One time, at Iron Maiden/Twisted Sister:
The last time I was in the Stampede Coral was Dec. 7, 1984. It was an Iron Maiden/Twisted Sister Concert. I don’t recall much. I just came through the door, ran to the front of the stage and remained pinned there for several hot, uncomfortable hours. It was fantastic. Now it’s nearly 25 years later and times change, musical interests change, priorities change and teenagers turn to adults and adults turn to a softer calmer music to ease out the tensions of a stressful day...However, my musical interests really haven’t changed much, I still like heavy metal and dirty loud rock n’ roll. I often find myself jostling for space at HMV next to bushy haired teenagers that smell like pot.
I’m a big Buckcherry fan. Slick guitar riffs, offensive lyrics, bad attitude, I love the way it just pushes me around; it’s like being bitch slapped by a skinny--assed heroine addicted rock n’ roll star. And as a result of this it’s hard to find anyone to accompany me for a night out of dirty loud rock n’ roll.
In 1984 I planned for weeks and eventually took a greyhound bus to Iron Maiden. I slept at my aunt’s house and arrived early enough to rush though the doors as they opened. This time, I hopped into my sensible sedan, drove to Calgary listening to an Audiobook and shopped for shoes while teenagers lined up for the concert. And when they had just reached a point of dehydration and awaited the door to be open...I had a nap in my car in the parking lot of a mall. While they felt like their legs were about to give out as they crashed through the doors, I ate dinner and weighed the pros and cons of an ice cream chaser.
I still arrive early and with a cup water I sit down next to a guy and say, hey these are great seats. He says he bought his ticket last night. I say I bought mine this morning. No exactly selling like hot cakes. However, when Buckcherry hits the stage several hours later, there are probably 6 thousand people there.
There are 4 bands performing at this concert. That’s 2 bands more than I expected. In fact, I didn’t realize there are 4 bands playing until the first band is nearly finished. As they finished off their set, they asked the crowd if they were ready to be rocked by Papa Roach and Buckcherry....Well, if they are not Papa Roach, who are they? They don’t give out programs at Buckcherry concerts and sadly I must admit, Rev Theory, sounds like all heavy metal that has come out in the past 5 years. Creed...or Nickelback...Hinder...pick one. Thick fuzzy guitar riding a heavy baritone..the formula for Heavy Metal.
My impression of Rev Theory is one of apprehension. These guys are tattooed, long hair, leather clad rockers who look buffed up as a result of a 3-5 year stint “in the yard”. Not only am I concerned about my entertainment purchase, but I am also concerned about who’s keeping an eye on these guys between sets. They say they will be wandering around the concourse meeting fans and signing CD’s. Great, now there’s something else to worry about on the concourse. I picture these guys shaking down aging rock fans in the concourse with shivs made out of cafeteria spoons and shoelaces.
The next band is called The Trews. They seem to appeal to an entirely different target audience. I’m not entirely sure how they got on this bill. It seems like a management mix up. However, they are a good, lighter-fare rock n’ roll band, nice and tight. I find myself wondering how a band like the Trews gets along on outings like this with bands fresh out of prison. I wonder if it’s like high school, if it is like high school, the skinny bassist for the Trews, the guy with a purple beret and suspenders, better stick with friends when he gets back stage or he’s in for a long night
After the Trews I went to hang around the concourse. If the floor of a concert is the heart and soul, then the concourse is like the arteries that pump it full of life. The concourse gives you a good reading of what the crowd is like, what the energy level is like and it’s a good place to get Nibs or Twizzlers. I came back from the concourse with my Twizzlers and water. There is a 25 year old conservatively dressed girl sitting next to me: “So,” I say “is there some sort of skankiest girl contest that I didn’t hear about?” We then discuss the crowd.
There seems to be something about Buckcherry that brings out the inner skank. I mean, wall to wall skank. A whole new level of skank that I wasn’t privy too. There is a fine line that separates the naughty girl from the skanky girl. There is a fine line that separates the Rock n’ Roll bad girl from the skanky girl. I’m not entirely sure what it is, but you can tell by looking. Maybe it’s some sort of primitive hard wiring that allows you to categorize. Some sort of Cave-man sense that kicks in when you look at a girl and think either (a)ohhh...she’s naughty or (b)ewww....she’s passed naughty and is now skanky.
There are mother and daughter skanks, several sets. I even see a grandmother and Daughter skank set. There is of course the biker skank. But biker skank is almost refreshing. There’s no pretending there, what you see is what you get. No modge podge of hidden agendas, or costumed appearances. Biker skank is like the purest form, ground zero in the skank pit.
There seems to be a lot of regular people that earlier today were teaching children, filing files, selling homes....the whole time they have a skank uniform in their backpack...waiting to set free their inner skank at 7 pm. Bright bright bubble gum pink 4 inch heels. Loin cloths made up of torn up Motley Crue shirts, AC/DC shirts, Papa Roach shirts....no clothing is safe. Jeans are cut off too short, Vests are worn with nothing underneath except skanky cleavage, purses are adorned with skanky messages. It is like Skankapalooza.
There is a walkway on the north side of the arena. It is guarded by security guards. You can tell they are security guards because they are wearing black leather gloves. Skank begins lining up along this walkway trying to get backstage. It is like a skank parade, or a skank line-up. Sometimes a roadie will wander the crowd and select some skank to make it to the pre-party line up. This is where the higher end skank, or lower end skank (depending on your point of view), makes it if they are selected by the initial skank patrol. Then in this skank waiting area, the on-deck skank mingle with other skanks and waits to be taken through the black curtain to skank utopia....backstage. Then other roadies are occasionally dispatched by bands and come out to the on-deck skanks and select some of them to go through the curtain. These 2nd wave of Roadies are presumably experts at judging skank. The rejected skank returns to the crowd with the hope that they will get selected during another skank recruitment drive. There seemed to be plenty of skank recruitment drives. At one point there is so much skank in the on-deck area that the black gloved security staff looked concerned about a skank bottleneck. Then they will have to bring out extra roadies to de-skank the skank jam. But, it calmed down.
At some point while attending the rock concert you think that being a security guard is a good gig. They stand around, never crowded, listening to the band, wearing black leather gloves and getting paid. There are 5 guys standing in the front, between the stage and the surging crowd. They stand with their back to the stage, arms crossed, and their flashlights at the ready. In the event that 3000 kids rush the stage they can quickly flash a light into the surging crowd and temporarily freeze them...like deer. When Papa Roach takes the stage. I notice one thing immediately. Papa Roach has a lead singer that spits. A lot. He spits between nearly every break in words. He spits so often that I wondered what he just got in his mouth that could prompt that much spitting. Then I remembered all that skank. There could be a correlation. The security guard at the front gets paid for the opportunity to be spit on by a semi-famous rock star for 45 minutes.
Security guards also get to catch crowd surfers that run out of crowd. I’ve never really watched crowed surfing before; I can’t think at the moment anything I’d rather not do. People get sucked out of the pulsating crowd of fist pumping rockers and then ride the crowd to the front of the stage. That seemed to be the goal. Sometimes the crowd would just drop the person onto the concrete, which seemed to occur with alarming frequency. When the surfer reached the front row they would get discarded with blatant apathy by the crowd. Sometimes they would be caught by the security team, and sometimes they would get wedged into the fenced area like plastic bags at a playground. Once wedge they would squirm around in a claustrophobic panic and eventually crawl to safety. Sometimes people would seem to be surfing along completely against their will, judging by the expression on their faces, I got the impression that some rowdy buddies just threw them up onto the crowd to see what would happen. Sometimes girls would do it too. They would travel much slower and be held up by the occasional group grope fest. As they tried to surf they would get this completely offended look on their face and you could see them slapping some disgusting rock and roll guy’s hand away from their crotch. One particularly skanky girl actually lost her catholic school girl skirt. She had it in her hand as she surfed along bare-assed towards the front. She was an older 2nd generation skank and the long grope fest stops didn’t seem much of a concern. She was having a great time.
Speaking of great times...a giant mosh pit erupts like a swirling one eyed monster in the middle of the crowd. This pit is fuelled by hard core punk rockers swinging and bashing in a clockwise motion. I wondered momentarily if in Australia mosh pits go in a counter clockwise direction. I decided they must due to the hemispheric physics. I think participants in the mosh pits are confused people. I think they secretly love to dance, but love to fight. So they get this inner confusion that manifests itself into a dance fight sequence. I love to Dance...I love to fight...I love to dance...fight..dance fight dance fight...etc. This goes on and on....a real inner struggle.
I attended a Supersuckers concert last year and as I casually watched the show a mosh pit broke out in my area. I reacted to that the way one would react if a guy standing next to you suddenly burst into flames. I panic, but the music is loud so the Supersuckers crowd doesn’t hear me squeal like a 4 year old girl. Mosh pits are alarming. I don’t know if you realize this, but the thing about mosh pit participants is they are profusely sweaty. When they get thrown up against you, it’s like get hit with a warm mop head that’s been freshly pulled out of a mop bucket. It’s unpleasant. The elbowing, the hitting, have nothing on the sweat.
During the Papa Roach act an older guy, say, my age is trying to circumnavigate the mosh pit. He makes it about ¾ of the way around when someone pushed him into the eye of the storm. I watch as this poor man gets battered around by sweaty punk rockers for a painful 15 seconds. He is half smiling; half completely freaked out, I’m sure he is thinking he is going to die. He is thinking: I’ve worked for 25 years, I’m wealthy, I’m successful, I have a good family and I’m going to be beaten to death by 4 punk rockers while I piss myself on the way to the bathroom. He makes it to the edge battered and beaten and completely shaken up. Glasses and golf shirt askew. I imagine he went back to his group and said “sooo, when you go to the bathroom.....don’t cut through that opened spot.....”
I sit in my seat eating my twizzlers and waited for the Headlining act. I won’t lie to you. I am having a great time. I reach down to grab my iced tea. When I sipped it, I realize it tastes a lot like warm diet coke. Then I took another sip to be sure and I can swear I was tasting hot dog and I didn’t eat a hot dog. I realize it is not my drink and spend the next 30 seconds dry heaving. I hate it when I do this. I spend so much time avoiding germs, washing my hands, not touching door knobs, only to pick up some random drink at a dirty rock concert and stick a dirty straw in my mouth. It’s like a germ set back. It’ll take weeks to recover. In the throws of a worldwide pandemic, I’m just going to have to rely on the conscientiousness of a government body to protect me from the disease. I mean, I am the guy in a 3M germ mask that is walking out of 7-11 with a public use pen sticking out of my mouth after I sign my visa.
I notice a gay cowboy edging near the skank line up. He is shirtless, fairly buffed, young and crisp wearing the standard: I’m not a cowboy but play one at clubs cowboy hats.. The white tattered straw hat that may either say Corona or AC/DC on it. He’s leaning up against the fence near the on deck skanks. He is between a girl that is desperately trying to display more cleavage without a nipple pop and women who looks like she is going to throw up 6 dollar draught all over her best ½ shirt. I think he is just tired and is trying to relax away from the crowd, but I can’t help but wonder about this. I mean, odds are, not all rock n’ roll guys are straight. So, do they send out a roadie to find the gay cowboys? I also wonder, when you’re a rock n’roll star, and get to have rock n’roll sex every night do you get bored and say: you know what, tonight I’m going to try something different....I think I’m going to have anal sex with a blonde haired Alberta cowboy.
Just as Buckcherry takes the stage two gay roadies came to our section. They are drunk. They are 50. I think they are roadies not because they are drunk tonight, but because they look like they have been drunk much of their adult life. They are trying to get everyone in our section to stand up and rock n’ fuckin’ roll. I decide that the promoter sends out roadies to infiltrate the crowd and get them going. Like circus owners did at turn of the century travelling circus shows. These two roadies are loud and rambunctious party animals. They yell, they sing, they throw up their arms in pure party mode. Then, suddenly they started embracing each other in a true show of affection. The arms in the air, became arms entangled, as they sway in rock n’ roll unity. Their foreheads touch and fingers wrap around waists. It became uncomfortable to watch. Like when you’re driving along the highway and you see farm animals mounting each other. At first it is appalling, then you deny it(and say, no it couldn’t be...), they you try to understand it. Occasionally they break off and try to get the crowd going again. I decided that they must win a prize( like, say a shower) if their section is the rowdiest.
A girl in a red dress and bright pink heels is dancing with a young guy in front of us. They are drunk. By this time in the night, I had exhausted my twizzler supply, and had nothing to keep me occupied so I watch them. They knew all the words to all the Buckcherry songs. They sing to each other like they were the leads in High School Musical. She bends way way back, and then, unlike a trained dancer, staggers around trying to regain her balance. He sings and flails his arms around trying to steal the show. At one point he breaks off into a prance up the stairs, he sang on the next level, and then pranced back down to her. I think if there is a Buckcherry musical, these two would be great. Their rendition of “Crazy Bitch” was nothing short of moving.
I leave as the band plays on. They are just ending their encore set and I wanted to leave ahead of the crowd. It’s not so much as wanting to beat the crowd as I didn’t want to be assaulted by the crowd. So, I walk down the concourse as the trailing guitar riffs scratch my back. I watch a guy throw up in a garbage bin as his friend stands next to him with his arms crossed and an “Eddie is such a tool” grimace on his face. I step over a pool of something brownish grey as the sounds of a thumping bass drum rattle the windows. I listen to 4 teenagers argue in drunken slurs how they will find their hotel. I finally close the last door(holding the handle in a napkin) and let the music come to an end, but the ringing in my ears...that ringing is as familiar as the smell of a new concert tour shirt.
One time, at Down with Webster:
so me and a buddy went to this free Down with webster concert at the CNE in toronto, we k wandered around the CNE looking for some girls with not much luck. we were pretty rattled because there wasn't many prospects during the day.
when the concert rolled around we we're just chillen in the background when my buddy spots 5 girls walking into the concert area, 4 of which were at least 8's... so we worked our way up to near them, just waiting to make a move when one (who's absolutely trashed) stumbles and takes a tumble right into me. i of course caught her. Her friends then looked at us and apologized and we took the opportunity to introduce ourselves. we got to talking before the band came on stage. they ended up have a bottle of booze with them and we got a few swigs. the band started up and we continued to hang out with them throughout the concert. The one girl seemed to be sticking to me for a while grinding up and such when out of no where she turns around and starts making out with me. this happens several times during the show and after the a few make out sessions i look over to see my buddy hooking up with one of the other friends. Now both of these girls were solid 9's and lucky for us wasn't the original obliterated girl who helped us break the ice. All of this was nice but then my girl is trying to undo my belt in the middle of 10 000 people. Not that i wanted to say no but there wasnt much that was going to happen in the middle of a concert so i just said to wait
So the concert wrapped up and without a word she grabs my hand and leads me away, we end up about 300 ft away from the bandshell in the bushes and she goes down on me right then and there.. this wraps up and we go searching for my buddy, turns out her friend is missing as well.. we looked for like 10 minutes when i get a call from my buddy asking where i was. we end up meeting up and say good-bye to the girls. Turns out we were only about 100 feet apart when we were hooking up with our respective girls, he got laid (bastard) but yeah. AWESOME
One time, at Jimmy Buffett:
At a Jimmy Buffet Concert, I once saw; a group of 80 year old women stoned as shit with beers in cup holders on their walkers, people having butt sex against the back fence, a person slide face first down a beer slip and slide, and a pant less Congo line. For personal reasons I will not reveal which activities I was a part of, but your welcome to guess. Also, at a deadmau5 concert in DC (the same one he collapsed on stage) I woke up in some dudes back yard missing one shoe and my shirt. I woke up to the guy kicking me and telling me I had to leave cause I was scaring his kids and that he was calling the cops if I didn't leave ASAP. Good times.