Let me tell you the story of my first concert.
About a month and a half before I left for Arizona, I was driving home from the Italian restaurant I used to work at. On the radio, I heard something about a concert coming to town. I listened closely. It was one of my top three favorite bands. It was coming to town. Tickets were still for sale. It was within driving distance. I spent the whole day freaking out.
The next day, I was asking everyone that I worked with, if they had plans. One girl, who shall be referred to as The Princess wanted to go but she had to work and go to class early the next morning. There were a few people that I could ask, but I didn't trust that they wouldn't get shitfaced while there. I asked around. The Princess helped me ask around. Then, I remembered having a conversation about music with a girl that we'll call Psychedelic Girl. Because she loves rainbows, flowers, bright colors and totally nothing illegal...
"Hey, do you like Three Days Grace?"
"I love them. They're having a concert down town."
"I know! Holy shit. Are you free that night?"
"Yes! I've been trying to find somebody to go with me!"
"Me too! Let's go. Let's go to that concert."
That was how it was decided. I bought our tickets the next day (she gave me the cash later, since she doesn't use cards and she didn't have a computer). Then we proceeded to freak out and only talk about that for the entire next week. I didn't care that I was scheduled for three doubles in a row after that and she didn't care that she had to work right up until it was time to leave for the concert. All we cared about was that we were actually going to get to go.
The night of the concert came and I put my stuff in the car. I asked my mom to make sure that I had everything that I needed. She said yes, so I told her goodnight. Then I left the park and drove down our street. I turned off the street, the exact same turn I had been making ever since I started driving myself to work and the same turn my mom had been making for seven years.
Cue the police lights.
I pulled the car over and the cop came up to the window. I'm pretty sure it was one of my mom's friends, but I couldn't place him. He asked me how I was, I told him that I was suddenly nervous. He asked me if I knew what I did wrong, I said no. He said that the turn was apparently illegal, I said oh. He said he would let me off with a warning, I have never felt more relieved. I continued my drive, suddenly wondering if everything my mom told me about driving was a lie and somehow illegal. Every white car was a cop and I was completely paranoid that I was screwing up.
After the twenty minute drive, I pulled into PG's parking lot and texted her. I called my mom and told her what happened while I waited for her to come out. PG got in the car during the last part of the conversation, only hearing, "So yeah, he let me off with a warning and told me to be careful". Excellent words to hear when you're getting in the car with somebody who's never driven you around before.
I got off the phone and started driving, while I explained everything to PG. She only looked mildly relieved. I handed her my phone and told her how to use the map app, since her phone was too old to do that. We got all the way downtown, about a forty minute drive, without a single issue. We never even needed to look at the directions. It was easy enough to find the "music hall" (read: night club, those lying bastards) where they were playing. It was also super easy to find the parking garage.
In the parking garage, the paint was faded and we couldn't figure out which way to go. So, of course, we turned down a dead end, where only police vehicles were allowed to park. It was such a tight fit turning around, that I hit a curb and PG had to get out to direct me. Once we finally got turned around, we went up a couple floors and found a parking space. I shut off the car.
"Where are the tickets, Rachel?"
I called my mom. "Are the tickets on the dining room table?"
I waited for an answer. "Yes."
"Do you think somebody could bring them to us?"
I hung up. "FUCK."
We left the parking garage and started driving back to my house. It wasn't a very far drive at all. By some miracle, we still didn't need to look at a map or get directions. We got to my house in about fifteen minutes. I left PG in the car, with the words of, "If you see the guy in the wheelchair, lock the doors. He's literally insane." Totally comforting, I'm sure, but it's true. He did try to set his house on fire during a standoff in which he was trying to stab half the cops in the city. No, seriously, that happened.
As my mom said, the tickets were on the table. I went through the check list of what I needed again and then we left. Tickets, cash, ID, phone, keys. My pride was gone somewhere between getting pulled over and forgetting the tickets, but I didn't think we needed that to actually see the concert.
We got back downtown and found the music hall fairly easily again. Only this time, we couldn't find the parking garage. It was like it vanished. The problem with downtown, is that every street is one way. It alternates, going this way or that way, but only one way. We drove in circles for fifteen minutes before deciding to park in front of a sign that said no parking after five, but it was close to nine and a ton of cars were there.
"Fuck it. We're going to be late." She said. "We're not going to find another parking space." She was right. I just hoped I didn't get my mom's car towed.
After a five minute walk, we got to the music hall and gave them our tickets. They took away my ID and drew big, black X's on each of my hands to signal that I was not old enough to drink. The X's were itchy after they dried, so I didn't appreciate that.
Instead of trying to get close to the stage, we went up a couple stairs that let us see over the crowd. It wasn't very crowded where we were, since everyone else was more concerned about being close to the band as opposed to actually seeing the show.
The first band was extremely talented, but PG and I agreed that they weren't our favorite. They were funny and they put on a show, but it was basically all covers. That didn't stop the people that were up on the raised area with us, from going bat shit crazy. Dancing, singing, basically trying to form a moshpit. The worst part is two old people were basically trying to make babies right next to us. Every time they bumped into us, we shared a look of, "Where can we hide their bodies?" because there was no need for them to be so close... or gross.
Before Three Days Grace even went on, they started making comments like, "Those girls are so lame. They're not dancing or anything." I was fed up so the next time they made a comment about how we were losers, I looked to my friend and loudly said, "You know, if the old guys really want to watch girls dance, they can go to a strip club. I came to see the show, not to be the show."
They backed off for a while, but around the time Three Days Grace did go on, I felt a hand on my ass. The first time, I assumed it was an accident and even though I was mad, I kept my mouth shut. I told PG and she switched sides with me. The second time it happened, I yelled, "The next time somebody touches me, my fist is swinging back and whoever drops to the ground is going to get my boot in their face". I wasn't touched again.
The concert itself though, was amazing. Every single song that we hoped to hear, they played, and then some. They interacted with the crowd. They made jokes. They proved that they don't use autotune or computers to have their talent. I loved it. PG loved it. The old people that I threatened to physically harm loved it.
We left around 11:30 and I ended up buying a t-shirt, just because, why not? It was easy enough to find the car and I let out a sigh of relief that it hadn't been towed. That was when we ran into the next problem.
On the way out of downtown, we got lost. So lost, that we ended up in a part of the city we had never been to before, ended up passing a police academy thirty minutes out of the way on a fucking mountain, and ended up on the freeway. The worst part, was that we kept passing cops. So. Many. Cops. I kept freaking out because it was all new territory for me, I never drove any of that, and I wasn't sure if I was following all the laws or somehow breaking them.
Eventually, near 12:30, I got my friend home. I told her goodnight, apologized for all of the issues, and told her I understood if she never wanted to get in the car with me again. I didn't get home until almost one in the morning. Luckily, she lived right behind the place we worked at, so there was little to no chance of me getting lost on the way back home.
My night wasn't over yet. After I called Wolfy and told him everything that had happened, I noticed that my earring in my left ear cartilage was throbbing. It had been doing that for a while and I wondered if the earring had been too tight when I had gotten it pierced again. I went to the bathroom, washed my hands, and got the bottle of rubbing alcohol ready to make sure I wouldn't get it infected. Then I took the back off the earring.
Blood came gushing. I grabbed toilet paper and tried to stop it, but it didn't want to stop. I started to get light headed. By the time it stopped, I was a little dizzy and on the way to tell my mom that I needed to go to the hospital. It had finally stopped and I realized that either a vein had been pierced, or the scar tissue from having it pierced again had been what caused it. I don't think the earring was too tight or it was infected. I think the blood was just built up and had to come out. I didn't put the earring back in and it won't be getting pierced again.
The next day at work, I was so exhausted, that I took my mom's car home at lunch and had a friend drive me to and from work for my night shift. The entire restaurant found the story entertaining and I'm hoping ya'll will too...even though this is the longest post ever.