Recently, I stumbled upon my new favorite YouTube channel, Lost In Vegas. As soon as their video for “Megadeth – Holy Wars…The Punishment Due (REACTION!!!)” showed up in my “Recommended” list, I had to watch.
The thumbnail was the perfect clickbait with a giant Megadeth graphic covering the background and two clean cut-looking, African-American dudes who appeared to be not your average metalheads – or perhaps not even metalheads at all – sitting in front of it. Not really knowing what to expect, I let it play.
In the video’s intro they describe their reactions as “unbiased, real reactions” and give a “shout out to all our free-thinkers.” Now I’m instantly hooked. Wherever this is about to go, I’m along for the ride. Of course, I like to consider myself an open-minded music fan with very eclectic tastes, so this is already sounding like it’s right in my wheelhouse for sure.
Next, the two gentlemen in the video, Ryan and George, continue to give their introduction by explaining that neither of them have heard the song before but that it has been highly recommended to them by the metal community who claim that “Holy Wars” is often considered to be the greatest metal song of all time. I personally would never disagree with anyone who says that it is – It’s unquestionably an incredible metal song. The two self-proclaimed “hip-hop heads” seem to have some surface knowledge of metal but are, at this point, just starting to really dig deeper into the genre.
As with any “reaction” video, and there are many out there these days, we get to see and hear the reactors experience the song for the very first time and give their initial impressions. The thing that makes Lost In Vegas stand out above a lot of other similar channels, however, is their authenticity. At no point did I get the impression that they were just pretending to like the music or that they were trying to make their reactions bigger and more dramatic for the sake of showmanship. It didn’t come off as a video that was desperately pandering for “likes” by trying too hard. They just seemed like a couple of music enthusiasts who were genuinely appreciating what they were hearing for the first time and reacting in a real and natural way. The same can be said for all of their videos that I’ve seen since.
After watching the “Holy Wars” reaction video, I needed more. I immediately found myself down the Lost In Vegas rabbit hole checking out several of their other videos that spanned anywhere from hip-hop to country, metal to pop, nineties alternative to blues, and everything in between. I am, an always have been, a huge advocate of people being open-minded and having a wide range of tastes when it comes to music. I’ve always maintained that no matter what the genre, if done well, you can find something good in any type of music. These guys seem to embody this same philosophy as time and time again they are able to point out and appreciate the skill, talent, and artistry in every song they react to, even if something is not their particular cup of tea.
At the risk of sounding too pretentious, I believe that what Ryan and George are doing can actually help bring people together regardless of race, background, culture, etc. Sure, this is only music we’re talking about but change has to start somewhere, right? If country music fans and hip-hop fans can get along, while pop and metal fans coexist peacefully with one another then who’s to say we can’t bring us all together in other ways as well? Especially, during today’s political times where everything can feel so segregated, it’s refreshing and inspiring to see the type of positivity and open-mindedness that Lost In Vegas has to offer gaining so much popularity.
For anyone who considers themselves a music fan, I highly recommend checking out this YouTube channel. Their “Holy Wars” reaction video was posted only about three months ago, as I’m writing this, and is rapidly closing in on a million views. There is no doubt in my mind that these guys are going to blow up in a huge way very soon. In the meantime, as always, I continue to look forward to their next upload.