Finding an unexpected family in a crowded place
As I headed to McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento for Galantis’ performance, I wondered if I was wearing too much clothing. Having never been to a rave, I didn’t know what to expect. Upon arrival, although the weather was below 50 degrees, most people were not wearing much clothing.
Waiting in line, I saw all kinds of people; I could differentiate between those not in their right states of mind and those like me who were the designated drivers. The closer to the entrance we thought we were getting, the longer the line seemed. So long, in fact, there was a port-a-potty marking the halfway point.
Once we were inside, I was initially surprised by the size and emptiness of the venue. Since it was an airplane hangar, there was more than enough space for everyone — maybe a little too much space. (I was hoping a smaller, indoor venue would warm me up.)
The opening act was Young Bombs, and their set seemed to never end. It felt like they were on stage for three hours. In fact, it actually took three hours because Galantis had a last minute meet-and-greet at 10 p.m., pushing back their start time. As I danced in the crowd, a wave of comfort washed over me. I knew that no one was judging and that everyone was there for the same reasons I was: to hear a group they love and to have a good time.
I was pleasantly surprised that each time I rejected a prospective dancer, they were respectful of my wishes. For the first time, I could dance by myself and feel completely at ease about it. During the opening group, the crowd immediately felt like family. No one was aggressive about their spot in the crowd — at least not yet.
During intermission, however, my perfect spot was overtaken by taller people (which isn’t difficult considering I’m a whopping 5’2”). Three high school boys stood directly in front of me carrying bulky backpacks. The crowd had grown so packed that the boys had no choice but to stay in front of me. Once Galantis made it onstage, one of the boys considerately asked if I could see from behind him. I quickly (and sassily) replied no. He then asked if I wanted to get on his shoulders. I was, of course, too sober to accept.
Galantis performed all of their hit songs, with the crowd constantly going wild. I was especially excited to hear their song “Runaway,” the anthem of my study abroad trip. They played this song last as it is their most famous, probably hoping people would stay for the whole concert. Luckily, they had more than one song I liked. The ones that I looked forward to most were “Make Me Feel,” “Gold Dust” and “No Money,” and they did not disappoint.
As much as I hated being in extremely close proximity with so many people, the overall feeling of community triumphed above all. I left feeling like I had shared a memorable experience with a bunch of strangers, though most of them wouldn’t remember it at all.
Written by: CaraJoy Kleinrock — email@example.com