Atlanta Metal Scene Rallies Around Fallen Fan, Memorial Show Announced

Steve Barrentine

The news spread quickly, one band at a time. The details didn’t matter so much as the shared sentiment, the shock and disbelief, and the immense sadness, brutal and direct. Steve Barrentine, a longtime fixture and ardent supporter of the Atlanta metal scene was gone, dead at age 40.

I didn’t know Steve, at least not personally. But what struck me the most in reading the reactions of band after band, friend after friend, was how generous he was with his love for local music, how much passion he had for the music and all the bands involved. Here’s Order of the Owl and Halmos guitarist Casey Yarbrough sharing his thoughts on his fallen friend:

Steve Barrentine. A guy that was totally devoted to his friends and their music. A true fan and friend of us all. Most of the time he was the first one to get there and the last to leave. He was always ready to lend a hand on any given night—help with load/unload and even volunteering his truck when we ended up with more gear than our own vehicles would carry! Steve was constantly buying drinks and food to make sure we were all having fun. He was one of the kindest, most generous people Atlanta has seen. Everyone mentions how they miss him more than they realized they would. I only knew him for a couple years, but those years mean the world to me. Steve was just like a big brother to us all.

Steve was the guy who you saw at every show, who always made his way to the front where he could be closest to the action. He was the guy who always had money in his pocket to buy a band beers or words of encouragement to shout from the floor. He wasn’t just a fan, he was a lifer, and anyone who spends enough time in any scene will understand just what a rare and amazing thing that is.

As you might imagine, it didn’t take long for the rumbles about a memorial show to begin, and it seemingly took even less to put it all together. Yesterday, just a couple days after his passing, it was announced that many of Steve’s favorite Atlanta bands will gather at Hell in the Masquerade this Saturday night to pay tribute to his lifelong love of music and his incredible spirit. And what a beastly lineup it is: Death of Kings, Order of the Owl, Demonaut, Halmos, Degradations, Iron Whip and Crawl. Basically, a local metalheads dream. Entry is free but donations will be accepted on behalf of the bands and PAWS Atlanta and a special donation will go to WRAS Album 88.5 in Steve’s honor.

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