Lost In This Moment

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A gust of winter wind bit into my flesh as I raced across the parking lot. My friends followed suit after they had safely disentangled themselves from the clutches of Georgia’s mini van. We rushed toward the doors, slipping and sliding on patches of ice. I reached the door and shoved it open, stumbling into the warmth of The Venue. I dug around in the pocket of my jeans, my fingers brushing past my cell phone and some cash before finally finding what I was looking for. I pulled out my ticket and handed it to one of the bouncers, who tore off the end before handing it back to me. Excited, I moved forward through the inner door, into the darkness that lay beyond. The first thing I noticed was the tables of merchandise set up right inside the door. I rushed over to In This Moment’s booth, staring longingly at the many different t-shirts. In This Moment was the opening band for the show, and happened to be one of my favorite bands, so buying a concert tee was absolutely mandatory. I selected a shirt with many colorful designs on the front, including a dove, a rose, a skull, and many other small patterns. I threw the shirt on immediately and, with my friend Jackie, hurried farther into the darkness. There were already people standing near the stage, waiting. Jackie and I had to push our way through unsuspecting fans to get close to the front; weaving between people like snakes winding through grass By the time the show started, there were only a couple people between the stage and us. I was so excited. Adrenaline pumped through my veins wildly, my hands shook, and my wide eyes stared expectantly at the stage. The lights grew dim and everybody screamed, including me. I had been waiting for this moment for months! Suddenly, the band members of In This Moment came onto the stage: Jesse with his bass and his long, dark hair; Chris swinging his dreadlocks over his shoulder; Blake sheepishly following behind them; and Jeff taking his position behind the drums. There was only one member left to appear: my idol, Maria Brink. When she walked out from the backstage area, I screamed like my life depended on it. My throat burned from my own scream and my ears rang from the screams of others. Maria smiled at everyone sweetly, and then the music began.

At the sound of the first click of Jeff’s drumstick, everyone rushed forward, slamming into each other, trying to get closer to the stage. I gasped for air as someone plowed into my back, crushing my lungs. There were at least four people crammed into a small space that should’ve been enough room for only one person. Movement was impossible, and I almost began to panic, but then Maria began to sing. I was so enraptured with her voice that I almost forgot about the suffocating closeness of everyone in the room. I listened intently and sang along with every word to every song. I was so happy at that moment that nothing could have taken that joy away; not even the extreme lack of personal space.

In This Moment played about eight songs: songs from their first album and their second, ranging from hardcore screaming to melodic singing. Lights flashed in time with the music, changing constantly from blue to yellow to red to purple and to every color in between. When they finally finished and the main lights came back on, I was still seeing colors flashing before my eyes. Everyone stopped shoving and stepped back a little, allowing more room for me to breathe. Only then did I realize I was panting. When I breathed in I could almost taste everyone’s sweat on the air. My ears were ringing, and I had to yell just to hear my own voice.

In what seemed like only minutes, the second band, Nonpoint, came on to the stage. Everyone rushed forward, and I was once again stuck in the middle of a sea of bodies.
The lead singer of the band said he wanted everyone to jump. Even if I hadn’t wanted to jump, I wouldn’t have had any choice in the matter. When everyone around me jumped, my body, so closely pressed to theirs, was lifted in the air. I jumped along with everyone just to make the process easier and less painful. When everyone had finished jumping, they started to sway sideways, back and forth. My heart pounded violently; we were leaning so far I was afraid we were going to fall. I closed my eyes, waiting, but I never fell. Because our bodies were so packed together, there was no way anyone was going to fall over. It was slightly exhilarating but terrifying.

When Nonpoint finished, the crowd backed off again. Sweat dripped from my hair and clothing, and not all of it was my own. I looked at Jackie and motioned toward the bathrooms. Once we were in the bathroom, I turned on a sink and shoved my head in. The cool water cascaded over me, running through my hair and down the drain, bringing sweat and hair products with it. I wrung the water out of my hair, not caring if it fell onto my already sweat-soaked clothing. When I looked in the mirror, the girl staring back at me looked tired and intense with a wild look in her eye. I looked like an animal, but I was happy.

Jackie and I left the bathroom and found our friends standing in the hallway. We stood by them and talked about the show for a while. Then, I saw something that made my heart stop: Jesse Landry, a member of In This Moment and the most handsome man to ever hold a bass guitar in his hands. My jaw literally dropped, and I gawked at him as he walked over to the merchandise tables. I went and got his autograph, of course, after I had gotten over my shock.

Soon after Jesse appeared, the other members of the band started showing up. I had every one of them sign my shirt, but Maria had yet to appear. When I asked one of the members if she was going to be signing autographs, they said she had cut her hand on her microphone stand and wouldn’t be able to come out and sign. I was extremely disappointed, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from enjoying the rest of the show.

My friends and I moved back into the main room, standing near the back. There were so many people now, that there was almost no way we were going to get closer to the stage for the final band: Mudvayne. I was perfectly content with standing in the back; there were less sweaty bodies to brush against and more room to breathe.

Suddenly, a guitar riff ripped through the air and the lights went out. Everyone surged forward in a massive wave of bodies, dragging me along almost fifty feet before stopping. Everyone started pushing and shoving and screaming. A few people fled toward the back of the room, panicking and screaming things like, “I need to get out of here!” Jackie, being shorter than the rest of us, couldn’t get any air and had to leave. I stayed where I was, trying not to be knocked over when a mosh pit started behind me. I lasted about two or three songs before I decided to join Jackie in the back. I tried to leave, but it was like walking through a battlefield. I was punched, shoved, and almost knocked over. Someone ran into me and hit me right in the face. Pain shot through my head and I almost fainted, but I need to get out.

I finally made it to the back, where Jackie informed me that I had a bloody nose. I once again went into the bathroom, but this time it was to tend to my nose. When the bleeding stopped, I went back to the main room, only to find that the show was over. My friends were gathering in a group by the door. When everyone was accounted for, we stepped back outside into the winter air. The wind didn’t seem to bite so hard this time; in fact, it felt quite nice against my warm, sticky skin. My ears rang, my ribs were bruised, my throat was scratchy, and I was covered in sweat, but I was happy.





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