On Wednesday, fans of metal descended on the Appalachian Wireless Arena for something they’ve not experienced in quite some time — a concert featuring their favorite kind of music.

The Arena has not played host to a metal concert in years for a variety of reasons.

Included in those is weak ticket sales for past events featuring metal bands, as well as the preferences of those in charge at times for other types of music.

But, Wednesday night, all those old assumptions and biases were put aside, as the Appalachian Wireless hosted nearly 1,500 fans of heavy music for a night featuring Alien Weaponry, The Black Dahlia Murder and the Black Label Society.

From all indications, the event was a hit, and sent a message that, officials with the Appalachian Wireless Arena said, indicates the door is open for more metal shows.

And why not? It’s not the most popular form of music in this area, but there are enough fans to fill the arena’s half-house setup easily if the right bands and the right timing are on tap.

It’s a niche event. It caters to a particular audience that might not be served otherwise, and we can’t wait to see who comes next in the metal lineup at the App.

Just this past weekend, the South Side Mall at Goody played host to the WillCon event, which has been held in Williamson, West Virginia the previous two years.

This event brought together fans of comic books, television shows, movies and other forms of pop culture to revel in their hobby, meet new friends and enjoy the company of those who share a like mind, a like culture.

Neither of these events cater to the “mainstream,” but that didn’t dampen the response or enthusiasm of either group.

Our community facilities and resources should be looked at as a blank canvas, an opportunity to provide an experience that, simply, is not available elsewhere in our region.

Just this month’s Appalachian Wireless Arena lineup is an exercise in catering to different niches, events and genres of music.

A beer festival, one of country music’s biggest names and a headlining act in the world of Christian music are all left on tap, and that doesn’t even begin to mention events it will host such as Nightmare on Main Street.

Kudos to the forward-thinking people willing to take a risk on those outside “the crowd.” It can only help make our community more attractive to people from outside and quite simply offer more to do for local residents.

Now, let’s get ready to rock on.

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