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The atmosphere of the concert itself was absolutely insane. Outside in the general admission mosh pits there were people gasping for air by the stage as they were pulled into the tight crowd. There were others whose piercings had been ripped so badly that had bleeding gash's in their earlobes and other infected body parts. Inside the venue's blistering cafeteria, food was overpriced ($6.00 for french fries? Give me a break!) and huge fist fights were breaking out. One man left with a bleeding eye after being pinned to the ground in a heated and clearly psychical argument. It was said that he looked at the offenders girlfriend. Wow... there's a reason to punch in a man's eye. Another girl had fainted from a heat stroke and her whole face was flushing a deep shade of red. It was almost scary to watch these concert victims rave about how wonderful their favorite bands were onstage even as they held ice packs to their infectious areas.
It was difficult to hear any of the band's music outside of the venue unless you were in the first twenty rows. It was for this reason that I didn't actually get to *hear* a lot of music. Some bands that performed at the pre-concert outside were Boy Hits Car, Scapegoat, Stereomud, Cold, Jimmy Eats World and Alien Ant Farm who forgot their instruments and couldn't perform. Smooth, no pun intended. ; )
Outside there were many games to take part in. Basketball and rock climbing seemed to be a favorite but there was also a dunk tank and an 'who can eat the nastiest sandwich?' contest. I think a lot of people wanted to participate in this competition just because this happened to be the only food that wasn't overpriced. In my opinion, most of the people who went to the concert were either a) there because a huge event was happening in their hometown of CT. b) Blink182 fans. c) Underage teens trying to get alcohol or d) people from out of the state who actually came to hear some good live music!
As the night unfolded we found ourselves emptying into the outdoor venue where the main stage was located. Our seats were pretty awful but not as disappointing as the section of lawn 'seats'. Our row was classified as QQ. Keep in mind this wasn't M, N, O, P, Q... It was X, Y, Z, AA, BB, CC---QQ.... So you can only imagine how little the performers appeared to be. Saliva went onstage first and I don't know if my music taste is too observant but I just don't consider rambunctious screaming actual music. The lead singer of Saliva, Josey Scott, would literally stand behind his microphone and scream his ass off. At one point I had to resist the urge of running onstage and choking him out of his misery... Poor thing. I apologize if anyone reading this is a fan of Saliva or finds Josey's screaming to be a 'form of expression.' I am only stating my critical review of this band.
The next band to perform was Sum41. Christina and I briefly and accidentally met the lead singer Deryck earlier on backstage. How we got there is a long story but Christina was able to give him a hug and it seemed like a very fortunate moment for her as she happily skipped back to her seat. I may seem like I don't like many bands but if I hear "Fat Lip" one more time I will genuinely consider digging up a grave and throwing myself into it to avoid the sound of this catchy yet over played song. In fact, if you listen to Sum41's album most of their songs sound exactly like the hook of Fat Lip. I am not the only one who has noticed this so I doubt it's just me. They also didn't seem to have a lot of energy in concert and Deryck found it hard to refrain from using the word 'Fuck' in every sentence. "The fucking guy in the fucking front row! Yeah! The mother fucker in the fucking blue shirt! How the fuck are you doing?! Pick a mother fucking song for us to fucking sing!" Not a direct quote but close enough. This kid's mouth needs to be washed out by a bar of mommy's soap. Fuck! Oh..... ahem.... excuse my language ; )
Next up was New Found Glory. They were a pretty good live band. I haven't heard much of their album but I did enjoy their performance and build up to Blink182's set. There's not much to say about this band. Nothing too funny like the Saliva and Sum41 performances I was forced to watch.
Blink182 was awesome. I met this band back in 1999 at the MTV Video Music Award rehearsals and they are the funniest guys ever. Anyone who has seen them in concerts, music videos, interviews or other appearances knows how ridiculously hilarious Mark and Tom are. (Sorry. I think Travis is kind of bland compared to the other two band members. Although he is obviously an excellent drummer) Back in 99, the band was on the outside stage practicing for their pre-show performance. Mark's pants were falling awfully low and his butt crack was clearly showing. Some of us decided to be silly and screamed out "Mark, take it off!" in which he replied with "What?! Get a haircut?!"
Blink182 at the 104 concert was my first time actually seeing the band play a full set. I don't think anyone has to know any of Blink182's music to actually enjoy their performances. Between songs they crack the funniest jokes. "I smell weed! Did you know marijuana is illegal? I'm going to get a police officer and we're going to go into the crowd and arrest all of the kids out there who are smoking pot!" Tom bellowed jokingly, obviously aware that this fatuous idea would take days. Other times, Mark would point out how the band messed up a song or Tom would be sillier by making us bow down to the pink bass. If that wasn't funny enough, there was a huge sign in back of Blink182 that burst into flames stating the word "FUCK" I am pretty sure that Deryck from Sum41 constructed this masterpiece in his spare time.
As for Blink182's live music: EXCELLENT. Their energy transcended through the huge venue of 13,000 onlookers and they completely rocked out onstage. I was also very impressed by Travis's drum solo. He truly is an amazing drummer. One last thing about Blink182: Is it just me or does Tom sound like Ernie from Sesame Street? Hah!
After the awesome concert ended, we were given a chance to reenact a scene from "Dude, Where's My Car?" as we searched the huge parking lot for any sign of Dorrie's vehicle. We finally found it and were able to return home safely. I could probably go on and on about the events of this concert but I choose to end the review here only because I've offered as many highlights of the festival as I could. I will, however, allow myself to sum up this festival in one word, and that word is: FUCK. ; )
Amber Gardener is a Contributing Writer. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.