I am a concert fiend lately. I simply cannot get enough of them. I already let slip the fact that I saw Mamma Mia! last Thursday, which was wonderful. And then came Friday, a day for which I'd planned well before Thursday's show.
Friday kicked off my first rock concert of the year, and I could not have asked for a better show. Headlining the show was punk/metal giants Senses Fail. Opening up for them were The Sleeping, Alexisonfire, and Saosin (pronounced "say-oh-sin"). To see the show was great would be a serious understatement. It was unreal.
One of the things I enjoy about live music is the energy. It's amazing to get caught up in the moment and lose yourself in the music. After a show, I find myself constantly playing everything back in my head, sad that all I have left of the evening is a memory. But that memory holds strong, and with each show I attend, I crave more.
Thanks to the fact that four different bands played on Friday evening, I got to see a variety of styles for performance. Each band is unique, and has something different to offer.
- The Sleeping: These guys are an interesting group. They were a pretty good opening act, but their music wasn't particularly good. However, their stage antics were spectacular. Specifically those of the singer. Imagine, if you will, a guy with a crew cut trying to head bang. Now imagine this same guy grabbing his microphone with both hands, swing his hands above his head, and then swing them down in a chopping motion (like an ax). Now add an occasional jump and side kick, and you've got their singer. I'll say no more.
- Alexisonfire: Definitely the most fun band of the evening. These guys hit the stage and rocked nonstop through their entire set. Band members ran around stage, singing and carrying on like crazy. My personal favorite was the bassist, who was the only member of the band with long hair. He had a full beard, and rather than short and/or spiky hair, his hair was about shoulder-length and parted down the middle. As he played, he'd swing his head left and right, causing his hair to fly constantly. Overall, the band blew me away, and I went from barely having heard them before the show, to a converted fan. They rock.
- Saosin: Next up was Saosin. These guys are the reason I even went to this concert. An amazing blend of talent, Saosin did not disappoint. Probably what amazes me most about them is not only the music that completely draws you in, but the lyrics. It's amazing to me that people can put words together in such a powerful way, and each time I hear those words, they strike new meaning for me. I hardly noticed all the action of the crowd (which I've chronicled below) because I was so mesmerized.
- Senses Fail: The headliners of the concert, they also happened to be the ones for whom most people went to the show, which led to the show being sold out. Going in, I wasn't familiar with them other than name and a song or two. They put on a good show, though I didn't enjoy them as much as the two previous bands.
All in all, a damn fine show. It wasn't without its share of drama and scary and/or stupid stuff. Here's a glimpse of what I saw from my vantage point of a table in the bar area, viewing main stage and the crowd in front of said stage:
- There was the usual mosh pit. That's right, the usual circle formation in the crowd that forms, where everyone jumps and runs around, trying to hurt each other.
- There was plenty of crowd surfing. It got pretty rowdy, and people were crowd surfing like mad. I saw a lot of shoes being held up in the air, as well as other paraphernalia that got detached from its owners.
- The average age of the crowd was like 16. Though I do feel a tad old amongst all the high schoolers, I really don't care. There was one high school couple, however, who sucked. Face. The entire time. They were right in my line of sight from my vantage point to the stage, and they made out through probably 75% of the show. $20 make-out session, check.
- While watching the crowd surfers, I saw a number of people leap above the heads of the crowd, only to get dropped shortly thereafter. Most of these folks managed, miraculously, to get up without incident. One girl, though, was not so lucky. She got knocked out, and I watched the bouncers drag her out of the theater. That was pretty nuts.
- Speaking of bouncers, several fights broke out throughout the evening. Presumably, these were sparked thanks to the glorious mosh pit. But each time one was either about to start or just barely had, the bouncers were already there, breaking it up. The fighters didn't stand a chance, as the bouncers are so fucking awesome at with they do. Kick ass.
- After Saosin's set, the people cleaning up their equipment removed the drum heads and tossed them into the crowd. I was nearly hit in the face with one of them, but luckily had quick reflexes and turned sideways and then caught the thing. Afterward, I was accosted by multiple people (adults; parents of kids at the show?) who wanted to take the drum head off my hands. One lady asked if I would donate it to her son, who was "really sickly" (uh, yeah, that's likely), and another was a guy who put his arms on my shoulders like we were best pals and asked if he saw me catch the thing. To them, and all others like them, I had three words: Fuck off, bitches.*
Well, there you have it in a nut shell. What concert craziness (stories) have you experienced?
*I would have thought the kids would be more keen to ask me for the drum head, but none of them seemed to care. Those that commented simply said "That's cool, man, you got a drum head!", and then went on their merry way. The moral of the story is this: the crazies you encounter at shows are not always who you might expect.