This is me and my new friend Kenny. Kenny was one of the first people to take me under his wing, and show me some in’s and out’s of So-Cal living. He was also the first person I got way too intoxicated with, and the first person to see me “dance” at a show here. By dance I mean organized moshing or “two stepping”. I don’t think he, or anyone else who was there for it, was ready for what I had brought to the table during either instances.
The other day me and Kenny decided to attend the Musink festival at the O.C. fairgrounds. It was a tattoo festival where, New Found Glory, Bayside, and Yellowcard were performing. Anyone who knows me, you know why I went. New Found Glory and Bayside killed it. As always. East Coast represent. More on why I did not mention Yellowcard in the previous statement, later.
We arrived at the venue at about 1:00 in the afternoon and went to cruise through and check it out. We were submersed into a sea of wanna be Pin Up girls and Pompadoured modern day greasers. But still, it was nice being surrounded by the degenerate culture I’m used to being apart of. We saw many great artists, and I was surprised to see the difference in styles that were popular between the East and the West. There is a big difference. Racism seems to me more prevalent here. There are all types of racial driven art works and tattoos, from Mexican culture, to African American culture, to Nazi culture, the entire spectrum of hate, is worn with pride. Excuse me when I say, I fucking despise that it’s accepted as normal. You’d get put in your place where I’m from if you tried to pull that, and I don’t understand why it’s ok. Not just here, but anywhere. After I had my fair share of visually offensive art work, I was ready for a break, and to leave the fairgrounds until the bands started later, at 7:00. It was about 3:00 at this point and we agreed on going to get a few drinks, and food elsewhere, instead of paying for $10 Sailor drinks and $30 Pizza. Literally. We approached the exit and the worst words of the day were uttered, No Re-Entry. We were stuck.
So we waited, hours passed and we circled the same areas over and over. We found some interesting things to keep us entertained. Traditional Star Wars Tattoos, and the horrible commentary of a Tattoo competition were the highlight. We sat in the sun and searched for anything to keep our spirits high in the heat. As time winded down towards the performances, around 6:00, we found our saviour. $6 Sailor drinks. You would have thought we just won the white trash lottery. And so we drank.
Following our indulgence, Bayside finally played. They sounded perfect and started with Kenny’s favorite song, and the only one he knew, he was stoked, and so started my excitement which lead to my inspiration to dance. I went for it instantly, executing an east coast two step while others around me, including Kenny, were confused and mildly concerned for their personal space and safety. Only due to ignorance. It is controlled and I mind my space, unless you intentionally move close, you have no reason to fear. Some decided to press their luck and some were touched due to their own dumb curiousness. Not my fault. But they didn’t like it, words were exchanged, but I continued, and they started to understand not to come too close and to let me be, as I enjoyed hitters such as Devotion and Desire. Bayside ended, we got more drinks and then Yellowcard played. The following is all I have to say about Yellowcards Performance.
They closed with Ocean Avenue and messed up the song. In their own hometown. That’s all I need to say, and have to say about Yellowcard.
Finally after a long wait, New Found Glory unleashed the slaughtering of amazing material as usual. I danced, and I danced hard. They love circle pits here, why, I don’t know, but it made it challenging to find space. I was being pushed a lot, and in particular by one guy, who was not there for New Found Glory and Dancing, but for the fact that pushing people was acceptable and it made him look tough. This man was dubbed “The Cholo” by the friends I made who respected my East Coast style of dancing, including a fellow Hardcore and New Found Glory fan from Boston. The Cholo was beginning to wear thin on me, and was pushing girls and guys inappropriately. When he came for me, he put his hands on me for no reason and I hung onto him and continued backwards which undid his balance. His, oh so fashionable and expensive wife beater, ripped as I hung on, to prevent falling. He did not enjoy this. I did not care. I was having fun and was going to continue to do so regardless of his peeved attitude which followed. The Cholo ran his mouth and as I continuously told him to relax because everyone was trying to have fun, he took action. I received my first head butt to the nose in California. My initial reaction was to go for his throat and was held back by Boston and Kenny as they pointed out the group that resembled the bloods, that wore matching attire to his own, across the way. All 20 of them. It was not worth the time, aggravation, or being stabbed. Then I knew exactly how to get back at him. Dance harder and have more fun. Physical violence is for the weak minded and immature. The two step continued and he looked like a fool. His head butt was weak and so was his pride. I bruised him where it counted and I smiled and sang along louder with my new friends. I ate your head butt. I win.
The show ended, Kenny and I discussed some personal information on the way back to my apartment where his girlfriend was to pick him up and give me a ride to the popular bar around town. I was to meet up with people from work and my new favorite person in California. His partner arrived and so we went. I didn’t realize what I had shared with Kenny until this comment was made to his counterpart, ” Chris got a little nutty tonight, I didn’t know he had that in him”. I thought to myself, “Todd would be proud”.
I got to the bar to be greeted by open arms, and the smile I had been looking forward to seeing all day. It was perfect. I shared my story with my friends and I think they were surprised because they never experienced me in such an atmosphere. Most won’t. Those who do, if you can accept it, we will remain close for a very long time and I have a mutual respect for you “getting it”. After my story, I hear these words, “my best friend is on her way”. I had a moment of panic. I reeked of stale booze and sweat, and glowed with exhaustion and intoxication. I was meeting the best friend and was at my worst. I guess I was at my lowest point, and it was a, “take me for who I am or not at all,” moment in life.
I met the best friend, and she ruled. She has a great sense of humor, didn’t care that I was half shot in the ass and looked like a vandal. She then suggested we moved venues to a house party with more of their friends. So we did, with another guy we worked with, as the best friends escort. This kid loves many things I do, and we share the same views on some of, but not all, of the same things. I was actually hitting it off with her and I couldn’t believe the dynamic, and flow, that naturally radiated from the group. We went to the party and conquered. There were Nerf Gun fights, Dry Erase art, 80’s hair metal, cheap beer, pool games, and “Ball in the house”. It was fun. One problem. My favorite, though still having fun, was allergic to Cats, and was suffering a bit. It hurt me to watch but she insisted to stay and endured the attack whilst having a blast, and making me laugh until I cried. Seriously, she rules.
We parted ways with the best friends guest while we were leaving the party around 4:30 in the morning. She insisted we didn’t go home, and craved late night drunken sustenance. My favorite, enthusiastically obliged the outlandish request and off we went for street tacos. More laughs were had, mostly at the best friends drunken banter with the staff at the establishment. We then sat and the drilling began. The best friend laid into me a bit expressing that she had an opinion about me and her friend spending time together but would not elaborate. So I did what I only know how to do and told her exactly my intentions and how I felt about her friend. She was stunned by my honesty and response and I think I gained her respect and full acceptance, while making my favorite blush. Yes I noticed, and I adored it. I won once again. Cholo-0 Best friend-0 Chris-2. It pays to be yourself.
We had, once again, another excellent time. We then went and dropped the best friend off. I made a promise to look out for the best friend, because I enjoy her company, and made a connection that I know is important to all three of us. My favorite surrounds herself with good people. Chris-3. I made it home by 5:30 am, got the text that everyone was safe and sound, and closed my eyes as the sun was just starting to rise. It was a 17 1/2 hour day of Victory.
The only thing that sucked about this day was Yellowcard. Everything else was perfection and happened just as I wished. Even the bad parts were good. I loved it.