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So I was at Warped in Alaska yesterday and - this seems to happen every time I go to a music festival - I'm going for that one band and the band that actually steals my heart ends up being someone I don't even listen to that much. Maybe Skillet last year were the only exception but I ended up with a creepy obsession with Mando Diao for months that year, so. 
The band - Memphis May Fire - I knew they existed and I knew I'd probably like them if I gave them a chance but that was about it. When I realized I might be going to Warped and they'll be there - well if that's not a reason for giving them that chance I don't know what is. All that chance did, though, was adding the knowledge that they were good and that I will surely go into a MMF phase - if I had the time. And that's the thing that's been lacking from my life lately. So I went to Warped ready for a great show but not actually knowing a single Memphis song. What I did not expect was that I was about ten seconds away from crying by the end of their set. 
See, bands tend to always tell audiences they are the best and they love them and that feels great but also not entirely true because I am self-concious enough to know that no, we are not the best. The general unspoken rule is that every band goes on stage acting like every person in the crowd is there to see them, although they know it's most likely far, far away from the truth. Memphis were not like that - their lead singer was like "hey, if you don't know the words just open your mouth and pretend you're singing, that works for me too". And when they asked who followed them for more than two years - the hands raised were not many in an already small crowd but with the sincerety in their "Thank you. We are here because of you. We love every single one of you, we do" - well, the crowd might as well have been tens of thousands, instead of the few hundred people ot was. I've heard that sentence (and similar ones, because I totally didn't quote that right) from many bands both on videos and live but this time. This time I believed it. And when their singer finished with something along the lines of "this is a new song, it means a lot to me, just try to listen. Everytime you feel like you don't belong, know you'll always belong right here on this stage". And yup, there. I was swallowing down tears. I wanted to hug every single one of them and the best part? Most people in that crowd probably wanted to hug them too. They made me feel like I belonged even though I had heard close to nothing of them before the show and had every reason to feel out of place. So yes. Memphis May Fire earned their permanent place in my heart.
But Memphis aside, I was at that concert alone. True, I met two girls but our time together ended pretty quickly as we were separated by the crowd and then they disappeared. Not that they were all that excited about me being with them but oh well. Anyway, I spent most of those 8 hours alone. And the most exciting thing? It still was one of the best shows I've ever been to. I like to think of it as me growing as a person, being able to enjoy things on my own, but it's not just that. There was a certain atmosphere there, everytime I accidently locked eyes with someone I could see the looks I'd normally exchange with the people I am with. It was like we all knew each other on another level, like the moment you stepped inside that parking lot you were a part of something bigger, like we were all the same inside and we all belonged. Now that I think of it, thar might have been hightened by Memphis for me. The atmosphere was there, though. I really, really hope this is not something specific to Warped shows, although if it is, that's one more reason I love that festival.
Other than all that, man, was I amazed. Issues and We Came As Romans and The Wonder Years and everyone basically - they didn't stop running, jumping, crowdsurfing (and I should say again the crowd was not that big) - you could just see how they were having the time of their lives up there - you simply cannot leave unsatisfied after witnessing that. And even the local bands! I feel awful for not seeing most of them but man, the ones I did see had a mean sound. 
The bands I did see though, somehow every time there was a mosh pit (and there was one for almost every band) it was right next to me. I thought I was against mosh pits up until now but every time I got hit by a random elbow or kicked in various places or shoved in people - I kind of hoped there would be bruises. One of these days I'll probably get over my fears and actually go into a mosh pit. One of this days. There's something very... freeing about all that violence - it's concensual and with no bad feelings whatsoever. People are shoving each other and grinning like it's the best time of their lives - it probably is, too. 
All in all - I'm ready to do it again, exhaustion and sunburn be damned.

March 2017



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