Rage in Phoenix, AZ, 12-16-99
It was Dec. 16th, location America West Arena Phoenix, AZ ... it was 6 and the doors weren't open yet...we ran into some radio peeps...got a free Rage/KUPD shirt. We walked around the arena...saw the expected RATM propaganda fan protest things going on. I signed up for a few things..da da da. The doors opened up at about 6:45. We began to seat hop. We were a row away from the floor. We had seated tickets it being that GA sold out in 20 minutes. Between 7:30 and 8:30 the lights went out and we hopped over the wall and onto the floor. I was spotted w/ a flash light in the face, but I just ran the other way. By the end of GangStarr's set I was front row body pressed against the barricade. The 100's or people behind me began to get rough. They began to push, so hard that the barricade was moving closer and closer to the stage. At one point in one whole push it moved up a whole foot! And the show didn't even start yet. Out of all the concerts I've been to I never experienced that. The "T.E.A.M." peeps and the crew rushed to push the speakers away from the crowd, and they laid boards on the floor. I could still touch the speakers, and putting the boards down was bad, bad, bad...the pressure was all on me. I watched as the crew set up the famous amp w/ the banner of Che Guevara covering the front. Between 9 and 9:45 the black drape went to the floor and a huge banner appeared reading "Battle Of Phoenix"...that was net. Zack's first words were "Check 1...2" and the crowd went off. He sang Testify, Guerilla Radio...then I think it was People of the Sun and then he gave a speech about guys raping women at concerts...and if he saw any of that he'd "kick your fucking ass out of the building." More power to him. During the show I was tempted to yell out and say the guy behind me was touching me but the guy was being sweet to me, so I didn't. I was sooooo tempted to yell out "Zack someone's touching me!!"...I imagined him coming over and talking shit...only if the guy behind me were being a dick! The whole show was amazing! Three songs before the show was over I was informed that it was ok to take pictures, so I did. The whole show was nothing I expected. I've never been to a crazier concert in my life! There was this whole vibe that everyone was feeding off of. Zack was feelin' it too. I was in aww when he stood in front of me...he's not your average "rock star" he's a person who gives a shit about you. He's real. After the show I had to sit and think for a while "...yeah you just saw RATM..." it was weird. I felt I had to sit down and write everything down, but I was about to pass out. For the next 3 or 4 days I couldn't lay on my sides what so ever, and was bruised everywhere (happens all the time but it was the freakin' worst!!). It was amazing...lyrics were flying out of everyone's mouth. There was this echo of voices. My favorite part was "I am the Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria..." You know how at concerts there's ALWAYS people just standing there kinda nodding their heads...or just standing there...that was not the case here. If you weren't jumping you were being stomped on the floor. At times the pressure was so bad that I had to breath in really fast, then out. It was the best concert my life!!! :) There's more to be said about it but it'll just sound like gibberish and nonsense...that was my RATM concert experience.
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