People of Aftershock: that was one awesome weekend!
I will be posting photos and reviews during the next few days--bear with me, I took a million and a half photos, and it will take me a little while to tidy them all up. (Slight, but only slight, exaggeration on the number of pictures... yeah I know, I always say I'm going to travel light too and that never happened yet.) But today, I want to focus on you, the People of Aftershock, who made this whole madness happen.
You: the audience, the crowd; the organizers who have been working all year to make it happen:
the security team, the guys in the pit, the support crews, the light and sound operators, the food vendors and drink vendors and volunteers raising money for all sorts of charities: the fans and the families and the brother and sisters, the parents and grandparents and children, the teen-fans and the my-age-fans, the crowdsurfers and the ones supporting them; you, all of you, are what made this weekend so much fun.
You came with your best hair and T-shirts. You showed off your artistic (and sometimes not-so) ink. You came from Sacramento, from LA, from the north: you even drove here from Phoenix, Arizona.
You put earplugs in or over your childrens' ears. At least, most of you did. Some of you forgot your own earplugs, but don't worry, we photogs usually have a spare pair or two.
You stood for hours at the front of the crowd, in the hot, hot midday sun. I don't know how you did that. It was hot enough to fry eggs. And yet you stood there and laughed and smiled and mugged for photos and photobombed others' photos, and took your own with your cell phones and cheered for the bands and wore hats and sunblock and just plain bravado, all day and into the evening. You rock!
You helped the crowdsurfers over the barricade, for the most part gently, and sent them on their way back to the crowd to do it all over again. You rescued the ones who had had enough of being at the front. And you didn't tell them just how many thousands of people there were right behind them. You were kind to the photographers and kept everything running smoothly.
You called for the banana, and when you got it, you hugged it.
You bounced the beachball across the crowd. And later, you were the surface for a giant hamster ball with a singer inside. More on that, later.
You brought Ellen along with you, because you want to be on her show. I hope this helps a little.
You supported a banana-man in a rubber dinghy and sailed him tipsy-turvey across the sea of fans.
At least one of you received a bloody nose in the mosh pit. You provided, or bought, water and booze and food; and those who drank beer, hung onto it. All the time. In the middle of the thousands and thousands of people, an arm raised, beer in hand.
Sometimes, you didn't even know who was right behind you in the crush of the crowd.
You flew ten or fifteen feet into the air, tossed from a blanket. I really do hope you didn't break your neck
You cheered and screamed and yelled and shouted. You waved your hands and made and ocean of metal horns. You brought the best out of your favourite bands, and they poured their music over us all. It was a love fest with very sharp metal edges. Awesome.
This weekend was about the music... and without you, the People of Aftershock, the musicians would have been playing in a lonely world.
I hope you all enjoyed it just as much as I did. I hope you, too, heard something new, another band to explore; something surprising, something that changed a preconception, something wonderful to your ears. Go home, go share what you have heard; try something new, buy something new, share it with your friends, talk about the weekend. And come back here to Toon's Tunes
for more of the weekend in review.
Can we do it all again, next year? Ready already!!!
(You can find more People of Aftershock photos in the attached gallery.
See if you spot yourself! (There's a "share" button if you do.) But yes! I see you! Twenty-second hand from the left, next to the one with the skull ring and in front of the one with the barbed-wire bracelet. OK!)