Thursday, August 07, 2008

Lollapa-WHO-za Part 2

And so it was, last Saturday, at midnight, that our phone rang. We had just climbed into bed, so we weren't asleep yet. I heard Dan saying "why do you need to talk to her, why can't you talk to me," right before he handed me the phone.

Thomas was talking faster than I had ever heard, while he said "I need the number for Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, real quick." What the heck? I asked him what in the world was going on, and he tried the "oh, everything is fine, I just need the number" thing that thousands of crazy teenagers have tried and failed, in a desperate attempt to forestall the inevitable interrogation by the inquisitive parent. "Oh, don't worry," he said, "we just lost Andrew. There are a bunch of ambulances here, and we're thinking he might be on one of them."

Oh, that's all? Let me get that number for you.......

Turned out they had been at the Rage Against the Machne concert, during which dozens of people were carted off by the 35 ambulances standing by as shuttles to the hospital. Basically, Thomas said that if you were under 5'6", you got "destroyed" whn the crowd surged to the front when the concert started. A couple of vain attempts by the lead singer to get the crowd to calm down finally got things a bit more under control. ""Look out for one another," pleaded Rage singer Zack de la Rocha, eventually threatening to end the show early if people didn't calm down. Why? Only seconds into "Testify," the band had already created complete mayhem among the ocean of people at the AT&T stage, with myriad mosh pits turning Grant Park into a sea of sweat, fists and elbows," said the paper. Thomas said that if you fell in the mosh pit, you'd better hope that someone yanked you up, because otherwise, you were going to be body surfed to security and hauled off to the first responders. At one point he saw someone fall, then all he saw was an ankle sticking up in a sea o moshers, and "all I thought was, that guy must be dead."

Here's his email of the next day:
"2 hours of straight energy, moshing, and going nuts. We were pretty far up (and two of the guys we're with could have reached out and touched the lead singer -- they were FRONT ROW and got DESTROYED), and anyone below like...5'10" got messed up, and Andrew is like 5'5" 5'6" tops. If you fell, you were done. People around you would help you, but if the crowd closed in on you before people could help you up, there wasn't ANYTHING you could do.

But after the show was over, 4 of us met up at the spot we said we would go to, but we could not find Andrew ANYWHERE. He left his wallet & phone with one of the other guys, so there was really nothing he could do. We ran around looking for him until about 12:30, at which point we didn't really have a choice since the trains stopped running at 1am. But somehow, some friggin way, that kid made it 15 miles back to the hotel without any phone or money.

You have to understand how absolutely scary this was though. You would have to have been there to realize that the odds of him having been in the hospital were REALLY high. This cop we asked for some information said that there were 35 ambulances making runs back and forth between hospitals. When I said there were legions of them, I wasn't kidding. You also have to understand that Andrew is both retarded (he didn't think to call his phone even though he knew we had it), and if he got in to any kind of situation in the mosh, he would have just given up basically. Scariest shit ever, but now that he's back we can look back on it and say that it was the best thing all 5 of us have ever experienced, and we're doing it again at Nine Inch Nails tonight. :D"

Oh, to be young again............

All this happened whilst we were attending the opening night of the Wizard of Oz at church, with Jill playing

Glinda. So whilst legions were carried off to Northwestern, and Dorothy was being carried to Kansas, somewhere, someone was leading a normal life. That never happens here, of course, so let's just take a gander at a vintage 80s Rick Springfield Oz tour shirt, from Purse Diva Vintage, at Main Street Vintage Online. Just keep repeating, "there's no place like Lollapalooza, there's no place like Lollapalooza....."

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