This Saturday was a very busy and strange day.
First an outline, then I’ll discuss the coolest part about it.
Leave home to vet to take our dog to get his ears checked out.
Leave vet for home.
Leave home for Augustfest.
Leave Augustfest for the Temple.
Leave the Temple for home.
Leave home for the airport.
Leave the airport for home.
Leave home for Augustfest.
Leave Augustfest for home.
Augustfest was a rock concert (hard rock-ish) in northern IL sponsored by Budweiser and the radio station I listen to the most, 95.1 WIIL Rock.
The bands playing were Stereoside, Black Stone Cherry, Midnight to 12, Alter Bridge, Copper, Filter, Another Black Day, POD, Shinedown, and a few others. For $22, this was a steal.
Now, this is the type of music I listen to regularly. But most people wouldn’t believe it: they don’t see me as a hard rocker. And I had never been to a concert.
I liked POD’s song “Shine With Me”, so I thought I’d go to see them. But my parents were leaving the same day and wanted me to accompany them to the airport. (Later, my brother became busy so I had to drop them.) So I stayed for a short while and then left, with a somewhat heavy heart.
For a number of days before the concern, I had been hearing that Shinedown’s performance was not to be missed. It was said that they did an awesome job. So my reasons for going to Augustfest was to see POD and Shinedown. By the time I had dropped my parents and reached home, I realized that I missed many bands but could still make it for Shinedown if I wanted to pay for another ticket. I thought it’d be worth it, and returned to Augustfest. Turns out, one of the ticket-checking staffers at the entrance had an extra ticket he was trying to get rid of, so he sold it to me for very cheap.
The concert was awesome. I was very nervous. I did not know how it would be like, what I should do, whether I’d fit in. But it was great. It was very laid back. I was actually over-dressed. So I bought a Shinedown shirt (came with free CD) and changed into that.
There was a good variety of people, from kids in diapers to grey-haired old people. (A few unborn kids too.) A number of families – father, mother, kids – were there too. The people were laid back. While the music was playing, lots of people just stood and listened. Lots of people brought lawn chairs: they just sat and listened. Those closest to the stage were more into it: pumping fists, head-banging, and other stuff. So I did not feel out of place at all, standing and nodding to the music.
I think I saw three black people, and three South Asians. The rest were white. But, as usual, I didn’t feel out of place. I wasn’t surprised by this white-ness. Hard rock is considered “white music” but I love it.
Midnight to 12 actually as a drummer who’s Mexican (or Latino in any case). Oh, that reminds me: there were a lot of Latinos in the crowd.
Considering this was in northern IL, which is very red and conservative, the whole stereotype of racist hicks holds no water for me. It was obvious that most people didn’t come from ‘burbs, where there’s lots of diversity, but they were all civil and nice.
Most of the bands I saw were good. Mignight to 12 put on a very good show: each bandmember was animated and performed well. Stereoside was also good. Black Stone Cherry was good too. I wasn’t too fond of Alter Bridge (and that’s when I left).
There was no way I could have seen POD: I had to leave home for the airport at 7, and POD would take the stage at 7:30. No way I could make it. But I returned to see Shinedown. And it seemed that lots of people reached there a little later so as to catch Shinedown, not caring too much about the other bands.
Shinedown’s performance was awesome. They started with “Devour”. As I knew a number of words and the beat was very good, this was a good song: lots of people singing it, lots of movement. The lead singer was surprising very well articulate when he spoke with us. He used proper English, with complex constructions even. And his show was part performance, part motivational exhortations. He got us all very excited and into the music. (I’m listening to their CD right now.) He even let the lead singer of Black Stone Cherry sing part of one song. It was very well worth the drive back to Augustfest, the extra money, and the long drive home (even at 11:30 pm, the highway was extremely congested: bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go the whole route thereon).
One thing the lead singer of Shinedown did that I appreciated is that he asked military members to raise their hands, acknowledged them, thanked them, and dedicated a song to them. The crowd was very vocal in their appreciation for military people by cheering and clapping. Very nice to see.
What was also fun was talking to SHW in church today. SHW is the first counselor in the Elders Quorum presidency. Not a small calling. But he’s into this type of music, so it was nice to talk to someone about the bands and songs, and to hear another person’s views on similar bands and concerts.
Concerts like these are nice. I’ll go to more as they arise. There should be Augustfest next year as well. The radio station I listen to is good about such concerts.
(Thanks to The Hostages for giving me advice on concert-going.)
Musli: blogger, mild-mannered Latter-day Saint, hard rocker.