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2000-05-20 18:44:06

the machines of god

I was up till 5:30am last night watching anime and kung fu movies.

This time a year ago I was mowing lawns full time. This time two years ago I was packing my bags for hell.

So, about that Smashing Pumpkins concert. It was pretty crazy. As soon as they started playing, the whole crowd tried to converge right below the stage. This resulted in a sea of bodies, all pushing against each other. Everyone was drenched in sweat. You'd have to kill everyone and pile up the bodies to get them any closer together, and even then it wouldn't be that much different. You were constantly pushed around by waves pulsing through the collective body- but the individual didn't have much (if any) control over where they went. It was a struggle just to keep from getting sucked under. Though it wasn't that difficult for me to get up near the front- I was being constantly shoved in that direction, and I'm a fairly small guy (5'6", 120 pounds), so it was pretty easy for me to fit into the little cracks when they appeared. One advantage to being small. But moving was still pretty difficult. Moving forward was difficult, but moving backwards was nearly impossible. The only way to get out, really, was to climb up on top of the person in front of you and crowd surf out. I got a fairly good view of the band, but I couldn't really pay much attention to the music because I was too busy trying to stay on my feet and keep my body in a position where breathing was both possible and more or less comfortable. For the first little while I was working on trying to get to the front, but when I got about five feet from the front, I ended up behind a girl who looked about ready to pass out. So, from there my goal became to try and keep her from getting crushed by the mass of bodies as much as I could. Me being so small, there wasn't a lot I could do, but I tried anyway. Hell, it doesn't matter who you are, when 500 people are pushing you there just isn't a lot anyone can do. I remember this girl's friend told the guy in front her to stop crushing this girl, and he said, "She's in my pocket!" The friend informed him that he could kill this girl if he wasn't careful, and he said, "I don't care!" I was a little surprised to hear that. I've never seen selfishness to that extreme before. Not long after that, when there was a slight lull in the insanity, I got the hell out of the pit.

I was up in the crush for probably an hour and a half, a mere neuron in a body of humanity. When I got out I just kind of walked around in a daze for about a half hour. I have problems with blood pressure drops, and I was fairly light headed. I've never been in a situation where my existence as an individual was as meaningless as it was there. And I'd never seen people act so selfishly as I did there. I was totally unprepared for it. I can see how people get killed at concerts- it could easily happen if you weren't careful. If I was a psychologist, I think I'd want to study this behavior.

Though actually, it was kind of fun in a fight-for-your-life kind of way.

My brother managed to get up to the very front. I kind of expected he would.

Billy Corgan was wearing this weird black robe- it was like a combination of a kimono and a Catholic priest's robes. He was hairless and very pale. He may have the longest fingers I've ever seen. He looked like Nosferatu. Maybe that was the idea.

The music was really good, though. Hearing Billy screaming in person was pretty surreal. They did some acoustic versions of a few of their songs that were really good. My only complaint might be that the volume of the music kind of drowned out its intricacies. But musically, the concert was really good. It was the crowd that I found disturbing.

So anyway, that's the low down on my first concert. I'll have a better idea of what to expect and how to deal with it next time.

i don't want to be like the others please,