Well, my ears aren’t ringing anymore. They were this morning, two days after the concert.
People keep asking me how the concert was, and the only description I can summon up is freakin’ ridiculous. I think I might still be a little disoriented.
Ali, John and I got there early and managed to get a spot up front in the middle of the pit. You could already tell just from the smell that the average BAC in the room must have been somewhere around 0.27. That’s UCONN for you.
Halfway through the opening act, from a pretty good ska band called Big D and the Kids Table that I had heard of before but never really listened to, the moshing started. I managed to stay on the outer ring of that, but it still started to make me a little nervous. Clearly I don’t have the right temperament for concerts. Anyway, Big D put on a good show, but the crowd was really there for the Dropkick Murphys, and they made it obvious, chanting “Let’s go Dropkick!” over and over again. That pissed me off. Show a little courtesy to the openers.
When the Dropkick Murphys came out, everyone went absolutely nuts. It was already crowded close to the stage, but as soon as they started playing, there was suddenly a massive crush of people around me. Ali managed to fight his way a couple feet ahead of me and get to the very front of the audience. I ended up right behind much, crushed up against some huge UCONN student.
That’s when things started to get disorienting. I spent the whole concert pressed up against one person or another, usually four or so people at once. Ali seemed to have a pretty aggressive philosophy towards concert going, but after the initial wave of claustrophobia passed some fifteen minutes into the show I ended up just trying to make myself as small as possible and ride the wave, while doing my best to avoid the sweaty shirtless guy directly to my left. This was around when I completely lost track of John.
Then the crowd surfing started. Since Ali and I were near the front and center, all of the crowd surfers gravitated naturally towards us. Since I couldn’t move my arms and could barely move my head, it wasn’t easy to see them coming, either. I got kicked in the head by the first crowd surfer about five minutes in, and after that I decided that even if I could move my arms, I wasn’t going to do anything to help some drunk jackass sail over me.
One exception: when the lead guitarist, in the middle of a solo, cleared the five foot gap between the stage and the audience and surfed right on top of me, somehow without missing a note of the solo. That was when it really struck me how truly awesome the concert was.
Eventually I got into the swing of things and managed to actually enjoy myself. It helped that I could see the security guards point towards oncoming crowd surfers, and therefore duck my head as quickly as possible. It also helped that the Murphys put on one hell of a show.
I was still kind of envious of Ali, though. He had managed to claw his way to the very front, and as a result got high-fived by the lead singer. Twice. Then, during their performance of “Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced,” the bassist ran down towards the audience, put his arm around Ali and some other guy, and they all sang along. By the end of the show, Ali was actually onstage without about 100 other people rocking the hell out. A few of them stage dived. One guy, typical drunk fratboy, tried to stage dive right onto where I was. I’m not sure if I made eye contact with him, but I did shake my head, mouth, “Screw this,” and step out of the way. He ended up belly-flopping right into a gap in the crowd, but a few people managed to grab his limbs before he hit the ground.
All in all, an amazing show. The Murphys were obviously into it, and they knew exactly how to drive the audience nuts. Not only that, but they seemed like genuinely nice guys. They were clearly having a lot of fun getting some audience participation, and they definitely liked their crowd that night. They also kept talking in between sets about how great Big D’s open was, as if to offset the hecklers that they had received earlier.
And as one member of the band said near the beginning of the show, “You know, usually we hate these goddamn college shows, but you guys are alright.”
It was a great show. But I think it’s going to be a while before I’m going to be able to work up the energy to go do that again.