My Dream

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September 23, 2011 was one of the best nights of my life. It was a warm night and my adrenaline was pumping through me. I felt as though I was about to explode and scream out at the top of my lungs, minutes before we went on. Anxiety took over me as I looked out over the crowd and felt a cold sweat seep out from the back of my neck. I was shaking, my heart was pounding, my fingers were jittering, and my head was spinning. It was the best night for a Rock Festival.

The Rock Festival had been planned for months before hand. It started one Saturday when I was on my way to the Methodist church off Highway 1. I work for Dr. Berthelot, my music teach, there every Saturday teaching all ages of people how to play guitar. I was listening to music through my radio off of my iPhone when the music cut off and “Carrion” by Parkway Drive started to play. That was my ringtone at the time. I grabbed my phone and detached it from the auxiliary wire. It was Cameron, my metaphorical brother, best friend, and the drummer in our band. He pitched the idea of having a Rock Festival in the gym at our school. We would get as many other bands as we can to join in the festival, and all the money that was raised would go directly to the orchestra fund. This sounded like the perfect plan to me.

We got off the phone with each other and we pitched the idea to Dr. Berthelot. He was all for it. Preparation for the show had begun. We practiced for days at a time, devoting the entire day to just music. We wanted to make sure this was the best show we have ever put on. We spent our afternoons and weekends together, doing nothing but practice.

Dr. Berthelot had tickets for the show printed. He made the entire orchestra sell twenty tickets each, selling them for eight dollars. We sold to the students, teachers, friends, and family. Soon the word spread throughout all of Plaquemine that there was going to be a Rock Festival, and, before the day of the concert had arrived, we had sold over one thousand tickets.

As the word spread, there competition for timeslots to play had begun. There were three bands and a soloist who wanted to play for this show. They were all great musicians, but only two bands, Awaken the City and Cobra, were able to play with us that night, as well as the Jazz band the Dr. Berthelot had organized. Minkus, the other band who wanted to play with us never auditioned for their spot, and Jarred Thibodeaux, the soloist, didn’t fit in the allotted time spot for the show. I know Jarred was upset about this, but eventually we made it up, became good friends, and he is now the new bassist for our band.

As the date of the show grew closer, people throughout the orchestra became more and more anxious. The members of the orchestra, including myself, were in a rush to sell as many tickets to the show as they could, as well as the raffle tickets they had to sell as another fundraiser for the orchestra fund.

I was not only anxious, but also extremely excited. Weeks before the show, I would become jittery, waiting for that Tuesday night to come. I could see the same in my fellow band member’s faces. We were all ready to play the show and just let loose all of this stress of organizing the concert. We hadn’t even set up the stage yet, and we knew the show was going to be amazing.

The Sunday before the show was the set-up date. Our band and Awaken the City met early that morning at the gym with all of our equipment. We hauled every amp, wire, stand, drum, and guitar into the gym and onto the stage. After a few discussions of set up and arguments of who’s drums to use, we began the organize the stage. Drums in the middle, one guitar to stage left, and one guitar to stage right along side the bass guitar. Mics were set up in front of amp for the guitarist to sing, with an extra for the lead vocalist and one in the back for the drummer. Dr. Berthelot then had a friend of his from New Orleans come down to help run the sound. He miced all of the amps and the drums and he ran the vocal mics back to the soundboard in the back of the gym. After a quick sound check and jam session, our two bands were ready. We waited there for an hour, just having some fun, and then Cobra arrived. Their setup was to be the same as ours, but after we played, we would have to move our equipment, and then they would place their equipment in place of ours. Once we organized the switch up, we were ready to play. The two days were easily the hardest two days. Trying to contain myself all day was a difficult task, but I knew it would be worth it.

School was a laid back day that day. We really didn’t do anything because we were sound checking to make sure everything was perfect. I left school immediately after dismissal in order to pick up Brittany, my current girlfriend at the time. We arrived back at the school while Dr. Berthelot’s Jazz band was playing one of their songs. Brittany and I sat together and listened to a few more of their songs. After that band played their final song, our band took the stage. I had left Brittany at her seat moments before. I took a headband from my brother’s Halloween costume and put it around my forehead, as a joke to be funny. I walked out onto the stage as the lights turned off, and looked at the faces in the crowd.
I felt at home.

Cameron got on the mic. He announced to the crowd, “Hey guys! Thanks for coming out tonight and supporting the orchestra. We are Epitome.” I turned my head to Mark, our drummer and lead singer who would swap places with Cameron throughout the show. He gave a count off, “One. Two. Three. Four,” smacking his sticks together with each number. We all came in on one with a loud, powerful D major, the first chord to “Killing in the Name Of” by Rage Against the Machine. We nailed that song. I was screaming at the top of my lungs to the crowd throughout the entire song and the rest of the set. My voice was shot by the end of the night. As Cobra went on to play, most people dispersed and left. We definitely rocked the house that night, at least, enough for people not to want to stick around and listen to Cobra.

While Cobra was playing, our band and some friends of ours left to go eat some pizza at Uncle Johnny’s. It was a great end to a great night. After eating, Brittany and I left in order for me to bring her home. I slept great that night.

When we came back to school the next day, we had to bring our equipment home. Someone had already taken down most of the equipment, packed it up, and taken it with them. Some of our equipment was stolen. We definitely learned to stay until the show is over and take our equipment home that night in order to make sure what is ours comes home with us. This minor setback, however, did not ruin the great memory that I have of this amazing night.





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