DC101 Chili Cook-Off

Washington Travel Blog

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Staring: Staind, Live, Seether, Finger Eleven, Chevelle!!!

Saturday was pretty cool, hehe, let me tell you why:)

I met Cindy for burgers at Five Guys, which is the best burgers I've ever had. Then we head out to DC via Metro, gotta love public transportation. When we got out of the station I looked around for a sign or someone directing people to the sold out concert event, but no one was there. Last year there was a lady, and a sign and no one got lost. This year we walked around the block and it was difficult to circumnavigate this block as some high school class had just graduated at that moment and they were poring out into the streets in droves. Cuz, once there were no people directing traffic, my next plan of action was to follow the crowd and see where that got us. As it turns out people wearing black robes aren't really all that interested in going to a concert. Who knew?! Cindy kept telling me to call my roomate and ask her to look it up online, but it was kind of a matter of pride; besides, where's the adventure in that? hehe, so I asked a ...no, correction, I had Cindy ask the police officer. :)

When we get there the line is around the block to get in. By the time we get to the gate Chevelle is already playing, and sounding pretty good. It's a shame that they had to play before Finger Eleven b/c those guys weren't really that great and they don't have nearly as many popular songs. We finally get in and there are lines upon lines. Lines for people to buy tickets, lines for people to buy the beer with their tickets. The lines were about an hour and a half long each-ish and tickets were a dollar a pop. And people go to the chili cook off for the good, free chili, to give money to charity (kidney association), to hear the bands, and to DRINK. Hello. With people buying a hundred dollars worth of tickets at a time, it takes a long long time to cycle through people. So I entered a gaggle around one ticket sales booth while Cindy got in line for beer. Is all good, there was always texting and nice people in line;0

About half an hour into waiting for my tickets the line ran out of tickets. Yep. Had to wait...some more...just for tickets. Called up my roomate and asked if she had gotten in yet. She had just walked in...Uhg! They didn't search us, I told her that we should have brought those little bottles of shots in our pockets (as some people had done), but too late. By the time I got out of the line with tickets, and the lady handing out the tickets couldn't have cared less if you took twenty or two hundred just so long as you didn't give her a hard time, Cindy was almost, but not quite to the front of the beer line. Then some guy comes up to us, I guess he recognized me from the other heinous line, and said that they were just letting anybody into the front of the line. We're like, okay! And we both walk out two beers each three minutes later. People move so slow! By the time we finally got our first beers Finger Eleven had already played and Seether was half way through their own set. (For normal people that's probably about 1.5 to 2 hours?)

Got a buzz off of chugging those two beers. There was no way after waiting all that time that I was going to let anyone spill them! And then the buzz was gone. By that time last year I had been totally trashed. One ticket was five bucks last year, and the beer was five bucks. It was quick, and not so much this year. During Seether's set Cindy keeps moving her way forward through the crowd. Closer and closer, but to a polite point, you know. Not getting in anyone's way. Seether, fantastic band to see live, btw. Once Seether had finished and most of the people walked away to get more beer or chili or whatever Cindy makes her move. Apparently Staind is her number 2 favorite band (behind Foo Fighters) and she wanted to be front row center for this show. Front Row?! Was she serious?

So, there we were, second row and third, respectively, with her holding onto the railing and us getting pushed and shoved (hello, why? No one was even playing! Drunks...) and me trying not to squish her myself. Next was Live. Can I tell you! Live was my first concert ever. Saw them at FAU campus in this great little outdoor spot, and I've been a concert lover ever since. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. They perform so well live! After their set was over two people in the front went over the rail to get out and Cindy took her opportunity! She pulled and I pushed (kind of brutally) and she managed to squeeze under the big guy next to her and she got to the front just like she had wanted. I then asked the incredibly big guy if I could move to the other side of him so I can get behind her and kind of work protection b/c those guys were pushing, shoving, and leaning hard. The guy behind Cindy was holding the railing and he suggested that I move in between her and him. I'm like, okay dude. It was great, for about half of Staind's set he was behind me, holding onto the railing and pushing everyone else back. I was draped over Cindy while we waited for Staind to start b/c there was no room for me (and my arms) to go anywhere else. hehe. So, he pushed, I tried to protect everyones heads from crowd surfers and Cindy got semi squished while enjoying her band.

(If I would have known that we were going to be in the front I probably would have suggested we get there sooner, but it would have been just as bad!)

So I asked the guy behind us just how much did he love the band that he was going through all that effort to be in the front. "I have no idea who this is," was his reply. The headlining band! No idea. I imagine that's how it is at festivals like that, you go for the atmosphere, whether the atmosphere is moshing in the pit, or relaxing with friends in the back. Both good and viable options.

At some point while I was helping crowd surfers I got my arm stuck between a surfer's body and the bouncer (guy whose job it is to catch these crazy bastards and make sure they don't hurt anyone.) He kept trying to pull the guy out and he wasn't moving...there was nothing I could do but wait for him to figure it out. That left a nice little mark;) Then, at some point, much like waves in the oceans sending water surfers, swimmers, fish, rocks, you name it, if it's in the water it's at the will of the tide. And sometimes the tide doesn't always send objects the directions you would expect them to go. Chaos theory anyone? Well, I forgot that rule. I saw some guy go the other way and turned my attention back to the stage. Well, he faked left and smack! ~his foot connected with my face. "Well, that's gunna leave a mark," as I helped the bum over the rail.

Once we lost our protection (thank you whoever you were!) the pressure was immense! I almost considered leaving just b/c it was so crazy ridiculous. Of course, I would never give up! Let me tell you though, there was this huge guy, and he wasn't even trying to hold himself up straight. He just kept leaning...on me the bum! It's your body, buddy, you hold it up. So I would try to wiggle my shoulder infront of him so he would lean on the plethora of guys around us. No. He kept pushing my shoulder. I tried the stick your thumb into his side trick, I tried getting his attention; this guy was incommunicado. I think that's where I got my bruise on my hip, punk... Then, pushed up against Cindy, was this tiny girl who had originally been flush against the railing, now she was barely able to breathe. So I got the attention of the two insanely huge guys who had pushed her out of the way and told them to make room for her. Of course they didn't. Then she asked. And they didn't. And they were far too big for me to push. The girl next to me was like, "I am totally going to tell the security guards. They are being so rude." And I was thinking, what a good idea. I got the guard's attention and kind of shouted to them what happened and he kind of stood there. Those guys are the law at a festival, they tell you you're out you're gone. He looked at them for a second, then Cindy asked them real nice if he could please get out of this girl's way a bit so she could breathe. He looked at the guard and the big SOB actually moved, slightly but it was something.

Later Cindy told me that I was too mean with those guys and that all we had to do was ask them politely and they'd move. Yeah, they are so polite but they had no problem shoving a girl out of their way and muscling in, and then not moving when she herself asked? Okay. Look guys, I realize that concerts are great places to expend a ton of energy, and basically the moshing is probably the most exercise that some of you actually get, and you want to be all the way up front so you can burn your ear drums out all the faster. Honestly, I, of all people, get it. But girls think differently. They want to be up in the front so they can actually see. And some girls just stand there at concerts and look like they're not having any fun, but still ... be considerate. Or at least try? And girls, don't go to the front of heavy heavy bands expecting no one to touch you, having your bf's stand there and guard you and beat up anyone who bothers you. Get binoculars for that, okay?

What I remember of Staind was great! 'Course, hearing/seeing Aaron Lewis acoustic is far better. Cindy actually managed to catch a pick after the show too. Good end to a great show. Then Cindy has to go to the bathroom. We're in the middle of DC and all the public restrooms are packed with concert goers waiting their turns. We walk around a couple of places to no avail. Imagine this, two girls, hair tossed, clothing drenched with, mostly, other people's sweat (ew...), concert shirts tied into our pants' belt loops so we didn't loose them, and two bottles of water each in our hands. I tell Cindy to follow my lead. I had been in a nice-ish restaurant/bar called Claude's a few months back on the 'worst date of my life!' so I felt confident I could pull it off. Walked right up to the hostess and asked if it was alright if we went back to the bar. Of course it was, though it shouldn't have been the way we looked! We walked straight past the bar to their nice bathrooms where there were some young ladies fixing themselves as it was prom night and they were on dates. I thought the one girl was getting married her white dress was that nice. Are the kiddos of this generation wealthier and skinnier then ours or was I just poor and not anorexic? Anyways...

Got home not a problem. As soon as I walked in through the door my roomate's like, "wanna catch dinner and a movie with us?" I'm like heck yeah! "How much time to I have?" "About thirty seconds." Uhg! Fixed up my hair, changed, and we were out. I was so hyped up on adrenaline that I was twitchy and anxious at Chick-fil-a. About half way through "What Happens in Vegas" I managed to calm down. Not a bad movie. Obviously predictable, but what romantic comedy isn't?

What a great day, right? Can't have too many of those days left in me! ;-)
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154 km (96 miles) traveled
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