Panic Show @ Redrocks
Saturday, June 28
Author unknown; Photo by Scramble Campbell
4:00am – Wake up after 3 hours of sleep and take a cab to Logan airport.
10:30am – Arrive Denver Intl. airport, meet up with friend, Mat, rent car, drive to liquor store.
11:30am – Enter liquor store and buy a case of Coors and a case of Coors Light (we’re in Colorado after all). Also buy flimsy styrofoam cooler that is sure to break before the day is over.
11:33am – Flimsy styrofoam cooler falls over and breaks as I wheel out of liquor store parking lot. Go back to liquor store for second flimsy styrofoam cooler.
11:45am – Arrive at the 6th Ave. Travelodge. As I am stepping out of the car, a car pulls up and a guy leans out of the passenger side window to offer me mushroom chocolates at $20 a pop. I ask him if one will do the trick. He says yes. I buy two.
2:00pm – Follow my friend Hugo and others into the Red Rocks parking lot. He drives a sky blue ’76 Cadillac El Dorado convertible (hip). I’m driving a maroon Mazda 626 (loser). I proceed to scour the parking lot for the prerequisite ammunition I will need for the show. As I am buying a one-hitter from a dirty, bearded guy, a dirty, hairy-legged girl approaches me about some “blueberry organics from Oregon”. I give her a perplexed look before concluding she must be selling mushrooms and bring her back to our car. My friends buy an ounce for all of us. I buy a quarter for backup.
2:40pm – A girl asks us if we want any “Puff”. 10 minutes later, a guy asks us if we want any “Dust”. It quickly dawns on me that I am getting old if I am no longer familiar with the latest drug trends. We reject both and decide to stick with the stuff we know will **** us up.
4:30pm – After numerous Coors Regulars, a couple of joints and a handful of caps, I’ve got a pretty good buzz going, especially for a Saturday afternoon. My friend Mat and I decide to eat our little chocolate treats which have been chilling in the flimsy styro foam cooler. We notice they are shaped like Denver Bronco heads.
4:31pm – We head into the show early to get good seats.
4:45pm – While waiting in line to get in, I notice that my friend Mat is starting to glance around nervously. When questioned, he tells me that we have to get into the show NOW! He also tells me if it rains, it might have serious consequences for his mental health. He also informs me that the handrail he is clutching with both hands is a dear friend that he’s known since childhood. Looks like the guy was right about the chocolates.
5:00 – We take our seats on row 30. Neurons are definitely doing a little dance in my head now. I perk up my ears when I overhear the guy behind us mention Denver Bronco chocolates. He advises his buddy to “only eat half or maybe even just a quarter” unless he wants to spend the entire show on Pluto. I turn to my friend Mat. He is a slobbering, incoherent mess. I write him off as a mushroom casualty after it takes him at least half an hour to decide which restroom he should use.
5:30 – Still 2 hours until the band comes on. The grassy hill to the right of the stage erupts into a ball of green flames. I look away in horror and decide to concentrate on a harmless rock formation. Only problem is this rock formation is really a giant iguana that is trying to eat one of the speaker set-ups.
6:45 – Most of the people in the group I’m with have also procured some of these potent little mind-blasting chocolates. They inquire how they are treating me. As one guy’s face contorts into something out of a bad ’80s horror flick, I lie and tell everybody that I don’t really feel anything. It’s probably better that they take everything in the arsenal because these things are pretty weak. I decide if I’m going to be sailing the high sees of hysteria, everyone’s going to be on the same fucked-up boat. One girl eyes me suspiciously and remarks that my eyeballs look like black marbles. I turn away to see if the iguana has crept any closer.
6:00 – After the green tarp we’re sitting on sucks my beer down into its gullet, I turn to my friends and ask if everyone is ready to go. They remind me that the band hasn’t even come on yet. Oh right! We’re here to see a Panic show and there’s still AT LEAST AN HOUR ‘TIL SHOWTIME!
7:00 – The band (at this point I don’t even know who it is we’re here to see – Lightspeed Tantric or something) is late. By this time my entire group of people is a complete train wreck. Total chaos and incoherence. One girl is crying. I laugh at her. I ponder going to the rest room but decide the 15 minute journey would be about 14 minutes and 30 seconds longer than my jellied brain could handle. I decide to piss in a beer bottle. I notice a young lady staring at me, appalled. I tell her not to worry and that I’m from Tennessee, “where it’s OK to piss outdoors.” The nervous laughter quotient of the surrounding crowd is very high at this point.
7:30 – YESSSSSS!!!!! The band comes on. And the iguana doesn’t even try to eat them! For the next 4 hours I intermittently find myself dancing and sometimes standing still just staring into space. I believe some drooling was involved somewhere in there. At set break I wash down another handful of shrooms with some smuggled 1800 tequila. The rest of the night is more or less blank. I remember being lost in a parking lot. I remember the look of fear on the Travelodge desk clerk’s face when I tried to check in at midnight. I also remember that there was a group of aging hippies (50-60 years old) in front of us who were partying harder than anyone in the place and it gave me hope