Unbelievable concert experiences

Hailey Warsaw

Think of your favorite band or artist. It’s likely not that far from the truth to say that you’ve spent hours daydreaming about hearing them live or fantasizing about meeting them. You’ve probably pictured yourself sporting exclusive band merch, getting autographs, or even playing music with them. Concerts are events we daydream about, but what some WO students have experienced are beyond anything you could imagine.

  At the innocent age of just seven, Soph. Nico Volakakis attended his first concert. Unlike most seven-year-olds, it wasn’t the Wiggles or the Muppets. Not even close. Volakakis rolled up in Portland, Oregon, to see The Ramones, an iconic punk band from the 70’s. “My mom has connections with a lot of band members,” Volakakis explains, “including the Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins, Ramones, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.”

  Because of this, the Ramones show he attended was an exclusive event. Upon arriving at the venue, The Ramones were very accommodating to their special guest. “The Ramones carried a Lazy-boy up three flights of stairs so I could get the best seat in the house. I had the best view of the stage, It was really cool. They gave me huge bags of Cheetos, too,” Volakakis said.

  He remembers looking out three stories down from the top of the venue, his ears filled with the raw sound of the Ramones performing below, “it was awesome, their music was so loud and just great. Everyone was clapping,” he recalls.

  It would be cool enough to watch an exclusive Ramones show from a Lazy-boy, munching on endless Cheetos, but Volakakis’ experience doesn’t end there. He actually got to accompany the band on stage. “I expected to go on stage,” Volakakis said, “the bassist even taught me a couple chords so I got to actually play with the band; it was really cool.” With so many exciting things happening, Volakakis, only seven at the time, was “so tired by the end of the show,” but said, “It was still an awesome experience.”

  As the night drew to a close, there was one more spectacular surprise left in store for Volakakis, “They gave me a T-shirt, and it was one of the ten only produced for kids in the world. We actually still have it.” Over seven years later, Volakakis still reminisces on his unbelievable, crazy concert experience.

   As fun and memorable some concerts may be, others are memorable for different reasons. On a hot summer day at Lollapalooza, a popular music festival in Chicago, Soph. Chloe Karp was looking forward to enjoyable concert experiences.

  “My day at Lollapalooza was very memorable and fun. I went with my sister and she knew where everything was so she made everything go smoothly and just made the trip really fun,” Karp said. But the day wouldn’t all be going so smoothly. As the day progressed, Karp found herself in the front row of a huge crowd.

  “We were in the front row for the show before Travis Scott so we just decided to stay up there after,” Karp said. With a quick turn of events, the crowd went from a typically excited audience to a dangerous mob of people.”[Travis Scott] didn’t come out for a long time and was very late so people were starting to get angry and pushing a lot.“ Karp said.

  As Karp and her sister waited for the show to begin, the pushing became violent as impatient audience members tried to break past the barricade. “Before he came on, people were already pushing people over and jumping the rails to try to get on stage. My sister and I were being pushed so much towards the rail, too,” Karp said. If that wasn’t bad enough, “When Travis Scott came out he encouraged everyone to push everyone and rush the stage,” Karp said. “And that’s when we started to leave because everybody was being trampled.”

  The crowd, now a rioting mob of rambunctious concert-goers, soon became too much to deal with; “a worker helped us over [the rail] to get out from the front row,” Karp said. Amongst all the craziness, Karp managed to make it out okay, only losing her shoes in the chaos . “Travis Scott didn’t even get to do one song before he had to leave Lollapalooza because of what he started,” Karp said. “ [But,] I think the whole experience was definitely worth it because I didn’t get hurt and now it’s a funny memory.”

  It was the summer of 2014 when Jr. Taryn Johnson stepped out of her car, into Mopop Festival, where she had a memorable concert experience of her own. “When we got out of the car, we could have never imagined all the crazy stuff that would happen. We ran to the stage and got in line for [the band] The Neighbourhood six hours early. We fought some people to get to the barricade and stood there waiting for their set,” Johnson said.

  After hours of waiting in the sun for her favorite band to come on stage, Johnson remembered that The Neighbourhood, the band she was so looking forward to seeing, was going to be signing autographs at a tent across the venue. “[WO Alumni Jared Miller and Ceasar Montes] kept our spots by the barricade as we ran to the tent for autographs. Finally, we got to get their autographs, and even though they didn’t allow pictures we hid our phones and took some anyway,” Johnson said. Luckily, everything worked out for Johnson perfectly; she not only got the entire bands autograph but also made it back to see them from the front row. “It was amazing,” she remembers fondly.

  The next thing that happened Johnson will remember for the rest of her life. “After the show, we were roaming around and we saw Brandon [The Neighbourhood’s drummer], just standing there. No one else seemed to notice him so, we run up to him and ask for a signature and picture and he’s like ‘yeah sure’. He signed our arms and we got pictures too.”

  But Johnson’s luck didn’t stop there, not in the least. “After this, we were chilling in a tent. It was rainy and gross out so we didn’t expect anything more to happen. But all the sudden we see Jesse [Frontman of The Neighbourhood] and he ends up taking pictures and hugging all of us. Everyone was screaming.”

  After a day of pure excitement and joy, Johnson was not only amazed but in shock with how unbelievably great her day turned out.  “It was amazing; The best concert I’ve been to in my life,” Johnson said.

  Whether it’s something out of a dream, or downright unimaginable, these concerts experiences are one thing for sure: memorable.