We had married young and had been a married couple nearly a decade before we decided to become parents. Our family had started questioning our fertility, when what they should have been doing was praising our family planning skills. Even though we were excited to embark on this new adventure, we were also a little wistful about giving up our freedom.
For our tenth wedding anniversary the hubby took me to roam the streets of Berkeley (one of my favorite places to wander) and then to the Greek Theater to watch Florence And The Machine. But this post is not about that song bird.
The hubby wanted us to go to Outside Lands, a three day music festival in San Francisco, and after the show in Berkeley I knew there was just no way. I was just 5 months pregnant then, but I realized after walking all afternoon that I was NOT going to want to spend three days walking around at a music festival. I didn't come to the decision lightly either. I really wanted to see a lot of the bands and artists. I really wanted to make that memory with the hubby. Ever since I watched "Woodstock" I have dreamed of going to such an event. It's on my bucket list.
However I knew that I was going to be miserable. My feet would be swollen, I would be grumpy, hungry, tiered and worst of all sober!
The hubby had purchased two tickets to L.A. Rising. He had always wanted to watch Rage Against
The Machine live, and now finally here was his chance. The show was in L.A. so he would be gone the weekend.
I wanted to go. He was hesitant. A Rage show he warned was not going to be safe for a pregnant woman and her unborn fetus. I was incredulous. I wanted to go. It was at the end of July just before my third trimester. It was our last chance for a road trip. I wanted that weekend away for the two of us. We would be sitting. I could handle it.
He tried to dissuade me, it was bound to be a tough crowd. Things could get ugly. He might have to fight someone, and he wasn't in shape for a fist fight he warned. He was worried he wouldn't be able to protect me. I thought he was being ridiculous. Who would be at this show? Other people our age and older. It would be fine, no one was looking to get into a fight. Muse and Lauren Hill were also performing. He wasn't so sure. Finally, my unrelenting
begging reassurances won him over.
The day of the show we got to Los Angeles at ten am. Too early to check in to our hotel room. We went to this really awesome movie theater and watched Crazy Stupid Love. Then we went to a sporting good store and bought cushions for the stadium seats and had lunch at a delicious vegan restaurant. Finally, we checked into our comfy hotel room and started getting ready. All at a leisurely pace.
That's when it happened. We looked at our tickets and realized that the concert had started at 1 pm, it was 4 o'clock. We booked it. Have you ever tried to hurry in L.A.? It's basically impossible, it took us 30 minutes to go a few miles, then another 30-45 minutes to find parking about 20 minutes away.
When we finally got to our seats after six o clock, it was like a scene from Mad Max. It did look like a rough crowd. It was really crazy. They changed our seats without telling us. We caught the end of Lauren Hill. Time it seemed had not been kind. Bummer. Rise Against, a group I wasn't familiar with played next. They were cool. Next, Muse. The hubby had been playing Muse and Rage on the drive down, but I was not prepared for the awesomeness of Muse Live. They put on a great show and made a life long fan out of me. After their terrific performance there was a long intermission.
The crowd started getting restless. Lots of people started acting a fool. There were bottles being thrown. A man was getting medical attention near us after being hit with one of the random bottles and it cracking his forehead open. The hubby was getting nervous and was going between a small anxiety attack and excitement over getting to see one of his favorite bands.
Before the show started, there was a video on immigration. Then a video about the bands
and their activism. It was a little strange, because I swear I felt a change in the crowd. like from excitement and general drunkenness to uneasy aggression. I remember thinking, these people know who they came to see right?
When the show started people started rushing the security barricades to get into general admissions. Large crowds literally ran down and aisles and flung their bodies into each other to push through security. When security put a stop to the unruliness, we saw people throwing themselves over the stadium walls. More bottle throwing. People were moshing, and starting bonfires. One of the concession tents was set on fire and another was taken down with people climbing it. The show itself was great. Some people left, obviously uncomfortable with the change in mood. I don't think they were really there to see Rage.
We left just before the encore because we still had a 20 minute walk through not the safest looking area in L.A. We got to our car safely and reminisced about the show we had just watched, the highs and the lows. I teased the hubby about how everything had been fine just like I said it would be. He said I was way down playing the craziness of the crowd.
Later when I recounted the weekend to my brother, including how silly the hubby had been. My brother broke the news to me. He thought it sounded like a nerve wrecking time. He did NOT think the hubby was being irrational or silly.