Tuesday, June 25

A $1,016 concert ticket? Well, not exactly …


A $1,016 concert ticket? Well, not exactly …

Adrienne Martinez

Last week I paid $1,016 to see Weezer in concert. It wasn’t
anything spectacular. I didn’t get to meet them or keep any of
their clothing. The concert wasn’t in some exotic locale, with
vines climbing around the microphones, the entire audience in leis.
(Truth be told, the audience consisted primarily of moshers and
10-year-old girls wearing combat boots.) So why would I pay that
much to see a new, and, in my opinion generic band like Weezer?

Well, the first $16 I paid resulted just from peer pressure. I
have to admit, their songs do have a weird way of growing on you.
You don’t actually notice it until you catch yourself quietly
singing "Buddy Holly" while standing in one of the slower lines in
Murphy Hall. In any case, I figured this concert would be my little
"Thank god I survived finals again" present to myself. As it turned
out, because of it I also got a week of R&R.

When getting ready to leave, I chose my outfit carefully. I had
seen EMF and Frente! in concert previously, and I was expecting
Weezer to fall squarely between the two on my "danger of being
ripped at a concert scale." I laced up my boots, just in case. We
sped off to the Palladium in the "Malone Special," making sure to
stop for a pack of gum. We jumped in line, got felt up and learned
that our gum was contraband. Thus far, the night had been pretty
uneventful.

Inside, dense groups of people covered the floor and we made our
way to the front, stepping over clumps of kids that even I thought
were too young to be smoking. The lights dimmed and the mass jumped
to their feet, oddly excited about the band that was opening for
the band that was opening for Weezer.

A pit formed instantly, a swirling pool of muscle, boots and
sweat. I couldn’t help but notice that a daring companion of mine
had a certain twinkle in his eye and we plunged in.

I then came to realize how different moshing is for women and
men. Hit a woman anywhere and it is probably going to hurt. I don’t
care how tough you are ­ certain parts of the female anatomy
are not conducive to slamming. Male bodies, fueled by testosterone,
are of a different consistency ­ and believe me, by this time
it was splashing the walls ­ enabling them to take a hit and
not absorb it at all.

Another interesting phenomenon I quickly observed is that mosh
pits have no glass ceilings. There aren’t really any gender lines
or biases and I’ve got the bruises to prove it.

After two songs of getting more than I was giving, I figured it
was time for me to get out. I was sweaty, sore and oddly
invigorated. It was dancing times 10, delicious human contact …
and it was getting a little out of hand.

The pit had spilled over into the group of onlookers, reaching a
dangerous level of activity. After being separated from my group, I
was thrown toward the stage, where like a lamprey I grabbed onto a
big male and leeched off his strength to keep both my feet under
me. Once I fell and he stooped to pick me up after pushing a guy
who was standing on my ankle. The lights fell and rose again, and
the band announced their last song.

A few feet from me, a guy begged his friend to throw him up onto
the crowd. His friend refused and I could see why: Stage diving is
for little rubber people who weigh next to nothing. This guy was
fairly built, weighing at least twice as much as the crowd would be
used to supporting. Later, his friend must have agreed to try
because I could hear both of them grunting with effort as I turned
away to watch the band.

Suddenly, I felt a bright explosion of pain, so strong it
registered white behind my eyes. As everything turned black and I
began to fall, I could feel the impression his boot left across my
face. The guy I had been clinging to caught me, holding me up until
things started to clear. With blurry vision I wandered back through
the crowd to find ice, already feeling a huge lump forming over my
right eye. The first aid station workers told me I probably had a
concussion, and gave me some ice and sent me on my way. Later that
night, back in the dorms, my body felt broken and my headache was
so strong I could barely walk down the hall.

Visiting Student Health can be like trying to handle financial
aid in Murphy Hall: you get sucked in and they never let you leave.
I got to Student Health at around 9 in the morning and they kept me
there with no medication until 5 that afternoon. After three CAT
scans and about seven x-rays, the doctor established that I did not
have a blowout skull fracture, as he’d feared. What I did have was
something called severe head trauma (which, coincidentally, sounds
like the name of a band) and more importantly, a hospital bill for
about a thousand bucks.

I took off all last week from school. By my calculations, this
one week will probably put me behind for the rest of my educational
career.

So, was it worth it? Boy, if I had a nickel for every time my
mom asked me that, let’s just say I wouldn’t be worried about the
hospital bill.

What I don’t understand is what happened to going to a concert
to actually hear the music? Have we progressed so far from all
things human in our society that we need such a primal outlet for
our social aggressions? Doesn’t it seem wrong that a woman moshing
in such a place gets openly groped and sometimes, her clothes get
torn off? Or that smaller men get pulled in and practically beaten
by those much bigger than them?

Call me old-fashioned, but shouldn’t we have more respect for
our fellow human beings than that? It was a Weezer concert, after
all, not the initial performance of Stravinsky’s "Rite of
Spring."

Moshing is fun. I won’t deny it, and as I said earlier there is
something delicious about all that human contact. But, go for the
music, not the moshing. If you’re inspired to mosh than go with it,
but don’t show up with only moshing on your mind. Anyone who
witnessed the spectacle caused by "The Sweater Song" that night
knows exactly what I mean.

Listen to the music, lose yourself in the swayings of human
contact and if that’s not enough for you, go play some hockey.

Martinez is a freshman double majoring in neuroscience and art.
Her columns appear on alternate Wednesdays.

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