Getting thereSince I live in a suburb north of Stockholm, I decided to take my car there to easier get home after the gig. Besides, I didn't have any plans on drinking so it felt like a good choice. However, what I had missed was that yesterday was the day before a holiday (June 6th, the Swedish National Day), and everyone was going with their cars to their country homes to desperately stay away from home for one day. It was also a very warm day yesterday, around 27 degrees Celsius/81 degrees Fahrenheit, traffic jams like you would never believe, cars overheating, road work, you name it. I was stuck in our car with no air condition, and I had to have the windows up or I would've died from exhaust fumes. So, basically, I was in my sauna (sorry, I meant to type 'car' but my recollections forced me to choose another word) constantly drinking water from a 1Ã‚Â½ litre bottle.
Almost there...All in all, it took me 2 hours (!) to manage to get the about 40 kilometers/25 miles to the arena. I parked my car and started to run towards the Globe arena, making just a short pit stop at a huge tree to pee out all the water I had drunk. When I was running there, sporting a Metallica t-shirt and my bottle with an unidentifiable transparent liquid in it, lots of rockers hailed me for, as they saw it, running with some home-brewn booze or something. With all those encouraging cheers, hell, one guy even saluted me, I really couldn't bare revealing the truth for them: this old man needs water to make it through a rock concert.
What's the rush?By now you have probably started wondering why I was in such a rush. The thing is, I just love to go crazy in the mosh pit, getting as close to the stage as possible and seeing the musicians faces close up. As probably most people, I have a lot of steam to occasionally let loose, so what better way than to do it in a happily manner? So, to be able to get within the front enclosure closest to the stage, one has to invest a couple of hours waiting outside the arena before they open the doors. Luckily, my brother Martin, who I was going with, had been waiting there for about an hour when I finally got there.
Just one more thingAt about 18.00, they could open the doors anytime now, I ran up to Martin, left him my (now super-cool drinking binge) bottle, and continued to run to finish two more things that had to be done. The first one was to cash in a couple of ZZ Top tickets for their now cancelled Stockholm gig in July (I wouldn't want them on me in the mosh pit; besides, I figured I would have had plenty of time to do it before the concert), the other was to grab something to eat at McDonalds for martin and me, to be able to make it through the evening. Got into the ticket place, where they naturally couldn't get their ticket machine to accept the not-laser-precision-super-flat tickets... She had to make a call to the office to verify that it was ok, and I asked her if I could run and get some burgers while i was waiting. She said yes. Got into McDonalds, bought the burgers (after the cashier initially mistakenly registered 1 Big Mac and 8 (!) cheeseburgers), and ran back to the ticket place. Just in time, as she got the information she needed, so she could give me the money for the tickets. Grabbed them, and ran back to Martin.
Standing in lineGot to Martin, and apparently a guy had just gotten up from the ground and thrown up, just before I came running with my burger bag. Luckily, I didn't get that visual, and the pile of vomit was lying sufficiently far away so while I could see it, at Ieast I didn't have to smell it. Normally, at concerts there's always a number of people who are drunk, but I have to say that a vast majority seemed to be that in this line. We ate our burgers, and actually got to wait about 30 minutes more before they finally opened the door. Once inside the doors, the poor state of the ticket machines alternatively the drunken state of the attendees to the gig, resulted in that it took ages to get in, since about every second person couldn't get the ticket machines to accept their tickets (I was one of them, but I completely blame the guy who was in front of me harassing the machine...). This was about the time where Martin, 6 years younger than me, turned to me and said:
Thanks, Martin, rub it in. I'm only 32 (going on 33), ok?
Man, all the kids here are about half my age. I couldn't even begin to imagine what it must fell like for you.
In the arenaFinally, we were inside and got down the stairs to the floor. We showed our tickets to one of the security guards, and once past that I saw that the entrance to the front enclosure was still open, so I decided to make a run for it. Apparently this was a bad move, since a screech that sounded like it came right out of hell, ringing in my ears, vaguely articulated the words:
These words were accompanied by a frantic security guard, in her all-time-best state of frenzy, who literally clawed after me as she uttered that scream. Naturally, my running came to a halt, while I half-eagerly, half-shocked, eyed the Medusa woman who I apparently had offended so badly. Really, if you take a look at me and the other people who were there, you would probably decide that I would probably the least harmful guy in the entire place (although I'm not :-) ). Anyway, I walked to the front enclosure, with Martin just behind me, and we got in. Mission accomplished.
"WALK! DON'T RUN!"