*Disclaimer- This is NOT a political post… I swear!*
Walking up to the venue, my roommate and I knew we were in trouble. There were lines wrapping through the building, around the building, hell, there were so many lines full of tens of thousands of people… we had no clue where to go. We were even early! Doors weren’t until 6PM and it was only 5:15PM. My buddy Andrew called me and we started trying to figure out where we each were so we could meet up. Just when I was about to give up on finding Andrew, he found us and took us to the front of one of the many lines. We had no clue how he got so close to the beginning of the line and we will probably never know.
After anxiously standing in the line, we were herded like sheep throughout the building. We had no clue what was going on or where we were going. There were cops and security guards keeping people in line and making sure nobody tried to jump in our line.
We finally made it to our destination. It was just an open convention center with a stage against one wall. We claimed our spot right in front of the stage about ten people deep. People were crowding around us and soon, all personal space was lost.
The three of us struggled to dig in our pockets and bags for our phones due to the lack of wiggle room. We still had an hour before the show was supposed to start and we all had the same idea of killing time by refreshing Facebook and checking out what everyone else was doing. When we finally had our phones in hand, we were disappointed to find out that there was virtually no service in the room due to the pure volume of people on their phones. We stood there counting the minutes down. There was nothing to do and it was boring. We were anxious and so were all the people around us.
Eventually, music started playing over the speakers. It wasn’t my scene. It was mostly oldies and classic rock songs but hey, at least it was something. People were chanting and waving signs all around. The room was packed to the brim. Tens of thousands of different types of people all gathered with a common passion. This was what I live for. Or was it?
There were a couple of openers to get the crowd excited but honestly, there was so much excitement in the air, there was no need for openers. The chanting got louder and more frequent. There was clapping and yelling every time there was a movement on stage. People could not contain their excitement for the headliner of the night.
The headliner took the stage and my hearing went buh-bye. I couldn’t hear anything other than the tens of thousands of people screaming at the top of their lungs. I couldn’t see the stage or the headliner due to everyone waving signs in the air.
I didn’t share the excitement of the crowd. I didn’t know much about the headliner so I didn’t have anything to be that passionate about but, like at many of the shows I go to where i know nothing about the acts, I got excited just because of all the excitement around me.
The headliner did his thing. The crowd clapped and chanted when given the chance and the excitement level never came down.
What show was I at? Trick question!
I didn’t go to a show last night. I went to the Bernie Sanders rally at the St. Paul River Center. Now, if you don’t support Bernie, that’s more than fine. I went because I felt like I knew nothing about anything political and figured this would be a place to start.
I lost interest in the night very quickly. I was bored and wondering how the Ryan Bingham show was going over at First Avenue. I started wondering why I had chosen this rally over a concert.
Then I had one of my famous “eureka” moments.
This rally was not much different than the shows I go to:
- The pure amount of people that were in that room and the lack of personal space made me feel like I was at a sold out show in a huge venue.
- The free posters and stickers were flying out of the volunteers’ hands like hot cakes. That’s no different than when bands throw out free merchandise at a show. You grab what you can and some people play dirty and fight to the death for this free crap as they did last night.
- Bernie Sanders was losing his voice due to the sheer amount of appearances that he has been doing lately. It was like seeing band on one of the last dates of their three month long tour where the singer struggles to hit those high notes because he is so tired and worn out.
- There were too many phones in the area to see much of anything. Much like at a concert, I was annoyed by the fact that as soon as Bernie took the stage, everyone had their phones up in the air trying to snap a picture. It made it hard to see anything but then I looked down at my hand and noticed I was doing the same thing.
- All of these different people came together for one cause. That is why I love concerts. So many people can be so different in every possible way but they somehow find a way to put aside differences and stand for a band… or in this case, a cause.
Much like the Stanley Cup playoff game I went to (My Post: What’s The Difference), I was completely out of my element. I had no clue what I was doing or why I was there but it was something different and that’s always exciting.
I didn’t get as amped as majority of the crowd and I honestly didn’t understand the excitement but…
Everyone needs to have something in their life that they are overly-passionate about… Political rallies are just some people’s concerts.
Sausage Fest Meter- 0 out of 10– Even Split
Crowd Surfers- Free Bernie Posters
Broken Bones- None
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- I wish they had been serving booze!
Found in the Pit- Not Applicable
Average Age- 50– There were people of all ages there