There are some moments in life that we laugh about. There are some moments that we regret. And there moments that we’d rather just forget about. For the past few years this is one of the tales that my friends and I have held in secrecy. It’s the tale of three friends (it may have been four, I don’t remember it that well, and you’ll see why in a moment), who just wanted to watch a B-list electronic rock band play a few songs and got way more than they expected. Now that i’ve sent your expectation sky rocketing, let me disappoint you.
One day I was enjoying an ordinary day in middle school with my friends when my best friend at the time, T-dubs, said there was going to be a concert at the University of Vermont (UVM) in a few weeks that we should go to. Being the adventurous sorts that I was I said yes. Yadda, yadda, yadda, T-dubs, Sam and myself arrived at UVM excited to see a band I had never heard of called: Ratatat. Going up to the gate we handed the gatekeeper our tickets to which they promptly responded, “can I see your UVM ID’s?” It turns out that T-dubs had gotten us tickets reserved for UVM students, which we were not. T-dubs however, proceeded to pull out a UVM ID and head on inside, despite A) not going to UVM, and B) being in middle school. It turns out that if you don’t go to UVM you needed a “special” ticket, which basically was the same thing, but with an ‘X’ on it. We were directed to a table off to the side, and shared with them our story. The two people eloquently responded, “Wait what…?” and, “Whatever, just put an ‘X’ on their tickets.” Our passage was secured!
Once inside we met back up with T-dubs and set off to enjoy the festivities colloquially called spring fest. now there are a couple of things you should probably know about Spring Fest. It was in Vermont on the University of Vermont campus aka “the groovey oovey,” it was predominantly hippie college students (this was the pre-hipsterism proliferation days), oh and it was on 4/20. For those of you that don’t know what 4/20 is, it’s the one day of the year that pot-heads (also known as the entire population of Vermont) get together and say, “Hey you know how we do nothing, but smoke weed everyday? Yeah let’s go smoke weed all day today in celebration of the fact that we smoke weed!” although in actuality it sounds more like, “dude…weed’s awesome.” Where was I, oh yeah! Spring Fest.
After getting through the gate we headed on over to the stage where there was a DJ. The music was enjoyable and there weren’t that many people there yet, so we hung out and joked around. Every two seconds the DJ would go over to her computer and stare at it for a while, type something, then go back to the disk jockeying, and so we joked that she was checking her email instead of DJ-ing. We were such comedians at that age.
Everything was going well, we were having fun and enjoying some fairly quality music. Then the opener came out, some band called like Rubblebucket or some crap, because when you smoke that much weed you just name your band after whatever’s closest to you. Despite the dumb name, they were actually pretty good, the only problem, is that was when everyone else decided to show up. So now we were three tiny middle schoolers in a sea of super high college students. Even that one asshole who brings the beach ball showed up. We just focused on the music, because we were young and innocent, and that was what we were there for. It wasn’t long, however, before one of us asked, “what’s that smell?” You can probably guess what it was, but it hadn’t quite clicked in our heads yet (and wouldn’t until about 10 o’clock that night).
Finally after an hour of hitting buckets (but actually) Ratatat came out. Everyone cheered, and they played their first song! And it… was…. alright. Honestly it was just generic electronic music, which isn’t really my jam, but we were hanging out and having fun so it was alright. After the first song, our middle school endurance had run out. standing in a crowd of sweaty college students who are all simultaneously smoking as much weed as possible was too much for us to take. So the three of us left the crowd to peruse the other spring fest…festivities. After T-dubs, at least I think it was T-dubs, Will might have been there too, honestly I can’t remember that well, it was middle school, so sue me. Anyways let’s just say T-dubs went to the bathroom, so Sam and I hit up the Ali-Baba’s Kabob Shop truck to get some greek pitas, and we proceeded to sit on the hill and watch the concert at a safe distance from the obnoxious crowd.
At this point we were less interested in the music and more interested in hanging out and talking about whatever it was that we talked about in middle school. The one thing I do remember in concrete detail is noticing the gigantic plume of smoke hovering just over the crowd. Even then we still hadn’t quite realized what they were smoking. Anyways after that we went over to one of the tables and stocked up on tie-dye frisbees, because it’s not Vermont if there isn’t someone giving out free something tie-dyed. It started drizzling and we played frisbee until our ride home showed up. After about 5 minutes we realized that we were covered in dye from the frisbee, because the person had used some bull-crap dye. Wiping our hands on the wet grass (it had started to drizzle if you were curious) we tried to get the dye off until our ride showed up to take us back to T-dubs house for what would become a comical sleepover once we realized that they were all smoking marijuana. For the record, I’m pretty sure one of us still has one of those frisbees, though you wouldn’t know it considering the dye washed off so it just looks like a normal frisbee.