My Chemical Repugnance and the Faulty Charade Dreamed 4349 days ago | | 1225 words

Disclaimer, I’ve never heard much from either of these bands, but I’m a sucker for a live show. This is why I went. This is my tale of woe.

Tonight, I went to see Muse and My Chemical Romance.

For those with little patience, I’ll give you the short version up front. I want the last 6 hours of my life back now please.

For the entire tale, read on…

The trip starts easy enough, milkshakes and I-64 about 45 minutes down to Williamsburg to the College of William & Mary for this show. We get there with about 15 minutes before the first act (Muse) is to go on. We locate what we believe to be legal parking, so we do, and set out on foot. Mistake. After some debate, we decide to seek more clearly legal parking. With two cars, one person per car, and one on foot. We head off to find the venue. We are unsuccessful.
Finally, we call a friend who is there already, waiting on us, and her ticket. She tells us the road we need. (Figured, it’s TWO BLOCKS further down the FIRST road we tried). So we find it. And we locate the venue.

We attempt an extraction of our on-foot party member. We fail. She insists on walking, despite our warnings of just how freakin far it is (once we locate the venue, with help from our own-the-ground-resource, and are able to make this assessment.

And we hunt for parking. In the process of this, we end up back at the first place we parked. We don’t know how. We think there’s a vortex. So we continue to hunt

And we hunt.

And we hunt.

So much for “free and ample” as the web site proclaimed.

We finally find parking about 8:20pm by sheer accident. I pull onto a side street out of frustration, and low and behold, there is parking. Real, legal parking! So we take it.

It is at this point we receive a call from our pedestrian. She wants to know how much farther it is, we don’t know, we go pick her up with one car. We locate her mere blocks from the venue (granted, she has probably walked a mile+ by now and is tired and sore).

We scoop her up. I locate a parking spot (mostly legal) for my car a short hike away from the venue.

We unload and depart.

Once there, we save our friend from the crazy lady who had befriended her. She is happy. We are relieved. We enter…

...just in time to see the last few seconds of Muse (it is now nearly 8:45pm)

My two compatriots were only there to see Muse, so we part ways, with them turning right around and leaving (I’m so sorry guys!!!) and I stay with our friend who was there waiting for us.

From there, she meets up with another trio and we attempt to gain floor access. We are denied. (And dismayed, the floor is not even 1/4 full, granted it is between acts).

We go off to look for proper seating.

We succeed. Left of stage. Near the top of the gymnasium. Not too many people, still close enough to see nicely.

We sit.

And we sit.

And we sit.

For 45 minutes we sit.

During our sitting I expect to see stage hands moving equipment and preparations being made for this black parade we’re about to witness.

They don’t.

Nothing moves.

For 45 minutes, we sit.

Finally, My Chemical Romance comes out.

And they begin the play.

Now, I have a pet peeve about rock shows. I like to hear the vocals. I want, no I need to hear the vocals. Maybe it’s my bias being a vocalist and poet. Maybe it’s just that I demand quality when I plunk down $30 to see a show.

There are vocals. I think. Somewhere.

I heard guitars. I hear bass. I hear drums and cymbal crashes. I’m sure there are vocals somewhere.

But not here. Not tonight.

I expect this will improve, the first few songs are always new and exciting and there’s a difference in playing to a quiet place to sound check and a half-full arena to screaming pubescant girls.

It does not improve.

The missing vocals and the noise of instruments, fireworks, giant flames, and sparkers drones on and on.

I am not amused. I am Jack’s Sense Raging Anger.

The smoke is so thick from the dozen or so giant torches we cough and gag in the seemingly-tinier gym.

The floor never gets more than 1/4 full. Even well into MCR’s set, there is a tiny contingent of people down there.

This is the smallest floor space I’ve ever seen used at a show. This show ranks second only to VCU’s mishandling of either the 2002 MTV Campus Invasion tour which was Nickelback, Default, and Injected or Sevendust, Fuel, and Nonpoint where they put chairs on the floor. I think it was the latter. But I can’t recall. However, let me repeat that.

There were chairs. On. The. Floor.

What was the last rock show you saw chairs on the floor? There was no floor. There were chairs. Chained together. And they got very angry if you moved them, or stood up to move. It was a mockery of all things rock and fun.

But I digress…

None of this holds a candle to what happened after the show.

Now, this venue holds nearly 9,000 people. I’ll say there were between 5,000 and 6,000 there tonight (and I’m being generous). Logic normally would dictate you let people leave through all available doors to get to their cars and wind their way home.

But no. Not here. Not at this clusterfuck of an event.

They were funneling everyone our of two doors. At the back of the venue. One door for each side.

After 15 minutes of not moving, I went back to find a seat. Moments later I was asked who I was waiting for, I said, I’m trying to leave. But no one is being let out, so I’m sitting here.

They ask me to wait in the hall, so I do. And ask a state trooper why no one is allowed to leave. He tells me they’re only letting people out one set of doors. And he and the security are stopping people from using any other exit.

So I take a seat in the hall and wait.

Another 15 minutes elapses and I am getting more and more frustrated since it’s now 11:30 and I still have an 45 minute drive home. Thankfully this show was not in Norfolk, though they would not have mishandled it so badly.

I don’t know if he feels sorry for me, or just sees a large, angry man as a potential problem in the making, so he walks over and lets me out the side door. For which, I thank him profusely.

For the record, there are STILL people lined up halfway back through the main hallway.

So I make it out, walk the far side back around the building, since the band has taken the entire front of the venue for their trucks and it is roped off.

So I find my car, Google map a route home and get the hell out of there.

I have never been to a place where they botched leaving a show so badly. You’d think it’d be hard to fuck that up. But they succeeded.

My advice to anyone attending a show at William & Mary? Don’t.

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