Ryan Chartrand

For many students, Homecoming events and a disappointing football game took over their weekend a few weeks back, but for me, I had a different kind of excitement. An excitement that I shared in an amphitheater filled with thousands of people.

A few of the other Mustang Daily editors and I decided to take a little “family vacation” to the Bridge School Benefit Concert. Having never attended this event before and being the na’ve person that I am, I had no idea of what I was in for exactly. If someone had told me that I would see flying tortilla saucers that day, I would have called them crazy and went on with my life, but that’s exactly what happened at the concert, and that was just the beginning.

As we entered the parking lot, we rejoiced as our car filled with five girls received free VIP parking – bummer for all those people who paid $20 to walk a mile. We knew that has several restrictions on what could be taken into the stands. Water bottles had to be factory sealed, no professional cameras and no alcohol just to name a few. We had joked about hiding a digital camera in our shirts, but decided against it. So, after the security searched us and all of our belongings extremely well, we entered the gates for a day that would stick in my mind forever.

The man sitting to my right was a literal chain smoker. I don’t think I saw him without a butt in his mouth for more than five minutes, but cigarettes were not the only thing he was smoking. I could hear his slightly tipsy comments and was pretty sure that his “special cigarettes” he had in his pocket were exactly that; “special.” As I watched him light it, this cloud of white smoke slowly began to creep towards me. I took a breath at the wrong time and started choking. Apparently a special news feed went out to 90 percent of the crowd that day telling them to ignore the no smoking signs and light up all they wanted. With all of us editors sober in every sense of the word, I was amazed that while the security was so tight to get into the stadium, pot did not seem to be one of the banned items – it was everywhere. I am pretty sure that halfway through the concert I got high off of the secondhand smoke, I don’t care if it’s not possible, it happened to me.

Just after sunset, I got hit by something . it was a flour tortilla. I looked up and saw that they were everywhere and I felt like I was in a science fiction film. Throughout the night the tortillas kept flying in. Security didn’t seem to care about the “happy” smell, but they managed to find us five girls in a crowd of thousands and asked us if we knew where the tortillas were being flung from. I responded with “do we look like tortilla throwers?” They just smirked and moved onto the next group where another tortilla landed.

Not long after the tortilla incident, I got hit by another surprise. Somehow, a walkway/exit formed right by my side so everyone just kept budging past me even though there was no room to get through. After having beer dribbled down my back and getting a knee to the back of my head, I began to wonder why I was having so much bad luck. Little did I know the worst was yet to come!

The man sitting next to me was not only a chain smoker, he drank his beers as fast as he smoked. He had more beers that night than I could count and became more and more wasted as the night progressed. He eventually fell over, but not before he got his “butts” confused.

As I leaned over to move our blanket I was shocked, mortified and mad all at the same time as the man had decided to lean forward and do a double squeeze of my rear end. I turned, glared him in the eye and gave him the “WHAT ARE YOU DOING” glare, but he was too drunk to understand – he just smiled and kept on drinking. Thankfully, he got up soon after and stumbled his way to the stairs, but not before we all made bets on whether or not he would ever make it back to his seat. Unfortunately he did, with a beer in hand, but it took him almost an hour.

Not 10 minutes after the squeeze, I got hit yet again. I won’t mention what it was, but let’s just say it was not amusing. While I slightly laughed because I wondered what I would get hit by next, the man sitting next to me who caught the flying “O.B.ject” was a little stunned too, but he just chucked it into the crowd.

As we left that night, we were elated at all the different bands we had seen. Neil Young, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Foo Fighters, Brian Wilson, who couldn’t be excited about seeing all these bands play acoustically in one day?

The purpose of the concert was to help raise money for the Bridge School, which gives special attention to children with special needs. It was an amazing experience to see all of the kids laughing and having a good time on stage. We were all there to support a good cause, but I think at the same time, I was the target for some of the crowd’s amusement.

So, the moral of the story is if you’re going to go to this concert, bring tortillas, pot, beer and anything else you think will amuse the crowd. I’m just going to bring a helmet and wrap myself in Saran Wrap.

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