“Shut the fuck up, Josh!”
Every damn day in the campus center dining hall as soon as the show was announced. Sometimes Josh was an OK kid and other times I was hoping that he would choke on his Grilled Chicken Spiedie sandwich (to this day I am still not sure what it is). Josh was from Brooklyn, not too far from the upstate NY college that I matriculated at. He came to the school with the attitude, the wallet chain, and the accent. For the most part, he was harmless and other times he was annoying as putting on wet boots to go and shovel snow.
Our annual spring-time big concert was announced to be The Mighty Mighty Bosstones at a college small enough that Apple Maps would have a hard time finding it. Of course Josh was the first in line to get his free ticket; little did he know that it was General Admission in the school’s gym where the women’s basketball team played. Surely he would quiet down as soon as he knew he was getting into the show. Nope. Every day, he sat with us at the dining hall table and would talk about nothing but Bosstones trivia and minutia. All it took was a simple, “Shut the fuck up, Josh!” from one of us at the table (or even one of our neighbors) and he would quiet down until the next meal.
I had my ticket and was still on the fence for going. I had heard “The Impression That I Get” and was familiar with the Bosstones work on the Clueless soundtrack. The afternoon of the show, the Dean of Residence Life came up to me as I was heading into the campus center and asked if I was going to “The Big Event”.
“I was thinking about it.” I said.
“Good, can you help at the show? We need a couple of guys to work security.”
“Sure, I guess. What exactly would I be doing?” Still, not committing to going, but not wanting to completely dismiss the idea of not going. Sounded like a more exciting prospect than being the guy that takes the tickets and rips them in half.
“I’ll need you to be behind the barricade between the band and the audience.”
Gulp. I had never worked security before, let alone a show where a pretty major band would be playing. I am a rather imposing figure and I can, at times, have someone change their course or misguided direction with a few choice words or glances. “Sure, I’ll do it.”
That night, I show up early and get a briefing from one of the other security guys who knew about as much as I did when it came to concert security. The note I took from it was “The safety and well-being of the audience is paramount. If you see someone in trouble, pull them out.” OK. Got it!
Clowns For Progress opened up the show and barreled through a 30 minute set. The audience was kinda chill, even though it was a ska/punk show. Maybe they were saving their energy? Yeah, that was it.
After the band break, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones took the stage and whipped the audience up into a frothy mixture of beer, adrenaline, and sweat. Things went smoothly for most of the night. I didn’t enjoy the show as much as Josh did (who I saw about 5-people back bouncing around like a retarded pogo stick). I recognized some of the songs, but kept my focus on the crowd. The show wrapped up and it was time for the encore, being their biggest hit at the time “The Impression That I Get” set the audience to a level of energy that can only be described as “frappe”.
Then I locked eyes with a cute girl about 3 rows back. At first I thought it was a love connection and then I realized that she needed help. I think I was more excited that I was going to pull a girl out of a crowd like they do in the Def Leppard and Bon Jovi videos than if I had just found my soul mate in the coolest of settings. I motioned to one of the other guys beside me and pointed at the girl. With one smooth motion I braced myself on the concert barricade, leaned over, hooked my two arms under the girl like a forklift and pulled her to safety. She landed on her feet behind the barricade and just walked away.
Yup, concert security is a thankless job.
|The Rascal King||2:46|
|The Impression That I Get||3:15|
|Let's Face It||2:33|
|That Bug Bit Me||2:08|
|Another Drinkin' Song||3:49|
|Break So Easily||2:45|