Category Archives: Adventures

Day three of ‘Roo concludes with Cooper show

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Alice Cooper playing in That Tent on Day 3.

I found myself on a music high leaving That Tent at 2 a.m. after watching a 63-year-old Alice Cooper jam on stage to some of the best classic rock at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.

Being raised on vinyl records of all the greats like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Journey and Bob Seger, I fell in love with Alice Cooper at an early age. I consider him to be one of the artists that jump-started other popular genres we have now such as alternative, punk and metal. How can you not respect a guy like that?

The crowd for Alice became massive, and for once being short had its advantages. After much begging and finding my way in front of all the tall people, I found my way in the fourth row. I could see Alice’s face paint, and apparently he was up to his old tricks.

Alice and his doll.

Recently I read an article that the first 20 rows would find themselves covered in blood. Thankfully, Alice didn’t bite the heads off of anything, and I came away blood free. However, he did come out with a gigantic snake, a life-sized doll and what looked to be a massive zombie.

For such an old man, he could definitely rock. Lots of people in the crowd were older, and an older man beside me started to cry during one of his slower songs. Alice had a larger fan base than I anticipated.

Toward the end of the set, he threw his dancing cane off stage, and I had my hand but a bigger guy took it away. Being little in the pit doesn’t always have the best advantages.

Before Alice’s performance, the Red Hot Chili Peppers came on at 10:00 on the main stage. I’ve always like the Chili Peppers, but I am no die-hard fan by any means. They did play two of my favorites “Dani California” and “Californication” which made my evening even more incredible.

For me there was a music lull before the evening really began, so the same friend that dragged me out to see Yelawolf made me go watch Puscifer. Of all the songs to play before an alternative rock show, salsa music continued to blare through the That Tent speakers before they performed at 5 p.m. Puscifer didn’t come on stage until 5:30, making them a half an hour late.

I never like waiting on music, and I am sure I am not the only one. While this band was totally unfamiliar to me, I know one of their

The Alice Cooper looking zombie.

members is from Tool, who I liked in the past. Puscifer didn’t leave the best impression. I even fell asleep on the grass during the set. Perhaps I should start listening to Puscifer on nights I feel restless.

Today is going to be rainy day at the Roo. While my community needs rain in the worst way, no one likes a muddy farm with 80,000 plus people. The fourth day is always my least favorite, but I have to go hear the Beach Boys. For me, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity considering I don’t know how many more tours this oldies band is going to have.

Day Two of the Roo: Hanging out in the Dust

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Foster the People at the Which Stage

The majority of my day two of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival consisted of my hands being in the air and the myriad of lights from the stage flashing over my face while listening to some of the best music.

Three of my favorite bands played, but I only really got to see and experience Foster the People, who is really all I cared about seeing for most of the festival. However, I managed to sit and listen to the Avett Brothers show for half an hour, and they put on a

The Avett Brothers playing at the main stage of Day 2.

great set. Had it not been for Mumford & Sons, I probably would have never fell in love with the Avett Brothers. I guess I did the whole hipster music scene in the wrong order.

I also got hear a little bit of the Ludacris show at This Tent, but the portion I heard was nothing but him singing Top 40 hits and none of his own music. More people showed out for him than I ever imagined, and the crowd went as far back as one of the vendor rows, which was impressive.The best show I saw all night by far was Foster the People with the atmosphere instantly changing as soon as the band played the first note. I cannot remember the exact order of the setlist, but they performed more of their popular hits from the Torches album like “Call It What You Want,” “Helena Beat,” “Warrant” and “Don’t Stop.”

By far the best song and stage performance came when the band began the opening notes to “Pumped Up Kicks,” which is the most popular song off the Torches album and a Top 40 hit. The crowd went crazy, and so did I. Confetti showered down us, and huge inflatables began popping up on the stage. Most if not all the crowd loudly sang the lyrics, making the concert even better.

Foster the People’s Mark Foster and Mark Pontius perform their song “Call It What You Want”

However, fans of Foster were also Raidohead fans. The final note of “Pumped Up Kicks” seemed to activate a massive herd of people all trying to reach the main stage to catch the set. Radiohead brought out thousands of fans, and there was no place to even sit or stand.

Trying to listen to them presented a challenge because of all the people, but I did learn a tidbit of news for all you Radiohead and Jack White fans.During the show, Radiohead gave out a huge thank you to Jack White, but wouldn’t tell us why. I am not sure what’s going on, but I’ve heard murmurs of a collaboration between the two from some of the die-hard fans that talked to me. We will just have to see.

I am not sure what is on tap for today. I hope to hear Alice Cooper and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It’s going to be a good day ladies and gentlemen. There is too much music in my little town for it not to be.

Day 1 of Bonnaroo lets the smaller acts shine

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Waiting on Yelawolf to take the That Stage.

The moon is full, and the music is coming from all angles on a 700-acre farm in my hometown of Manchester, Tenn., where four days out of the year my town becomes the hub of one of the largest musical festivals in the world.

Bonnaroo got the party started tonight with a variety of smaller artists lighting up the tents and the smaller stages while all the festival-goers continued to trickle through the gates. As of late this afternoon, Bonnaroo finally sold out for the eleventh year of the festival.

Being a local, I highly anticipate this time of year. To kick the festival off, I found my way over to the This Tent to watch Yelawolf, a white rapper from Alabama. I had never heard of him until recently and knew only of his song “Let’s Roll” that featured Kid Rock.

Out of no disrespect to him, he wasn’t exactly on my see list. However, one of my friends raved on and on for weeks before Bonnaroo even started, and blared his music anytime we were together.

Before Yelawolf even took the stage, I heard a few songs from artist Danny Brown, who is rapper from Detroit, Mich. I had never heard of this performer, but that is the fun and part of the point of going to a music festival. I am not going to know every act or heard of every band, and I definitely enjoy getting to hear new music and maybe even becoming a fan if they suit my eclectic tastes.

Finally around 8:30, Yelawolf started to play, but I was so far back from the stage Yelwolf was nothing but a dot on a straight line. Being short has no advantages at Bonnaroo unless someone taller than you allows you to sit on their shoulders. Otherwise, you can only dance and listen from where you are standing.

In simple terms, Yelwolf put on a fun show. He burst music from different genres. Being a southern Alabama boy, I guess he couldn’t totally ignore his roots as he sang a little Johnny Cash and Lynyrd Skynyrd. What’s a good concert in the south without a few chords from “Freebird”? Yelawolf finally started playing his own beats again, but not before he contributed the rest of his show to the Beastie Boys.

The rest of my evening was tame as I listened to some mellow music by Soja at That Tent around 10 o’clock. I had only heard of Soja because this band occassionally popped up on my Pandora radio. They have grown on me in the past couple of months with their folksy, yet reggae sound to songs. Their newest album “Strength to Survive” is fairly good, and I got to hear some of their new music sitting on the wet grass with tons of other listeners.

Something about their music must have made people want to dance because all sorts of people were on their feet moving to the music. A couple of different girls asked my friends and I to dance. That’s another perk of Bonnaroo: everyone is so nice. I can’t say I danced the night away or anything, but I bobbed my head from my seat on the ground.

Tomorrow is what I cannot wait to hear. I’m not sure how I will be able to sit through nine hours of work. Between Feist, Foster the People and Radiohead back-to-back, I will be all over place listening to some of the best acts the line up has to offer.

Mosh Pit 101

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"Dedication takes a lifetime, but dreams only last for a night." ~All Time Low

You see all these people? Well, guess what. They were all behind me at the All Time Low concert. I never intended to be next to the cold barricade fencing all the crazy fans. However, I ended up that way with little to no effort. How you might ask? The answer to that friends is learning how to mosh pit.

I have been to a variety of concerts over time. Those that are standing, sitting, etc. I have been to a lot. I went to the 30 Seconds to Mars concert last year, which was my second time to ever be in crowd that wanted to jump, sway, push and sweat all at the same time. It ended badly, and I told myself I would never do it again. Except I did.

Last night, I ended up right next to the stage and singing to my heart’s content along with one of my favorite bands. I must say that I decided to just go flow  instead of being angered by all the chaos. I learned a few things just learning to roll with the crowd.

1) Be careful with your cellphone

I found it wise to be diligent with your phone in a mosh pit. People are constantly moving. Constantly jumping. Constantly squishing you. Especially that six foot tall guy that has blocked your view the entire concert. Yes, oh friends be alert. I dropped my phone last night and somehow heard it hit the concrete floor. I immediately grabbed it, but my phone cover didn’t survive. I am sure my pretty, purple cover was trampled under someone’s Converse.

2) Watch out for crowd surfers

Last night at the concert, the lead singer from All Time Low announced that it was not a real concert until someone decided to crowd surf. Well, that’s all fine and good. I honestly don’t care. Until it affects me that is. I watched all the crowd surfers go by. Some lost their clothes or a shoe. Others made it through effortlessly. And some got thrown over the barricade. While there are major perks to being in the front row, you never know when the crowd surfers are coming. I got kicked in the back of head hard enough to leave a knot. I guess that’s the price you pay for being in the front row.

3) You will sweat and get sweated upon

I know what you’re thinking. Sounds gross, right? Trust me it is. You notice when you walk out into the crisp night air and discovered your drenched and wet. You especially know something happened when you went in with straight hair and walked out with curls. I guess it’s all just apart of the concert atmosphere. I found some people I graduated high school with among the crowd. One of my friends said that he always had a motto for concerts. He told me that if I didn’t come out with 15 other people’s sweat, I wasn’t doing it right. I am fairly certain I didn’t have to worry about that. In fact, I am sure I achieved.

4) Just bounce along

I felt like a ball being pelted in one of those old school pinball machines. I couldn’t move, and I was trapped. Everyone is trying to push their way to the front thinking if they push hard enough, they will get there. Logically not everyone can be up front. Plus, everyone feels the need to jump and sway as they push to the beat. So between all the crowd shifting, I learned to literally go with the flow of things. There was nothing I could, so I ended up front. Such a small price to pay for a great view. I thank all the tall people.

Pushin’ down on me

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I don’t remember the last time I did a handstand. When I was little, my living room was my jungle gym. I always loved watching the Olympics, and I remember trying to always imitate different moves of those gymnasts by hopping on the couches and doing different flips. My mother hated it. My grandmother encouraged it and straightened up the pillows once I was done with my “performance.”

Tonight, I felt the need that same little kid urge. I wanted to do something a little crazy. Normally, I am a very refined girl of sorts. I keep my emotions in check. I don’t go around crying or stomping my foot in anger. I keep my game face on and my big girl panties as my mother would say. I like control. So, I am constantly controlling myself and my movements. I don’t like anything out of line, myself included.

After a rocky evening of sorts, I went over to some friends’ apartment to hang out and just catch up. College is crazy, you know. It’s Thursday morning right now. My sleep schedule is skewed, and I live on naps. Thank God I grew out of my hating nap phase.

Nonetheless, college contains lots of pressures. Between school, work, and my social life, things get hectic and sometimes it feels like the whole world is just exerting all its force on top of me. Perhaps, the universe is even pointing and laughing at me while doing so. I would know that’s for sure.

This evening, the world exerted another force on me. Yes, it’s quite common. It exerts it on me daily, but I decided to test gravity tonight. Once I saw one of my friends do a somersault in the floor, I got the urge to do a handstand. So down I went. I placed my fingers into the white carpet and launched myself into place. I am an adult and this is what I do with my freedom: handstands in the dining room.

I from there started a trend and two of my other friends started doing it with me. I loved gymnastics as a kid. I loved doing back-handsprings and back tucks. It was a stress reliever in my middle school days. Yes, I was a stressed out eighth grader. Don’t judge me.

From there I continued doing handstands against the wall. I even turned my handstands around and walked myself stomach first back into the wall. I called it “wall flopping.” In the pictures that we took, it looked like I was hugging the wall in handstand form. However, gravity soon reminded that I can’t just keep hugging the wall like that. What comes up must come down. I am sure one of Murphy’s Laws addresses that concept.

In my typical awkward fashion, I crumpled to the floor in some weird way. I quickly wondered if I broke anything because I just face planted into the carpet and my limbs were just sprawling and landing in all different ways. I didn’t break anything, though. Embarrass myself? Well, that is hard to do considering I do that on a daily basis. For the normal human being that might be considered an embarrassing moment.

After I crumpled, I soon erupted into a fight of laughter and rolled on the floor. I don’t remember the last time I let myself do anything like that. To let all the pressures pushing down on me just go. I am not going to lie. It felt nice. It felt nice to not be in complete and total control. It was just to let off a little steam.

College is rough place to be. I have scholarships to keep and grades to make. I have articles to write and jobs to do. Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love being here.

Sometimes, I think we all need that reminder to not let all the pressures suffocate us as it pushes down. Maybe I should let myself go a little more often and crazy. Well, not too crazy. Wall flopping and handstanding are as wild as I think I can go.

Puzzle piecing my way through life

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I am starting my fourth week of college this week, and to be quite honest, I am not sure what I think of it. Yes, I do love it, and yes, I love the majority of my classes. I still wonder, though, where I fit in God’s big equation right now.

It’s more along the lines of strange being in a total new world than scary. I am not scared. I just don’t know where I am supposed to fit. I am kinda like a puzzle piece. One of those puzzle pieces that you really can’t tell what the image is, and you have no idea where it needs to be placed to complete the picture.

College feels like a jigsaw puzzle. I am scattered in with about 26,000 other pieces. My path has crossed with several of these so called pieces. I have met a multitude of new people. Some of which I believe are in my life for a reason. It’s a God thing that my life has intersected with some people. I think in the long run I’ll even become good friends with some of them.

Along with discovering new people, I have decided to find a church here in Murfreesboro. That is a potential terrifying though for a girl that has been at the same church her entire life. I will not lie. It is an earth shattering thought. Sorta. It’s just something I feel like God’s leading me to do. I am not sure where to go. God will lead me to the right place, though.

Right now though, all the big changes in my life have taken place. All the corner pieces and the boarder of the puzzle have been put in place. I feel like I am in the “now what” stage. I don’t really know where to go from here. I have no idea what this picture is going to make, nor do I know what is going to have next in my life.

I was listening to the alternative band Jimmy Eat World the today. One of my favorite lyrics by them has to be the line in “Big Casino” where they sing about “playing my little part in something big.”

I relate. I know I am playing my little part in something big. Little or huge I know my part is important; I just don’t know what is exactly. God puts the desires on our hearts for a reason. A friend and I recently discussed that the other day, and I can back up that thought with Psalm 37:4. I just don’t know the purpose of all the desires on my heart.

I am still sifting through millions of puzzle pieces to figure out this big picture. What does my first semester have in store? I have no clue. I can barely plan one day at a time without something out of the blue popping up.

Perhaps though, I shouldn’t be to worried about trying to piece together puzzle. I guess really and truly God is the ultimate puzzle piecer. Sooner or later, everything will fall together. I hope I will see what God has had in mind for me all along.

 

 

Pole dancers and other college characters

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As I sit in Starbucks, I think about all people I have met over the past week. I just started college this past Monday, and in the course of the week, I have already discovered some interesting individuals.

It’s a totally different experience to start somewhere new especially when you aren’t the only new person. I walked into my Monday morning class to complete silence. No one was talking or introducing themselves. This long, awkward silence lasted fifteen minutes.

On my first day, I wound up meeting some guy in the quad of MTSU sitting under a tree with his Mac and bike just hanging. To no surprise, I found out that my internet would not work. Of course it wasn’t working. It was having some sort of PC problem.

Nonetheless, I plopped down by him and kindly asked him if he could fix my problem. He tried. He failed. However, he and I sat and talked for an hour afterward. Mainly, we talked about music. He had this obsessive liking for Steeley Dan, and he collected all sorts of vinyl albums of classic rock. As an avid classic rock fan myself, we got a long just fine.

The next few days I’ve introduced myself to so many people, and I acquainted myself with several faces. Later on in the week,  I found out that one of the girls from my floor is from Turkey.

I had run across her in my orientation session, and now I ran into her on my floor. She speaks fluent Turkish and has an amusing personality. She is still learning things about American culture. She’s constantly asking questions. Yet, she is still teaching some of the other girls on my floor about her culture as well. The number one question the girls on my floor asked was how to cuss in Turkish. To their disappointment, the majority of Turkish cuss words cannot be translated into English.

By far, though, the guy that I met Thursday night is the winner when it comes being the most interesting.

He wandered to the third floor, which is the one I live in on. For the first time all week, a few girls and I were just sitting in the hallway listening to music and hanging out.

So, he came and joined us and told us life story in about forty-five minutes. His major was fashion and design and his minor was dancing. He told us all the types of dance he had taken. The one that caught my attention the most would be the fact was he had taken pole dancing. There were no poles on the floor, so he did not show us any of his moves. Now, though, I can say I know a male pole dancer, but I am not really sure when I will ever need to tell anyone that.

My week of meeting all sorts of exciting people leads me to wonder who I’ll stumble upon next. Oh. The joys of college life.