Sunday, 13 July 2014

An Arctic Monkeys' Concert and Other Firsts

Yesterday, the 12 of July marked a lot of firsts for me. Many of them my seem incidental but trust me they are very important. Let's go through some of them.

First Concert
After many struggles and arguments - see here for details - my parents finally allowed me to go to an Arctic Monkeys concert. I have never exactly understood the huge appeal of concerts - I mean you're lost in a crowd of smelly strangers with a limited view of the stage and the act with everyone screaming and singing out of tune right next to your ear. Doesn't sound fantastic. But it was. It was so fantastic. It's a really freeing and exciting feeling to be surrounded by thousands and thousands of people who feel at least as passionately about the music they're listening to as you do. I don't remember the last time I felt so alive, so liberated.

First time to be chatted up by an older guy
Before the concert began my friends and I were sitting on a grassy area talking and waiting. This group of guys were sitting next to us and one of them turns to me and asks what my favourite Arctic Monkey's songs is. In my surprise I stupidly say the first thing that comes into my head which doesn't happen to be a song at all. 'Do you wanna know' is definitely not an Arctic Monkeys' song. What I'd meant was 'Do wanna know' and I might of gotten away with it but unfortunately he noticed. Not to mention that is definitely not my favourite song. These guys looked about twenty-two and when I was asked what age I was I hesitated for a moment, considered lying and then decided it was unlikely to achieve any desirable end so I went with the truth - seventeen. I then returned the question and he also hesitated, probably the same thoughts going through his head as had just passed through mine. Except he apparently came to a different conclusion and replied, eighteen. Pfft. Yeah right. We talked for a bit about the band and the other acts and then moved on.

First Mosh-Pit
Myself and my friends were pretty near to the front of the crowd when we suddenly found ourselves in a mosh-pit. It just started, out of nowhere and we were just like - this is not where we want to be. If we hadn't made our way out of it we would have been shoved out of it pretty soon anyway.

First UFO
I'm aware that flying bottles and rubbish are a common thing at concerts. What I was not expecting was a heavy, pink schoolbag to fall though the air, hitting my friend on the head. It had barely landed when someone caught it up again and chucked it away, back into the crowd. I mean, whatever you're into right?

First time to remove an unwanted arm from a shoulder
By the time the main act came on we were tired of being sandwiched between people, grinded on and pushed back and forth so we moved to the outer side of the crowd and watched much more comfortably from there. My friend Danielle and I were minding our own business and enjoying the band and then a guy about our age glanced back at Danielle. Then he did it again immediately after almost as you would if you had just recognised someone. Then he did it a third time like she had a fucking elephant on her head or something. Naturally enough Danielle and I had a bit of a laugh at this strange encounter. It might be relevant to add that I'm pretty certain he was smoking weed. But then a while later we had moved so that we were standing next to the guy who I might mention was singing incorrect lyrics also. Anyway he was with his girlfriend and they looked pretty cosy with his arm wrapped around her shoulder. Then suddenly Danielle stared at me and I looked at her to see what was up. She looked shocked and I was really surprised to see an arm around her shoulder. She told me later that she had thought it was my arm around her at first. The weed-smoking, lyric-failing guy had his right arm wrapped around his girlfriend and his left draped over Danielle's shoulder. It was the strangest, thing to see and Danielle just looked to perplexed and unsure what to do that I asked her if I should move his arm. So I sort of knocked this guy's arm off her shoulder and we went back to enjoying the music.

First time to be mistaken for a babysitter
We were trying to make our way out of the main crowd area after the third supporting act. My previously mentioned friend Danielle is a small Filipina. As we were trying to push through the hoards of squashed bodies and defiant concert goers she heard someone say something like "Let them through there's a child!" Which of course we found very amusing afterwards.

First time to have literally no idea what is happening
When Danielle and I went out to the edge of the crowd this cute couple came up to us suddenly and started asking us frantic questions so quickly with such a strong accent that neither of us had a clue what was happening. They sounded so anxious like the answers to the questions were the most important things in the universe and they needed them right now. All I could make out was that they were asking us something about Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys' front man, notorious asshat). Danielle actually thought they were talking a different language they were so incomprehensible. So the two of us just stared blankly at them completely lost for words. And then the couple began to look really worried and also confused and scared. It just made for a really strange, confusing encounter. But once they slowed down and actually started talking sense they turned out the be the sweetest. I've completely forgotten their names now but when they introduced themselves the boy said "I'm __ and this is my girlfriend __ she's fucking perfect" in the most nonchalant, casual way possible. They were completely adorable and just a bit drunk.

First time to not have a pen when I needed it
Let me tell you something about myself. I always bring a pen with me. Wherever I go. Even if I don't bring paper I bring a pen. Yesterday morning I had to minimise the space I took up in my bag so that I could fit my jacket in it if it got really hot. I decided there was probably no reason I might need a pen at a concert and so I left it out. As it happens I never put my jacket in my bag. On the bus ride home I couldn't help eavesdropping on a conversation in the seat behind me relating to Breaking Bad one of my all-time favourite TV shows. Then one of the boys leaned forward and asked if I had a pen so he could draw on his friend's face. Yep. The perfect conversation opener into a conversation I really wanted to join and nope. Nope. No pen. Jesus, I will never leave a pen out again.

First time to crush on a nameless faceless man
Let's just say that guy who asked me for a pen? By the end of that bus journey I had maybe a small crush on him. He just sounded really interesting okay! I think we'd get on well.
I never even saw his face though because the bus was so dark. So I don't know his name or what he looks like but I know the sound of his voice and I know we're totally soul-mates. Things will work themselves out.

First cigarette burn
Pretty self explanatory. A man next to me was smoking and carelessly waving around his cigarette which was held against my arm for a second before I realised what I was feeling. Yeah, I was feeling a red hot ember pressed against my skin.

First time to have someone spill a drink on me
Not long after the cigarette incident one of the women that was there with the man spilled some sort of weird drink that smelt like herbal tea down my leg. I'm basically living every Hollywood High School party where the unpopular girl gets a drink accidentally spilled on her by the jealous popular girl. #lifecomplete

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