Amped Guy's fantastic voyage and why I hate The Rave

Have you ever thought consciously about the many, many times you nearly died? Everyone has stories. Moments in history you've since pushed to the back of your mind or can laugh about now, but back when they actually happened, back when you came eye to eye with the Grim Reaper because you tripped and fell next to something long and sharp that would have neatly impaled your neck had it been an inch to the right, you were scared. Everyone remembers these close calls from time to time and shivers a little thinking about all the stuff they've done since that they would have missed had that long, sharp thing been an inch to the right. I'd like to tell you about several such times, none quite so dangerous as to be deadly, but nonetheless are were-scary-then-and-are-funny-now moments that all occurred within about an hour of one another.

A few months ago, I drove to Milwaukee to see dredg at The Rave with a friend of mine. dredg is pretty dece for sure, but they're a little heavier than a lot of the stuff I listen to, and particularly a lot of the shows I've been to, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the crowd. It didn't help matters that on the way up I overshot the exit and ended up lost in the ghetto for a little while, but that's a hilarious story (which happens to involve me stopping at a convenience store to use the single-toilet bathroom and accidentally walking in on a large, angry-looking man who was very, very busy) for another time.

After we got inside the venue and chose not to disobey the "once you leave, you're out" sign, even though it meant we wouldn't be able to go watch the Half-Pint Brawlers (midget wrestling) while we waited for dredg to set up, we had to wait for at least two eternities. There were two opening bands, one of which was some kind of death classical or something, and the sound checks seemed endless. Eventually we started wondering whether we were watching a band or some type of weird performance art where three guys would hold guitars, do an hour-long sound check, and then just walk off the stage. I guess we weren't the only ones getting a little antsy, because a big guy with long, greasy hair, baggy pants, and the most amped look on his face that I have ever seen decided it was time to drop a little E before things really got moving.

A bit later, once dredg had finally started their face melting set with "Same Ol' Road," I saw the people ahead of me in the crowd start to slowly fall over backwards like dominoes. I thought someone had tried to body surf and ended up with disasterous results, but as it turned out, the greasy-haired guy had just thrown himself into the person behind him while grinning like a madman. When everyone had managed to climb back up and look around at one another wondering what the heck had just happened, he did it again. Everyone fell over again, I caught the 100 lb. girl that had been standing in front of me, and the greasy guy ended up on the floor. When he stumbled to his feet, still looking amped as shit and starting to dance with all the grace of a pregnant cow, someone grabbed him and pushed him away from the center of the crowd, out toward the edge. He clearly didn't know what was going on, but the one who had picked him up was shouting some inaudible message while repeatedly throwing his pointer finger sternly in the amped guy's face. The amped guy nodded ampedly and stumbled away. A few minutes later, he was back, knocking everyone over again. I think a security guard or someone finally pulled him out of the crowd and made him stand away, by the side of the stage, because I later saw him holding onto a bar for support while weakly throwing up the horns. Ten minutes later his pants were down around his ankles.

What's the moral here? I guess it's something along the lines of don't red rover the people behind you at a concert. Or if you have no choice, the very least you can do is to not follow it up by taking off your size-42 jeans. Also, sound checks suck.

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