For months, I’ve been waiting for this day. Not only is it the first day of
summer, but it’s also the day I will get to see some of my favorite bands. I
imagined May thirty-first a million different ways, and hoped most for a nice,
sunny day where I could start my summer tan. As we drive downtown, I
hang my hand out the open window. The sky is freckled with a couple clouds,
but nothing threatening. Mostly, it’s sunny. Songs we’ll see live in a couple
hours pour through the speakers in my car, and as a car full of men drive by,
they cheer. The same kind of music is playing in their car. We’re all going to
the same place: Rockfest.
As we walk in, we get a few odd looks. I’ll admit: our trio is a little out of the
ordinary. Most of the people holding tickets are middle aged men, and are
either bikers, white trash, or happy they got the day off their desk job. There
are few high schoolers, and very few sixteen-year-old girls. We awe at the
expanse of Liberty Memorial: the grounds that are trashed by fifty-thousand
rockers each year. We find the main stage and maneuver our way into the
thick of the crowd. The stage hands are setting up for the next band: Pop
Evil. We have time to acclimate to the chaos before they start playing. After
a couple songs, it starts to drizzle. Then, it rains. And finally, it pours. The
grass transforms into mud that my feet sink in all the way to my ankles, and
my friends complain that they can’t see in the rain. This is one of the few
times I’m glad I brought my hat to a concert. Marie thinks I’m crazy because
I love the thing and hats are easy to lose at a festival. The climax of the rain
comes during my favorite Pop Evil song: Trenches. My clothes are sticking to
me like glue and I’m glad I brought a Ziplock to put our phones in. “Wanna
go up?” Marie asks us and I nod nervously. I’ve never crowd surfed before.
She asks the burly guy next to her to give us a lift and he scoops her up princess
style without hesitation. I watch her float towards the stage. The guy lifts
me up and I grip my hat tightly to my chest. I realize how much support I
have and relax a little. I even let out a little whoop! and sing along to the song.
Suddenly, I go over a hole in the crowd and I drop seven feet to the ground. A
few men quickly reach down to help me up. “You okay, sweetie?” One says
in a fatherly way.
Before I can even reply, he lifts me up and throws me back on top of the crowd.
Two seconds later, I’m in the mud again. I’m barely upright before I’m back
up in the air. When I get to the barrier, a strong security guy wraps one arm
around me and swings me like a rag to the ground. More security guys yell
for me to keep moving. I run around the barriers to rejoin the crowd and my
friends are waiting for me there. We’re all covered in mud, and my blonde
hair isn’t so blonde for a minute before the rain christens us with its fury.
Before the end of their set, the sun comes back out. I feel reborn into the arms
of music, mud, and summer.