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Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

    “The Concert” by Ryan Sheppard

    Everyone is scrambling, they are running late. The show starts at 9:00 PM and it’s already 8:40. Nothing is ready. The stage manager is yelling demands and instruction in every direction, I’m surprised he’s not dizzy. Everyone on stage is dressed in all black pants and boots, as well as the band’s signature black hoodie, a red snake coiled around a white microphone with the words Demons of Heaven typed in scribbled font above. The sun is setting and the smell of grass drifts through the air. The sound crew struggles to both set the amps up as to not cancel each other out position wise, as well as to ensure all the instruments can be heard clearly over each other and the screaming crowd.

    There are 40,000 people waiting outside the gates, and when they come in everyone needs to be ready. The band is ready to perform, anxiously awaiting the setup. This is their first major concert, and they want to do it right. The guitar player is tuning his guitar. The drummer is adjusting his kit, making sure every piece is in the perfect spot. The bassist is playing a complicated bassline without plugging into the sound system. The lead singer, however, is nowhere to be found. Little do they know he is in the back, shooting up once to deal with the pressure of the show. He thinks to himself “I’ll be fine, it’s just once,” as he pushes down on the pump of the syringe. The lighting crew is making sure each spotlight is positioned perfectly and ready to to maneuvered as the show goes on.

    There is a chill in the air. A slight breeze sails through the stage, evoking shudders from the crew. A few drops of rain can be felt, but nothing heavy.The crowd is being let in in 15 minutes now, and the lead singer finally emerges, seemingly as if nothing happened, but a subtle ghostly complexion and wide pupils. When questioned about his whereabouts he disregards the question and starts rehearsing the words of their first song of the night to himself quietly. It is becoming dusk, people are ready for the concert. Lighting is set up; the sound is finished and mixed perfectly, and everything is ready. Still, everyone is scrambling, as if once you are late there is no catching up, and you are forever behind.

    The crowd starts filling in; they are scrambling too, scrambling to get the best spot. The venue the band is playing at is open seating and open air, more or less a stage in a field. Mosquitoes are thick, but no one cares. Everyone just wants the band to play.

    The crowd screams, the smell of grass is mixed with cigarettes, fair food, weed, and alcohol.

    Music fills the air, punk rockers shoving and pushing each other up front turns to a controlled, fun chaos, in sync with each note. The crowd is mainly dressed in black, red, and green. The general age is 20-25 years old. Many crazy outfits are seen, from wild spiked mohawks to jogger shorts and sweatbands. Everyone is here for a good time, and everyone will get it. The air has a taste to it, an acidic, smokey taste. Like a hint of lemon was floating around. The screaming crowd nearly overpowers the music, but no one cares. Everyone is here. Everything is on time, and everyone loves it.


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