More like the thirteen year journey; either way, it was a long, agonizing wait… for glory.
My metal journey started back when I was thirteen years old when my mother took my brother and I to Six Flags. I remember walking around looking for rollercoasters that could possibly make me toss my cookies and I heard it… “fuck!”. I was confused, and deeply intrigued. I heard it over the loud speakers; it was a song. Then I heard it again louder, more clearly, “fuck that!”. No one seemed to hear the words but me, it was surreal. I kept looking around for someone else to match my facial expression. The song sounded angry; I loved it. I stood there listening to the lyrics trying to remember as much as I could. That night I went home and looked up the lyrics I could recall. Turns out that the song I was listening to was “Fuck That!” by Korn. I’m sure someone got fired that day (and I thank you).
Fast forward to four years later, and I’m an awkward, seventeen year old metalhead…
I found out that my first metal band Korn was playing at the Marysville Sleeptrain Ampitheatre for the Family Values Tour. So, of course, I lose it and figure out a way there. I ended up going with a friend, her boyfriend (who I kept calling Tiffany until he started to respond to it), and some random adults that SHE wrangled. I’m super excited! I was going to mosh, possibly moon, and of course… crowd surf! That day was going to be the day my daydreams would come true. I imagined myself crowd surfing to Korn, the people turn into pink and orange clouds, and it’s just me and them onstage. The moment of pure joy. I’ve seen it done so many times, and I wanted to try it out myself. We get there and I’m in heaven; my first metal show. The five of us had lawn seats, which to me meant “roam around freely and possibly find a better place to be”. Somehow I wandered into the handicap seats during Evanescence’s “Lithium” and I almost cried. I remember meeting Five Finger Death Punch at a signing booth. The lead singer asked me if my nickname “DARE” was for that anti-drinking group. I told him no, that it was literally just a nickname. He smiles and says “Good! I almost just tore this up!” his bandmates kinda laugh and start signing the poster.
Later on, I ended up backstage where I saw the GNARLIEST looking bimbos walking out. Some bandmates were playing with remote controlled cars by their trailer. It wasn’t as exciting as I imagined, but I was still excited to be there. I walked up to Atreyu’s drummer Brandon whose friends were COMPLETE cunts; I loved it. It was so cliche I had to laugh. I got Brandon’s autograph. I also got Pat’s, and another band member from Flyleaf. As I was about to venture more backstage I heard Korn playing in the background. That’s when I realized that they were onstage and I was about to make my way to them… when I get a text from the two adults I came with. They said that they needed me to come back RIGHT AWAY. I figured someone went missing or something terrible happened. I left backstage, dodged a mosh pit, and found them in the dark on a grassy hill. They told me that they were going to leave… to beat traffic. They wanted to ditch the main act… KORN… to beat traffic.
Side note: where ever these people are, I curse you. I curse you till you die.
So… I tried to run away (hahaha! Who the hell wouldn’t?!). I tried to fake like my mom called and said to leave me there (as if any mother would). I tried to take off with a different group of people (but they were just confused). I tried everything and I failed. I’m in the car sad, but still excited about everything else I had seen and gotten to do. However, my main mission wasn’t accomplished. I went to see Korn, and they were the ONLY band I didn’t get to see. No moshing, no mooning, no crowdsurfing; I was robbed.
Nine years go by…
I’m 26. At this point, I’ve been to, covered, photographed, interviewed rockstars at several different metal shows, but I never crowd surfed. For years I thought I would crowd surf to Deftones or another band instead, but I knew to wait. Later on that year, Aftershock releases their set list for 2016 and start selling tickets… Korn is playing on the second day. I do a high-pitched girly scream and purchase my tickets. Six more months go by and I’m finally there. The second day at Aftershock I was hopped up on 1000mg of pain killers cause I moshed pretty hard the day before. I spent a good chunk of the day looking for my friend Naomi between pits. She finally found me and we hung out for the afternoon. For some reason, I told her about being robbed from my teenage dream. She confirms my idea of finally achieving what I’ve been dreaming of for the better part of a decade.
I wandered off and lost Naomi; I found my friend DJ in the Korn crowd. He was drunk as hell, and I was a little stoned. I told him of my plans, but that I had never crowd surfed before so I was nervous. “When the time comes, I want you to throw me up. I don’t care if I fight you or struggle, just do it.” He nods and takes a sip from his beer. DJ mutters something about throwing me to a new song (so that people aren’t on their phones). A few minutes later, Korn comes onstage, and I’m losing it. I’m naming each band member as they appear, too excited to see Jon. Finally, he comes out and everyone is screaming their faces off (me included).
They start their set off with “Right Now” to start amping up the crowd. I’m head banging with everyone, DJ included. I’m starting to think about what song I would want to surf to and DJ’s telling me that he’s going to throw me up. Jon said something about playing a new song and that was my cue. “You ready?!” “No… *nervous laughing*” He picks me up along with two other dudes and they toss me. I land like a cat about five feet away and start yelling at these random people to throw me up. They finally get me up and I finish the surf landing in the arms of security. The guy points and tells me to run around the barricade to the left.
I was hooked.
I start making my way into the crowd towards the pit and run into this guy with a vape pen. He offers me a hit and I breathe in deep… it was weed. From the way I was coughing afterwards, it was some pretty good stuff. After I hand the guy his pen, I take off towards the pit shoving whoever needed a little shove. I’m almost there and it hits me (the weed AND the bass). I stopped in my tracks as soon as I heard it… the booms of “Dead Bodies Everywhere”. In that moment, I was in another world; another time (I was high as hell). I felt transported to the moment that was lost to me nine years ago. Slinking my way through the crowd, I finally get to the mosh pit which was in FULL swing. Looking over to my right there’s this guy with a Pokemon hat; he looks at me, I start giggling (still that awkward teenager).
The vape pen hits me again, and Jon is coming out with his bagpipe (I almost cry). I’m living. Korn goes through their hits one after another; I’m moshing pretty hard at this point. Bumping into everyone and everything. I threw a couple bows and took a few. It was the most fun I had ever had in a mosh pit. I didn’t know what song to crowd surf to next, but I didn’t want to get out of the pit. Then… they play it. The first “tsk tsk tsk tsk” of the symbols and I knew, THIS was the moment I was waiting nine years for. Pushing my way up, I made it about 10 heads behind the barricade. I knew I’d never make front row, but I didn’t want to stand, I wanted to fly. We all scream the lyrics to “Blind” up until I start to hear the climax of the song (towards the end). I start screaming “LIFT ME UP!!! LIFT ME UP!!!” and I went.
I’m up. I’m flying to ending of “Blind”. It was just like in my daydreams. The pink and orange lights flashing on my face, the sound hitting me at every angle, flying on a cloud-like wave getting closer to Korn… it was incredible. As the ending hit with the final scream I felt… electrified. My entire body clenched up (including my butt cheeks, I remember that specifically). After the rapture hit, I looked back at all the people holding me up as I glided down into the arms of another security guard. I finally felt the glory of crowd surfing after nine years of waiting. When the set was over, I couldn’t find Naomi or DJ; it didn’t matter so much. I was pretty tired from moshing, and the pain killers were wearing off. Yesterday’s pain was mixing with every mosh pit I did THAT day. On the way back home, I couldn’t get the memory out of my head or the electric feeling from my body, I still can’t. I remember that sad seventeen year old who didn’t get to see her favorite band. That girl who tried everything she could to stay (including possibly endangering herself) but failed. The girl who dreamed of seeing Korn, and finally fulfilling her random daydreams. I wish I could tell her not to worry, just to wait for the right moment.
Sometimes, dreams actually DO come true if you believe hard enough (and scream at people to help make it happen haha!)