Friday, July 04, 2008

Saturday

Last day of the festival. The morning stuff was the usual up early, hot shower, Pop-Tarts and Fruity Pebbles thing until Bob and I went to the Fringe Stage. But I actually went over a little bit early to talk to Don about helping with security. That's when he introduced me to Alan, the guy who was really in charge of security for the Fringe Stage.



Don is in the middle, Alan on the right and you know who's standing on the left. But as we talked the subject of another festival came up, The Purple Door. It seems Don, or Big Don as he has come to be known, is in charge of security for that festival, and he wanted me to sign up to volunteer to work for him. And me, being commited to what I do, asked if Compassion would have a booth at the festival. When he told me yes, I knew I wanted to be involved. So I have that going on in August, but let me get back to Creation.
The first band up was Divine Day. They were the winners of the Creation Talent Search - which was held in the Late Nite Cafe last night. They were pretty good, and I suppose they would have to be to win the Talent Search. They were followed by a band called Ruth. Also pretty good. They had a decent edge to their music and I may have to pick up their CD's.
The following band was incredibly energetic. They were Eleventyseven, and allow me to say that they sound different live - less techno than what you're hearing if you went to their myspace page with that link. These guys were also hilarious. They joked with one another and made fun of themselves through the entire show. And at different points both the bassist and the drummer ended up in the mosh pit with everyone else. But the best part was when they were getting ready to end their set and one of the stage crew held up a sign letting them know that they still had 30 minutes. The guitarist proclaimed "30 minutes? We don't even have 30 more minutes of music we can play. We'll have to improvise." So they intiated a bit of audience participation by having a breakdance contest on the stage. Very funny.
Needless to say the crowd was pretty hyped by all of this, and that's a great thing. Especially since the next band to play was Fireflight. Another band that I really like. And not just because of the hot chick bassist or their lead vocalist. They just sound awesome and put on a great show. At one point their vocalist shared a little message with the crowd about God's love where she reminded everyone of the passage from 1 John that "God is love" and then she turned to 1 Corinthians 13 and substituted God for the word love through the entire passage. I highly recommend you try this at home. I've done it before and it is amazing when you let that sink into your heart. And the rest of the concert was absolutely incredible.
As things settled down after this show I noticed that Bob was no longer in the mosh pit where I had left him. So I went looking for him, as there was plenty of time before I had to report for my shift with security. I found him at the campsite sitting in the car. I asked him what was wrong to which he informed me that he hurt his shoulder while going head-to-head with some guy about my height and maybe closer to 200 lbs. Bob slipped on some gravel and twisted just before the guy hit his shoulder, so there was a loud pop and Bob kinda knew what happened. He didn't want to go to the First Aid Tent because he was worried it might cause a problem for me with my last shift working the Compassion booth tonight. I really respect the fact that he was actually concerned about the booth being staffed tonight and not just us possibly missing out on more fun and music. Bob is shaping up to be a pretty considerate young man. But, in any event, we both decided we would leave the festival tonight when everything was over instead of spending the last night here in our tents.
It was also at this point that Bob told me that he felt something changing inside of him. He told me that some of the things that some of the speakers said really hit home with him. But he also added that I shouldn't expect those changes to be too deeply spiritual right away or to be happening really fast. But he wanted me to know that Creation was having an impact on him beyond the music and moshing and having fun. And what more could a dad ask for, other than the "that's my dad, he's pretty cool" thing earlier?
After our discussion I went back to the Fringe to prepare to do my thing on the other side of the mosh pit. I talked to Big Don and Dave and they took everybody aside and told us all what was expected of us and let us know what to watch for.
Now, just before Inhale Exhale came on, we went out into the crowd to position ourselves for the mosh to start. And when most of the kids who had been moshing with me all weekend long saw me with the orange vest they were all looking at me and asking "Dude! What's goin on? Did you turn to the dark side? You need to be out here with us." And my response became my quote for the weekend;
"Nah. I'll just say this; I'm not saying I'm too old for the mosh pit, but I am definitely too old to be in the mosh pit every-day of the festival while sleeping in a tent on the ground all weekend."
Strangely enough, they all got it. And when it was all over they still shook my hand, hugged, high fived and fist-bumped with me. It was all so very cool and there's more to that but I have to talk about Inhale Exhale first.
Inhale Exhale are a high energy, hardcore screaming metal band. So the mosh pit erupted early, just like it did with Red, and this time there were enough security people to handle the surges as they came forward. Then, to make things even more fun, the lead singer instigated the crowd by telling them "Alright, when I count to 3, I wanna see everybody in the mosh pit moving. OK. 1, 2, 3!" And they did! It was a lot of fun.
After this concert they made an announcement from the stage that right after the next band they were going to need volunteers to help tear down the stage. Well, I have some experience with that, and I didn't have anything else that I had to attend to until 9:30, so I said I would help out.
Then, as I was standing in the crew area for the security people, a young couple - in their twenties - approached me and asked "Can we get our picture taken with you?"
Huh?
"We'd like to get our picture taken with you. We've been watching you here all weekend long, and you have just been such a joy for us. You are just so awesome and we'd love to get a picture of you because you really made this festival that much better for us."
So I obliged and thanked them for that encouragement. It's nice to know that I've touched people.
The last band of the festival for the Fringe was The Myriad. I hate to say it, but the crowd had mostly dispersed by this time and there wasn't any security work to be done. There was a decent sized audience for these guys, but no moshing. And this was also the time when most of the kids that had been moshing with me and Bob all weekend long took the time to give me hugs and whatnot. I told a few of them how to find me on myspace. I haven't heard from any of them yet, but who knows. If they're meant to find me they will.
So, after The Myriad finished playing we immediately went to work on the stage. If you've never watched it happen, it's amazing to see how quickly it all comes down. People were hustling and bustling to get things unplugged, packed and moved off the stage. I love this kind of stuff, too. And the other cool part about doing this, most of the bands that played today were still lingering around behind the stage putting their own gear and equipment away. So at various times I got to stop for a second or two to talk to them. I talked to the vocalist from Fireflight, the guys from Eleventyseven, and the vocalist for Inhale Exhale. Again, one of the things I love about being involved with Christian music is that the people are so unpretentious. They are just as thankful for us being there as we are of them playing for us. And they don't mind meeting their fans whenever it's possible.
As things moved on I realized I needed to get ready to do my shift at the Compassion booth. So I said my farewells to the guys I was working with, shared my contact info with Big Don so we could keep in touch, and headed over to my tent. Bob was resting, somewhat uncomfortably, but he was OK.
So off to the Compassion booth I went, and this time I was going to be in the main pavillion. As I headed to the booth I stopped to talk briefly with some of the vendors I had gotten familiar with while I was there. I talk to both of the artists that I mentioned in my previous posts. I had developed a little thing with a couple of guys working a T-shirt stand. They had noticed I had a Marvel Comics theme going all weekend long. I started the festival on Thrusday with my Iron Man shirt, then on Friday I wore my Marvel SuperHeroes shirt (a bunch of the Marvel characters together) and then wrapped things up on Saturday with my Punisher shirt. But I had changed into my Compassion shirt for this last night at the booth. So they joked with me about that. I told them they needed to get rid of their "I lost my mom in the mosh pit" shirts and get ones that said dad instead.
So I arrived at the booth and things were already jumping. There was one last push being made on the Main Stage to reach our goal of 2000 children being sponsored this year. At sometime around 9:00 one of our off-duty advocates told me that we were over 1500. So that was encouraging. At 10:00 the pavillion closed and we all started to break down the set-up so we could move it to the other booth at the top of the hill where I spent my other two evenings. Meanwhile, there were still people coming up to the booth asking to sponsor children. How awesome is that?
We managed to get everything moved pretty quickly, and then I stayed at the other booth until everything was packed and ready to go. At this point actual staffers from Compassion International came to load everything up for shipping back to Colorado Springs. They were quite efficient. And I suppose they've had plenty of experience so that would come naturally.
Toby Mac was the last show of the festival. And it was a great show. I only know Toby Mac as part of DC talk, so I wasn't too familiar with the music, but he is definitely a showman. But he did do a few of DC Talk's songs so I could enjoy that. The highlight was when they played Jesus Freak. They did an awesome "freeze" during the pause in the bridge of the song, then came back to life - as it were - with fire, smoke and pyrotechnics. Very cool. It was a great way to end the festival.
Afterwards, there was an announcement made about needing people to help with tear down at the Main Stage. I would've liked to stay and help, but Bob and I had to get home. He needed to get his shoulder looked at, and both of us were missing our beds and hot food. So I said my goodbyes to the people of Compassion and packed up our gear to leave.

It's hard to leave something like this. You begin to actually love the people you've been hanging out with. You begin to actually care about what's going to happen to them in their lives. You begin to hope that you'll get to see them again next year. And you hope that whatever changes happened inside of you, or those around you, will really take hold and keep you in a state of constant change for the better. And you begin planning for the last weekend in June of next year so you can have it all happen again.
A tribute to our Creator, indeed!

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi umm i was at creation last year and i bought a "i lost my mom in the mosh pit" sweatshirt. it is like the coolest thing i own but its getting a little ratty. my mom is threatening to throw it out if i cant find a replacement, but i dont know wwho made it? can you help me???

--searching

6:42 PM  
Blogger M+ said...

Anonymous (Searching);
Well, I certainly hope you've decided to check back here to find an answer.
Check this site;

http://www.sparkshirts.com/

These were the guys who were there this year. I know the "I lost my mom..." shirt isn't shown, but they had them at Creation. There's an e-mail address on the page you can send inquiries to. I hope you find a new one.
Please be kind enough to let me know how things turn out.

7:31 PM  

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