Eventually it came time to head over to the arena. Being a rather cheap person, I had gone over various scenarios that would enable me to park my car for free. Tragically, these all involved parking several miles away from the arena, and facing the very real possibility of getting my car towed or stolen, or getting mugged and killed on my way back. So I bit the bullet and decided to park in the official rip-off parking zone. I navigated a maze of traffic cones and cops, at one point cutting off a pedestrian half-way through the crossing zone, in front of two traffic cops standing on the sidewalk! This unwise act is highly illegal in most states, and it’s fortunate they were too lazy or mentally slow to issue me a very hefty violation. Damn inconvenient pedestrian bastards! Anyway at the parking attendant’s booth I flashed my Red Fez Media badge, hoping to get some sort of discount, but the lady just stared at me and demanded $20.
After parking I assessed the huge line of goth/freak type people waiting in line to get into the venue. They were all at one door, but as is usually the case in these situations, there was another door right around the corner with hardly any line. I again flashed my Red Fez Media badge to the ticket taker, and it worked! Probably because I also slipped her the actual event ticket that I’d wisely purchased beforehand. Then a line of cops started frisking everybody, and flashing my Red Fez Media badge got me a bonus frisk with extra probing!
I ascended to my seat high in the rafters, pausing to note some of the food and merchandise prices. $35 for a t-shirt, $8.50 for a beer. $10 for a poster and $1 for a cup of cheese whiz seemed to be the best deals. But the poster was ugly so I purchased my cup of cheese whiz and sat down. I still had about an hour to go before the show, but I like to show up to these things early and get a feel for the crowd. They were mostly college-aged or younger, people that were barely born when Rammstein first started (1994, the year I entered high school). The people were dressed mostly in black, as was I, with crazy hair and beards (men and women!) and piercings. I’d venture to say I “fit in” with these Rammstein fans, but on the conservative fringe.
Slowly the people filled in. As is usually the case, I ended up with a tall, jerky dude directly in my line of vision, who kept darting his head around like some sort of rabbit on acid. A broad-shouldered teen with angled baseball cap sat on my left, occasionally nudging into me, but to his credit he didn’t utter a word during the entire show. An angular, long-haired, pot smoking redneck hippie who I initially mistook for a very ugly woman sat on my right, chuckling and muttering to his friend in between rocking out. And a girl in front of the tall jerky dude kept shoving her camera high into the air and taking still pictures of the band.
The Blooming Bead Trees of New Orleans:
by Kristin Fouquet