat's hurling that delivered the final blow to metal in Pinellas Park, Caddell explained to the Times that the town is "an animal-loving community, [so] when poor, defenseless animals get sick ..." His voice then trailed off.