adora68: (Default)
[personal profile] adora68
So this past weekend was Extreme Thing in Vegas (http://www.extremething.com/). It’s 12 hours of bands playing on 5 stages for $20 so you can’t really go wrong, but this year’s “big name” acts didn’t make me feel like I *had to be there, so I wasn’t planning to go. The only bands I really cared a lot about seeing were The Aquabats! and MSI. Then suddenly last Tuesday we found out that my husband didn’t have to work on Saturday and it was on!

We randomly wandered all morning and listened to bits and pieces of lots of bands, mostly sitting in the bleachers near each stage. Then when Adelita’s Way finished on the main stage, I ran down to get up front for The Aquabats! If you’ve never seen The Aquabats! live, do yourself a favor and do it. They put on one of the most energetic and just plain FUN shows you will ever see. Seriously, how many bands perform in full super-hero costumes and fight giant mutated tortillas halfway through the set? When you get an entire crowd chanting “Fruit Pie the Magician,” it’s kind of magical. If could go on and on raving about them, but I’ll stop now.

A quick word about the crowd, I was standing right at the barrier and next to me was a dad with his 7 year-old daughter in a full Aquabats! costume. Most of it was merch (like the helmet and goggles), but she had a home-made utility belt that was pretty amazing. It was one of the cutest things I ever saw. Commander pointed to her a few times and it was really cute. There were lots of people in various amounts of costume and several kids (probably due to the TV show) throughout the crowd.

They get to the last song of the sadly short set and Commander says, “I see several cadets out there. You kids are the future of The Aquabats! So right now, I want security to get those kids for me and bring them up on stage.” Kids start getting passed around and pretty soon there are half a dozen kids around 5 to 7 years old up there. Adorable! Then two other kids come running out from behind the stage. They were both wearing giant pink ear protectors and I knew immediately that the little one was Bandit. I look over stage right and there are Gerard and LynZ absolutely beaming. Bandit looked a little nervous but so did all of the kids and Bandit was quite a bit younger than any of the others.

Commander goes down the row of kids, asking them each their names and announcing them to the crowd who screamed like maniacs at each pronouncement. It went something like this:

Commander: What’s your name?

Child: Kayleigh

Commander: Her name is Kayleigh!!!!!!

Crowd: maniacal screams, fists in the air, shouts of “Kayleigh”!

Repeat down the line. Occasionally he’d ask an extra question like how old they were, it was a riot. Eventually he got to Bandit:

Commander: Bandit, what’s your name, Bandit?

Bandit: Bandit

Commander: Her name is Bandit!!!

Crowd: goes wild

Commander: Bandit, is that a kitty on your shirt?

Bandit: nods

Commander: She has a kitty on her shirt!!!!

Crowd: goes even wilder

Once we finish the introductions, Commander says, “Usually this is the part of the show where I ask the kids if they know what a stage dive is. And when they say ‘no,’ we throw them out into the audience. Unfortunately, the barrier is a little wide today and I’m not too sure I want to be throwing kids 10 feet. Besides, I think some of their parents have good lawyers. So instead, I’m going to ask them this…”

To the kids, “Do you guys know what a circle pit is?”

And the crowd goes insane as the kids shake their heads in unison.

Commander: “So this (draws a rough circle with his foot, kicking cables and crap out of the way) is the circle. We’re going to play a song called ‘Pool Party’ and when we start playing, Kayleigh is going to run around the circle and everybody else is going to follow her, okay?”

Kids nod.

Commander: “Okay, so you all follow Kayleigh and run around in a circle. And watch out for each other. Especially Bandit, she’s little. Egan (5 year-old boy standing next to Bandit), it’s your job to watch out for Bandit, okay? Make sure she doesn’t fall down.” Egan looks proud. “It’s just like Ring around the Rosy.”

And I swear to you, Bandit’s eyes lit up at the words “Ring around the Rosy.”

Commander: “So just run in a circle until the music stops and (looking at the crowd) if anyone wants to throw an elbow or something, go for it.”

Then they played “Pool Party” and the whole group of kids ran in a perfect circle the entire song! Gerard took a couple of pictures, then he and LynZ *cuddled (there is no other word for it) and watched her.

MSI played after The Aquabats! I was standing right in front on LynZ and Gerard brought Bandit out downstage left to see LynZ start. They were standing mostly behind the screen that was behind LynZ, so if you were standing any more toward the center, you wouldn’t have seen them and they didn’t stay. They stood there (well, Gerard squatted down behind Bandit) during the opening music. When LynZ took stage and started playing, Bandit’s face lit up again and she had the biggest smile. Then they left.

I did not even try to find or meet them. I just felt like it was “family time” and that’s pretty darn precious, especially if you’re big stars like that. If they had been walking around the park, I definitely would’ve talked to them but there was no way I was going to stake out the buses that day. It just felt wrong. There are always other chances and I’d rather meet them when it’s a good experience instead of a creepy stalker vibe.

Date: 2013-04-02 01:49 am (UTC)
akamine_chan: Close up of LynZ's face (LynZ Way - close up)
From: [personal profile] akamine_chan
Oh, it really lightens my heart a lot to read this. Best punk rock family ever.

Date: 2013-04-02 01:56 am (UTC)
lucifuge5: (Gerard SQUEEE!)
From: [personal profile] lucifuge5
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS LOVELY POST! I'm tickled pink that you had a great time and that Bandit's eyes lit up both when Commander said "like Ring around the Rosy" and when she saw her mom playing the bass. :D!

I've to watch the Aquabats live but most deffo plan to if the opportunity comes up. ^_^

Many points to you, btw, for giving them their space. It deffo sounds like it was 'family time'. Especially since MSI is off on tour and all that.
Edited (Had to fix something) Date: 2013-04-02 01:56 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-04-02 09:22 am (UTC)
cybercandy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cybercandy
Ooooh, the Aquabats are playing the festival I'm going to end of this month! I should make sure I see them, they sound like fun.

And $20 for 12 hours of music is an absolute bargain. They don't do festivals like that in the UK, everything here is totally overpriced.

Date: 2013-04-02 02:10 pm (UTC)
fadingendlessly: (Mindless Self Indulgence (LynZ))
From: [personal profile] fadingendlessly
Thank you for sharing this experience with us. Such an adorable family. And seriously, bravo to you for giving them their space. You win all the awards.

I've watched season one of The Aquabats and I can just imagine how much fun it would be to see them live. Hopefully they come around here some day.

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