I have had the weirdest few days.
I didn’t know what Bassnectar was until a few days ago. He’s is a deejay, music producer and musical cult leader. All I know is that Redacted would not. stop. yapping about it. He got me to buy tickets in February and has been counting down ever since.
Bassnectar and his very large (and I mean really large) band of followers were in the area for three days for a summer gathering. With his traveling tribe of zealots and followers comes a rather large infrastructure of volunteers and community service projects. It’s one of the reason Redacted was so into me coming to this show, it is a culture larger than just a night of entertainment.
We had VIP tickets for all three nights. Redacted planned on going to all nights, I was only going for one and selling the rest.
We went out of our way to avoid ticket drama and were feeling pretty good about ourselves when we rolled up to the 1st Bank Center to free rockstar parking. We marveled at our luck, it should have been our first red flag.
We followed small clusters of people wearing psychedelic clothes and lingerie. It’s a thing.
I was the first to see the giant sign …
I did a double take. Wasn’t today 6/8?
I’ll leave out the part where we wrestled with reality, went worked through the 7 stages of loss, madly searched the internet for an explanation, looked for something else to do, and watched adorable concert goers – so full of life and innocence – get out of their cars with no idea how crushed they were about to be in a minute.
We considered breaking it to them but ultimately took the cowardly way out. We watched the return to their cars, crestfallen.
We popped into the hotel where the afterparty was supposed to be and many of the out-of-towners were shacked up. They were trying to get a party started in the courtyard and I was doing my best to discourage Redacted from going back to Boulder to pick up a sound system to hijack the party with. I was tired.
So tired in fact that I took a little nappy-poo on the couch while he attempted to figure out what was going to happen next.
I woke up I don’t know how much later but kind of popped up into a seated position facing backwards on the couch, looking at the bar. My dazed face must have looked come-hither because I made eye contact with a woman. She honed in on me.
“I was headed to the bathroom but I have got to connect with you instead!”
Right on sister. Bring it.
(Claps hands, favorite thing!)
I have a hard time conveying the crazy intensity of what happened next but I’ll try. After I told her that this was supposed to be my first Bassnectar show she proceeded to lose her mind. The offense of being turned away from my first show must have jarred something loose in her brain.
“I AM AN AMBASSADOR IN RETIREMENT* AND I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I LOVE BASSNECTAR! HE IS LOVE! HE LOVES YOU! HE LOVES EVERYONE, HE ONLY WANTS TO SPREAD LOVE AND HAPPINESS AND HE WOULD NEVER DO THIS TO YOU! THIS IS NOT HIS FAULT! HE LOVES YOU AND WANTS YOU TO HAVE THE BEST TIME EVER! AND I’M JUST GOING TO HAVE TO FLEX FOR A MINUTE SO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT I KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT BECAUSE I AM VERY CLOSE TO HIS BEST FRIEND. WE TEXT ALL THE TIME! WE JUST TEXTED! I KNOW THAT THIS ISN’T HIS FAULT. WHEN THEY PUT UP THE SIGN THAT SAID THE SHOW WAS CANCELLED I FOUGHT MY WAY IN AND SECURITY WAS LIKE YOU CAN’T BE HERE AND I WAS LIKE FUCK YOU! I NEED TO KNOW MY MAN IS OKAY! AND I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I AM SOOOO SORRY THAT THIS HAPPENED, HE WOULD NEVER DO THIS TO YOU, HE WILL MAKE THIS RIGHT! HE IS LOVE! HE IS MUSIC, HE, HE, HE …
Throughout this she was getting more and more agitated, yelling and pounding on the back of the couch. She looked at Redacted who was just sitting there and screamed, “WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?!”
I was like, He’s cool. Don’t worry.
She got so worked up that I thought she was going to have a stroke so I intervened. I sat up on my knees so I could be on the same level with her, I took her face in my hands, which was at this point red and sweaty and told her to open her eyes and look at me.
I held her there like that for a minute and just stared into her eyes, talking softly to her and stroking her face with my fingers until she came back to. It was crazy and also really wonderful. She took a deep breath, hugged me, and then gave me the sweetest, softest kiss I’ve ever had.
Well that was cool. Having not been to a show yet, I felt like the evening wasn’t a complete bust having experienced that.
Then it was announced that Bassnectar scored the Coliseum for the next day and the show would go on. End crying.
(*Bassnectar has people who attend the shows to take care of the crowd, called Ambassadors. They provide water, earplugs, and whatever kind of support is needed. You are freaking out? Find an Ambassador. Someone creeping on your space? Find an Ambassador. Your trip is going south? You just did too much K and fell over … you get the picture.)
We went home, I got a good night’s sleep and the next morning I was ready to a approach the day.
Sometimes it’s nice to get a redo. I hadn’t put my back into dressing for the show the night before. I know all about the shit people wear to those shows. Ladies in nothing else a lace thong and matching bralette? You go girl! I decided I wasn’t nearly festive enough. I forgot that I had this little number in my drawer …
I felt way more comfortable in the crowd wearing that and Redacted and I managed to peer pressure Weird Flex into taking off his business button down and replacing it with angry pineapples so he wouldn’t stand out so much.
Redacted went all in with his look, rocking the pashmina.
Thank god we had VIP tickets because the line was ridiculous but at the same time the scene was so fun and full of anticipation … and I was getting much love for my outfit which felt nice.
I’m telling you, the Bassnectar tribe are a bunch of really friendly folks. If nothing else, young women can wear practically nothing and be totally safe. If I was young like that I’d be wearing the exact same shit.
Unfortunately Junebug wasn’t there, she’s a core member of the #concertdeathpact but was busy getting stood up by her friends so I’m sure she had a better time than us.
We got into the venue super fast and proceeded to watch Redacted go into an obsessive loop about whether to post up on the floor or in the VIP bleachers. Decisions, decisions.
Convo went like this:
Redacted: You guys, where should we stand?
Me: Let’s hang on the floor, it’s better here.
Redacted: Are you sure, because we have to decide now. In a few minutes 10,000 people are going to flood the venue.
Me: Right. This is good.
Redacted: BUT ARE YOU SURE? WE HAVE TO DECIDE NOW!
Me: Dude, there is literally no one in here but us. And we’ve decided. This is where we are.
Redacted: Because we could go to the bleachers …
Me: When have you ever wanted to be anywhere but middle-middle?
Weirdflex: ANY SECOND NOW 10,000 PEOPLE ARE GOING TO FLOOD THE FLOOR! (He loves to stir us up)
… And so on until the place finally filled up.
Given we had something like two hours to kill before the music started, we sat on the floor along with everyone else which at anything else would have been strange but was oddly relaxing.
I entertained myself by getting water and visiting in the ladies’ room to see what was going on.
I kept running into the same gal with lavender hair, obviously on the same pee schedule as me, and I ran into a couple of guys from the hotel lobby the day before. The one in the goggles gave me potato chips.
Eventually it got too crazy to try to go anywhere as the place filled up to capacity. I decided I was done with water runs and the bathroom, leaving it up to the kindness of strangers and Ambassadors to keep me hydrated, which they did magnificently.
But if someone had to leave, we had the best ace in the hole. The glowing duck.
The group next to us kept it on someone’s head at all times and it was the only way we were able to find our way back to each other which was important because at the last minute a friend joined us and I had to fetch him from the gate, find him two different kinds of wristbands that would allow him access to the floor and our crew, and fight back to duck.
But at last we were all together, which is kind of what this is all about.
By then the show had started and it was amazing.
Video doesn’t do it justice of course, because it’s not just about the music. The music was dope and loud and bassy for sure, but it was the energy of all those people just going off and getting swept up in it that felt so incredible. Group catharsis.
I’ve never been to a show that big, we usually go to small venues which we like a lot. I was actually worried about being in such a big space but thanks to the Duck Positioning System and a non-aggressive crowd, we had plenty of room to dance and interact despite feeling like we were in a scene from Strange Days.
It was like being possessed. Everyone me was screaming and hollering and dancing like the possessed, the music and energy was wild.
And then it was over, just like that, and we went home already missing the experience of feeling that good. Holy shit, what a night.
The next day was rough, I survived it by falling asleep on two beanbags I pushed together at Scratchy’s appointment at the Cognitive Behavioral Center at the university where he got paid $30 to participate in a 2-hour study on mindfulness.
Despite crushing fatigue, I felt amazing.
Then Sam Star from NYC arrived to spend the night with me so I threw dinner together and had Sideboob and Mr. Sideboob over for dinner.
I was so dead that while she was on the phone I snuck off to bed but she came up and got in bed with me and we talked for a couple hours. It was perfect.
She wants to visit in September when I will have no space due to a full-house, but I told her she can sleep with me because I dig that slumber party/girl talk action.
It’s a real honor to be let into her inner circle, or rather let our inner circles collide.
I need to have a pole family reunion sometime. Everyone is flung all over the world but there must be a way to get them all to come back and play with me.
I rode my high from that weekend for a good few days before I finally came down. I know what I’ll be doing next year for sure.
For now I’ve got the week off of parenting because my kids are at Scout Camp at Flaming Gorge. I sent them on their way yesterday.
Tomorrow I am interviewing for another position (in addition to the work I already do). I’m not sure I want it. I mean, I would LOVE to advance professionally and take on more clients, but I am also mindful of having a good work/life balance so I don’t know.
My tall friend is visiting later this week, after My Asian Daughter visits on Wednesday.
Oh, and I made a new friend. Her name is Brenda and I am crushing on her so hard because she is the woman I wish I had been at 29.
I met her at a party and noticed her the second she walked in. There was something about the way she worked the room, going from person to person, saying hello and giving each one a kiss on the cheek.
When she introduced herself to me I said, “You are either from Mexico City or Spain. I can’t tell which one.”
“I’m from both,” she said. I knew it.
She had the confidence of someone who was trained at a very young age to walk into a room and say hello to everyone. I remember that from when I was married to Pablo, his mother’s family from Mexico City were all like that, social butterflies, completely comfortable in crowds. I failed in that aspect back then, I kind of still do. I’m bad at hellos and goodbyes but I’m awesome at everything else.