Last time in MVL
: The trip to Denver was cancelled because a concert that had been scheduled at another venue was being moved to the Ford Center, and my employer had the contract to provide security.
The band in question was Disturbed. Their show was originally scheduled to be at the Farmer's Market in Oklahoma City, but as it was explained to me, the Fire Marshal wouldn't allow it to take place there, so it was moved to the Ford Center.
I had said yes to working this show before I thought to ask who the band would be.
I reported to work at 6:15pm. From there, things actually went my way. I was placed near Stage Left, checking for access passes (All Access, those who worked for one of the three bands performing that night, those who were providing various amenities, etc). If they didn't have a pass, they didn't get backstage. I didn't have to turn too many people away. They were all good about showing their passes to me. I even got to talk to one of the musicians, who turned out to be the bassist for Disturbed, for about 2 minutes.
Once the crowd got inside, it got crazy. The first band was TenYears, and they were pretty good, even if I couldn't understand what the hell the lead singer was singing. The crowd surfing started in earnest and the ten guys up front between the barricades and the stage were busy catching people and sending them back to the "pit".
The next band was called Ill Nino. Their lead singer was unintelligible as well, except when he said things like "motherfucker(s)", which was just about every other word out of his mouth. And the guys catching the crowd surfers were kept pretty busy. At the end of their set, Ill Nino's lead singer jumped from the stage to the barricades, and the crowd in the pit were climbing all over each other just to touch the guy!
From my vantage point, I had a pretty good view of the stage, and the backstage area where the boards were. I was intrigued by the number of boards there were, and how one man ran all of them to get the sound just right. I wanted to talk to the guy in the worst way, because I do that at school on a much smaller scale, but he was very busy, and I couldn't leave my post.
I was also fascinated by the human drama going on in the arena, both on stage and in the audience.
The section behind where I was standing , which had been empty, was filling up with people prior to Disturbed coming onstage. Right behind me were this group of people, who had apparently all come together, took up the entire front row. Nearest to me were this guy and his two
girlfriends. One of the girls was already drunk, and it became very obvious to me that she and the other girl had a thing for each other, and didn't make a secret of it.
Finally, after a bit of a delay, Disturbed came onstage. From the git-go, they were clearly the best band of the night. They did all the songs I was familiar with, and I sang along when no one from my job was watching. Disturbed's singer, David Draiman, was very eloquent when he spoke to the crowd, with much less of the profanity of the two previous bands. When he sang, he was powerfully voiced, compared to his speaking voice which was much more subdued.
At one point, he asked girls to flash the stage, and quite a few of them did! The two girls behind me were groping on each other and their boyfriend, oblivious to where they were and who was watching. Turns out that the videographer for Disturbed had been watching and came over to film them on a couple of occassions, which pissed their boyfriend off. A number of us in the area thought the boyfriend was going to punch out the videographer, but that never came to pass.
During what was thought to be the last song, a kid who had been caught while crowd surfing and sent back to the pit just collapsed at my feet. I asked if he was okay, and he said he needed water. I gave him some of the bottled water I had, and he said when he had enough. He still didn't look too good and I poured the rest of the water over his head. Between the alcohol he'd most likely consumed, and the sweating he was doing, I suspected that he was becoming dehydrated. Before I knew it, the paramedics were there, and confirmed what I suspected. He was taken to another part of the arena to be checked over.
After the band left the stage after their last song, the crowd made all kinds of noise to get an encore, and Disturbed complied, coming out to play their very first hit, "Stupefied".
As the band left the stage this last time, the drummer threw his drumsticks into the crowd, and one of them grazed the top of my head! Before I realized what had happened, the drumstick hit the floor and a crush of people dived in to pick up the sovenieir. I thought, damn that could've been mine!
While we were waiting for the crowd to file out of the building, someone tapped me on the shoulder. It was the drummer, who asked if he'd hit me with the drumstick, and I said, no, that I didn't realize what happened until the drumstick hit the floor. He looked relieved.
I finally got out of the Ford Center around midnight, and it had started raining. I walked to the garage where I'd parked the van, and found a wad of money on the ground. It turned out to total $25.00!
So I stopped by Wendy's on the way home.
And that's all from where I sit.