Yesterday was the school’s annual free concert: Extravaganza. Nala and I got there early and managed to work our way to the very front, before any of the big bands got on stage. Once there, we were determined not to lose our spots. We had no idea what standing our ground would entail. Surfer Blood was the first band to play after the local band, The Fire Department, opened. They quickly entered the stage and played a short set full of their biggest hits. They were lively, moving around the stage, dancing, and even jumping off at one point, only to require help from the security guards to get back up.
After they finished playing, Iration came on stage and began to play their hits, the crowd and security guards bobbing their heads to the relaxed, happy tunes that emanated from the speakers. The bass was beyond gut-busting. It moved through the throats and into the chest of those lucky enough to be in the front. My ears were pounding, but the music was great. After a few songs about their old college town, they exited the stage.
The crew began to set up the area for Wolfgang Gartner, a DJ. As he came on, everyone began to push their way to the front in anticipation of the act that would follow him, Snoop Dogg. The crowd began to get a little violent and unruly, much different from the vibes floating through during the previous bands. Nala started to get shoved and squished as she and the rest of the people directly behind me tried to hold their spot. They pushed back, but it only made people angrier. Soon, I couldn’t even see Nala anymore. Then the pushing hit the front. The people behind me got closer and closer, with more and more force, not caring that they were slamming me up against the hard, metal gate. I braced myself with my knees against the gate, trying to maintain as much space as possible. A few others who were getting short of breath from being pressed against it signaled to the security guards, hoping they would be able to get people to move back. They tried, but the crowd wouldn’t listen. They gave me the thumbs up as I pushed back as hard as I could, yelling at the people behind me, especially the girl who had a giant raccoon tail in my face every five seconds. I plugged my ears for most of Wolfgang Gartner’s set, the bass was nearly unbearable. That, combined with the security guards yanking unruly people out of the crowd over my head, made for a very unpleasant half an hour. It felt like the DJ had been up there for hours when he finally finished.
And then Snoop Dogg came on. And all of the pushing stopped as people stood in awe as he made his grand entrance. He had a great set, full of some of his best songs. He encouraged the crowd to sing along and interact as much as possible. It was clear that it wasn’t just the audience that was having a good time.