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OT--The PIT and the Pandemonium

Old 09-30-2016, 04:40 PM
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OT--The PIT and the Pandemonium

Probably my all-time favorite band is Green Day. I've loved them ever since I took my kids to see them in 2002 (Pop Disaster tour) when kiddos were 13 and 15. Seen them live four times previously (as well as seeing American Idiot on Broadway twice--once when Billie Joe performed).

This year they are doing a small-venue tour--all the others were in big stadiums/arenas. So I was poised to buy tickets the second they went on sale. I was really only looking for one ticket, and there was a two-ticket limit, so I grabbed the first balcony seat offered and continued to try. A few minutes later I scored a PIT ticket, which is what I was going for.

I posted the balcony seat on Craigslist and immediately found a buyer--young woman (turned out to be a doctor) who hoped to put together a couple of other friends to go. All the tickets were General Admission, so logistics were critical. The tickets were will-call, and they would be released only to the buyer. They opened the ticket office yesterday at 10, but my Craigslist partner agreed to get there early and stand in line (note that it rained ALL DAY yesterday). I met her there at 10, but it was 11 before I had our tickets.

Now, I had called the venue a couple days before to confirm that there would be only ONE line to get in (regardless of where you were sitting), once we had tickets. My Craigslist buyer was going to hold our place in line so I could work and get there right when the doors opened. Come to find out, once tickets in hand, that there would be SEPARATE lines for entry, so she couldn't hold both places (her friends weren't getting there till later in the day). I was explaining my problem to one of the staff, who suggested I see if the people in line for the pit would hold a place for me. The people there said THEY didn't have a problem with it, but they suspected security staff wouldn't let me go in. So one of the guys working for Live Nation gave me his name and said to have security staff consult him and he'd make sure I got in front.

When I got there that evening shortly before door time, sure enough, the security person wouldn't let me up front and the line went WAY down the alley. I was telling her to check with Andy from LN, and she came up, took me by the arm, and quietly walked me back just a little ways from the front and planted me there. So that part worked out.

Staked out a spot right in the center, behind two rows of people. Figured it would be pretty decent. Then, of course, a couple of people had to get ejected for shoving, etc. I made friends with this awesome posse of five or so girls in front of me, who clearly were looking out for the old lady who was in over her head.

Speaking of over her head, once Green Day came out on stage, I found out what a pit really MEANS. I've been in the pit area for several concerts, but never for a band as big as Green Day in a venue as small as this one. The shoving got harder and uglier, and one of the girls in front of me grabbed my hand and sort of pulled me up closer to her. For a few minutes it was pretty OK, if a bit uncomfortable. Then it started getting painful. Had to keep arms up in front of me to keep breathing with the crush behind me. Sweating buckets from the bodies. Drunk guy screaming/singing (very BADLY) in my ear to the point where I couldn't hear the band. Got kicked in the head by a crowd-surfer who partially knocked off my glasses.

After about 5-6 songs, I tapped the shoulder of the young woman in front of me, telling her I was ready to throw in the towel, but thanking her for being so nice (along with her friends). I squeezed my way to the far side of the stage, where I was able to stand almost at the rail and had room to breathe and could hear the band. Mike Dirnt was directly in front of me for much of the show, and BJ was, of course, all over the stage.

I can't say I was able to appreciate the music so much, but I was viewing this show more as an "experience" than as a concert--I've heard them enough times to really enjoy the music, but never got to be down in the thick of things before.

So. I don't think I'll be repeating this particular experiment again, but I'm glad I gave it a shot. I think they should have a section for us old people (maybe call it the Dinosaur Pit), lol.

Still rockin',
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:47 PM
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Yes, the Pit is a VERY different place than the general arena!! My 1st experience with it was Loolapalooza 1992 with Soundgarden/Pearl Jam/Chili Peppers. I thought I knew - HAHAHA.

I remember that the crowd was so huge that the pit was rows & rows & rows of people just gyrating along & so tightly packed together that when the music started & people started moving, my feet came up off the ground & I was just lifted with the crowd..... they were all so much taller than me & THANK GOD I had wedged myself between 2 guy friends...... they sort of carried me the way a fish gets caught in a current. After 3 songs, I tapped out but the ONLY way out was to crowd surf to the front & have security pull you up across the stage. Later, when Ministry took the stage & I was standing back much farther in the crowd it was one of the most amazing sights - it had to have been 30 ROWS of people moshing to that industrial music; unbelievable sight, incredible energy.

I still love the pit, I can't help but be drawn to that energy. We saw POD a few months ago & I finagled a spot right next to/behind security so I could stand *this close* to the fire & not get burned.

Lexie, literally.
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Old 09-30-2016, 06:02 PM
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I was texting my Craigslist buyer that I was glad I knew there was a doctor in the house!

Just a few pics:
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Old 09-30-2016, 06:04 PM
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Billie Joe
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Old 09-30-2016, 06:05 PM
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Mike and Tre
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Old 09-30-2016, 06:10 PM
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I gotta say, Billie Joe looked pretty darned healthy. Hope his recovery continues to go well.
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Old 09-30-2016, 08:34 PM
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I love this story! I just turned 42, and I am the veteran of many, many pits. Got a concussion once in the pit at a Fugazi show...ah, memories.
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Old 09-30-2016, 08:40 PM
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Pits are so dangerous, haha. Call me a wimp but no no and no. A friend of mine and I were at a Kittie show years ago when a 300 pound man was thrown full speed out of the pit in front of us and into my friend's face! Three nose surgeries later....
I've never seen Green Day live but they're on my to-see list. Those pics give off so much energy! Great to see them still putting on such a good time for the fans.
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Old 09-30-2016, 09:03 PM
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Well, one of the reasons I love GD so much is you can't help but have fun at the show, because THEY clearly are! I remember seeing them in San Jose (near their hometown) several years ago, and BJ's mom got brought out on the stage with a supersoaker to hose down the crowd--coulda used some nice cool water last night!

They usually play really LONG shows, too--last night's show (at two and a half hours for GD) was the shortest I've ever been to. Usually it's three-hours-plus. They have the best rapport with the audience I've ever seen. And all three seem like truly nice guys, very loving dads, etc., as well as really good friends. Mike and BJ have been friends since grade school, and Tre since high school.
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Old 10-01-2016, 02:28 AM
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Holy cows, Lexie, what a story! I'm glad you survived the pit--that's something I'd never consider doing, far too claustrophobic.

My concert-going days were back in the days when "festival seating" was common, and more than once I ended up on the outer edge and tail end of a crowd entering the venue b/c I was just too scared to be in that pack of people. I'm sure at least some of you here remember the Who concert in Cincinnati in 1979 where 11 people were killed in a crush to get in.

Anyway, glad you had such a great time, and my hat is off to all of you who've been courageous enough to brave the pit and tell the wimps like me all about it!
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:10 AM
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I get ya, hp. I'm fairly tall (5'7.5) and still about 150 pounds, so I'm not especially worried about getting knocked over. My bigger concern, as the night wore on, was that I'd pass out or something, which definitely wouldn't be good. Being up front, at least, if I felt ready to "drown," the event staff were right in front of me. People were very orderly going IN, so I had time to pick my spot.

I apparently argued my "cases" well with the staff, too, as they actually listened when I was trying to preserve my place in line (only one told me to "calm down"--I got a bit frustrated when at first it didn't sound like "Andy from Live Nation" was going to get me anywhere) and I talked another person into letting me back in through the front after the show so I could buy a t-shirt--as if I needed another one!
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:18 AM
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Awesome story, Lexie!!! I've been a huge GD fan since way back when.
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Old 10-01-2016, 02:45 PM
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another terrific chapter in the Adventures of Lexie. no plumbing required! lol

you are one intrepid soldier. i believe the term is CHUTZPAH!

last night i went to the Mariners game with my daughter (33) and her BFF (32) and they were talking about maybe they should try to go dancing again sometime. they were concerned they didn't know how anymore. i thought it was cute, as i was going out dancing at the gay bar til WELL into my 40s. altho i must admit towards the end, i was doing more drinking then dancing and took some pretty epic spills. sigh.

i'm pretty content with relatively tamer venues like baseball games, altho a few years back when Renee got us great seats for Mom's Day, second row down the 3rd base line, i took a line drive to the side of my skull!!!? fortunately i had turned my head and the ball hit on the ridge thingie on the side of my head above the eye socket!!! we now purchase tickets in the "No Helmets Required" sections!
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Old 10-01-2016, 04:03 PM
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Old 10-01-2016, 04:25 PM
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LOL, that's GREAT, suki!
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Old 10-01-2016, 04:52 PM
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Lexie! You kill me!!! Lmao!!! Do it girl!!
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:46 AM
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Wow Lexie, you are brave to do that! I love GD too but am claustrophobic and the pit sounds dreadful, tbh. Fantastic pics btw.

About 10 years ago I was in NYC and it was Halloween night, an unusually warm and beautiful night. We went to a comedy club and when the show finished the streets were PACKED so tight you could barely move. I'm 5'3 so couldn't see anything except the people around me. My partner is 6'3, thank God, so he could navigate. It was very uncomfortable. Finally we found a cab which crawled back to the hotel.

The last concert I saw was Bon Jovi in Vegas, got seats at the end of a row, stayed in the same hotel so no driving or parking issues. Concert-going, old-lady style lol.
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:33 AM
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OMG I love what rockers y'all are!!

BIG fan of the pit here...Maybe we should all consider meeting up at Ozzfest next year!

<---threatened by the policing with an 'inciting a riot' ticket for starting the mosh pit at my senior prom. My only police encounter to date that I'm a tiny bit proud of And there is nothing quite like HUGE 90's hair and hot pink HUGS ruffled dresses in a slam dance pit!
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