Monday 20 July 2009

Venturing into Emofest

It was a heafty price for an incredible reward. I am by no means a fan of "emo" culture, and have a short fuse when it comes to so-called "scene" kids. Despite this prejudice, I found myself in a sea of spiked green hair, eye liner, and 3OH!3 shirts on Thursday. I recieved judging looks from vain girls wearing plaid, and bows, and sometimes plaid bows. Feeling quite out of place and a bit embarrassed to be there, I wished I had a sign to wear reading: "I only came to Warped because I am a Flogging Molly superfan."

Steve, Eric and I grudgingly endured the Devil Wears Prada crowd in order to secure a nice spot for Flogging Molly's show. We encountered boys that seemed sure they were the toughest around, although I'm almost positive they would have fled at the first indication of an actual fight. Eric now sports a battlewound recieved during a fight over DWP drum sticks, during which I actually lost him. After I found Steve, Flogging Molly eventually took the stage and rocked the place with Paddy's Lement... although, I barely got to enjoy most of the music they played, because I was a bit busy. I had to focus all my energy to remain standing up among a packed crowd of swaying and pushing. I lost a flip flop, and got hit on the head several times with waterbottles and the like. Worst of all, the body of someone who thought it would be cool to crowd surf was thrown on me every 15 seconds, and with my height and strength, they more often than not ended up nearly hitting the ground. Once, I felt my shirt tugged on and turned around to see Steve on the ground, eyes wide, horrifyed, as he was getting stepped on and fallen on by those around him. My hair was pulled, my toes were stepped on, my head was kicked. It didn't seem worth it and Steve and I began to make our way out of the crowd, sideways.

That's when I ran into a girl I'd met earlier that day, a short, spunky chick who had sat in line with me for FM's signing (about an hour and fifteen minutes, we were first!). She was with several enthusiastic, energetic boys, and althought they too were getting shoved left and right, and were holding up bodies of crowd surfers, she was finding time to dance and jig inbetween the chaos. I joined her, singing and dancing when we could and trying to hide behind our larger male friends. Finally, during the last song (What's Left of the Flag), things began to look up. The crowd surfers were smaller in number, the crowd calmed a bit. The boys around us began to jig (or attempt to) and formed something of a kickline. Steve joined, as did random others, while we laughed and took pictures, and eventually danced along. Those two minutes of nearly uninterrupted celebration were worth every kick I recieved to the head, every bruise I got, the flip flop I sacrificed. That short time was filled with the purest feeling of celebration I think I've ever experienced. It was not drug nor drink induced; simply music, singing and dancing, with some friends we might never see again. We shared that short time together and parted ways to drive home and sleep for ten hours or more.

It might be a bit arrogant to say that Flogging Molly was the only band at Warped Tour that could provide such an experience... I'll say it anyway.

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