Wednesday, April 11, 2012

P.O.D Concert, how I survived.

Let me start off the story with this picture of the aftermath. This is my brother and I... a complete mess, drenched in sweat and water with our brother Ryan from the Whosoevers.

Sonny the Lead singer

Its a cold and raining Wednesday afternoon. We have 3hrs till the concert and I'm contemplating whether to go for a run or not. This is how my mind processes situations like this: "it's only rain, it's not like it's acid, plus I had pizza...though I should save some energy for tonight, but this could be like warm-up, I don't wanna be stretching anything in the middle of a mosh." Conclusion? I ran, not too far, but enough to get absolutely drenched.

Now, I'm staring into my wardrobe thinking, "what does one wear to a rock concert? tee, black pants...ALL BLACK EVERYTHING?" And indeed this was my attire of choice, wore my Whosoevers tee, which got me looking like I knew what I was doing.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect as I entered the floor. There were a surprisingly large assortment of individuals among the crowd - parents, grandparents, little kids, young adults, adults, teens, tweens. Anyone who was there to supervise were congregated towards the back safe from flying sweat, loud speakers and spontaneous limb explosions. My brother and I crucially strategized before we entered the building, this strategy was altered as we got closer and closer to the stage.

Phase 1: Find a clear and safe spot to scope out the crowd and find a possible path to the front.
Phase 2: Take that path to the outskirts of the mosh pit.
Phase 3: Cross through the mosh while in full motion, this avoids having to push through people who are just standing.
Phase 4: By this point, we would've been in the very front center of the stage. Mission complete. Or so I thought, ahhh I'm such an amateur.

After the opening acts had finished and the stage was finally set up for P.O.D. It was game time, literally. There was only one girl between me and the railing, I was comfortable and there was a decent amount of arm room. As soon as lead guitarist Marcus walks out, it was like ripples of waves slowly crashing toward me. By the time the entire band was on stage my face was flat on the back of this girl. My brother and I got separated by his intent to remain close to the mosh and mine to get the best view of the band. As soon as those sticks hit the drums, the crowd turned into an orchestrated pool of caged animals, it was insane and I became one of them. The crowd was so uncontrollably heavy and compact that lifting your arm turned into a 10kg bicep curl. I was squared by two skinny 6'3 guys on my right, a huge 6'0 guy on my left and hundreds of screaming, jumping, pushing people behind me. In that moment I could only pray that God keep me from being accidently elbowed in the face or that one of my shoes don't go missing. I quickly got use to the non-violent passionate violence, the harmonious screams, the prompt water sprays by security and the inescapable thumping, grabbing and jumping that every beat exerted out of every person. Once lead singer Sonny belted out that first note I remembered exactly why I love this band and that tonight was all about release.

I screamed every word I knew like a mad woman. I jumped and pushed as much as I could signifying my love for the song, for the band. But it was rough, the crazier the song, the crazier the crowd, the crazier the mosh. On the very first song Sonny jumped onto the crowd, right on top of the two guys on my right. We all pushed him up and around, I was soo ecstatic, I couldn't believe I was helping Sonny crowd surf haha! The crowd pushed him back on stage and he stood on a platform right next to the railing overlooking the crowd screaming and singing directly into our eyes and hearts. I couldn't believe how close he was. Waves of people pushed toward the front even more, as they tried to get a hand on Sonny. Hands reaching out towards him for a touch. One of the greatest moments in my life happened as I stared him square in the face screaming back to him the same words he screamed to me and seeing all that passion explode like a furnace in his eyes and on his face. He pointed directly at me as I furiously mouthed his song as if saying, "yeah you got it". Life was almost complete. UNTIL he passes me the mic, this happened 3 times, this is why being in front is amazing! Myself and whoever was next to me start screaming the chorus into it. Out of the corner of my eye I catch my brother. I pass it back to him avoiding the snatching hands. Him and whoever was next to him start going nuts, screaming the chorus into the mic. I turn to the stage and see Sonny jiving, smiling and laughing. After the mic makes it's way back to Sonny, I turn back to my brother and we exchange agreeing looks as if we were rock stars. Absolutely epic.


Because I was so pressed to the front where the crowd resembled swirling, crashing waves it was important to stand my ground. If I didn't I would've easily have lost this amazing spot. So the best thing to do especially if you're not as physcially apt as the bigger, taller guys around you is to find a couple of anchors. These are guys preferably in front of you who are strong and have sturdy position despite how crazy the crowd gets. Thank you Lord for giving me the best anchors a girl could ask for haha. These two guys had moved in front of me to protect the girls getting squashed at the railings, it was perfect. There was never enough space to turn around to see how the mosh was getting on in the middle, but THE ONE TIME I do turn around, who's facilitating the mosh!!?? - clearing the area, forming the circle and getting everyone hyped...MY BROTHER. Hahahha I was cracking up thinking, "thiiiiiss guy".

Their set list was too good. Of course they dished out "ALIVE" ,but my favourites was when they ripped "Southtown" out of nowhere, Oh man I swear I turned into a crazy, territz pokemon hahha. "Satellite" was their encore, to which everyone went 5 times harder to. Another big favourite was "Boom", this was one of the song where he passed me the mic, I'm still trippin. Sonny got the meenest swag on stage, he goes N.U.T.S and then off stage he's sweet and gentle. I loved that he shared about God and that he was all about everyone having fun and just letting go for the one night. When it was all over, my brother and I were so drenched, deaf and voiceless. As if the night couldn't get any better, my bro spotted Ryan the co-founder of the Whosoevers and we went over and had an amazing conversation about the movement, God, Fiji, who we were. He was so stoked to see I was reppin The Whosoevers with my tee, he was so keen to introduce us to Sonny who is the other co-founder of The Whosoevers. I swear I was going to cry, but lame event staff was kicking us out. So, we told Ryan we'd meet him tomorrow and he could introduce us to Sonny then. I need to make sure I don't start balling in Sonny's face hahha. ANYWAY...that easily makes top 4 amazing moments of my life, up there with giving my life to Jesus. And entire body is a little sore.

Forgive me for my lack of high quality and quantity pictures. It was actually impossible to take any kind of photos in the position I was in. The photos I did take I risked the safety of my arms for lol.

Sonny... again
Pictures: My own

1 comment: