19 July 2000

Skip past the intro to the concert

The story of the Deftones doesn't begin on July 19. Oh, no. It begins on July 18, when we decided to get tickets.

Our Ticket Adventure
Ken didn't know if he would be able to go until the 18th. Noe had bought his ticket the day before and did not like the idea of going to the concert alone. I don't really blame him. Ken's grandma said it would be okay to go at about 2:30 or 3:00 on the afternoon of July 18. We went over to Farm Fresh to buy our tickets. As soon as we walked up to the counter, the woman said, "If you're here to get tickets to the Deftones, we sold out today." We left the building feeling dejected and generally pissed off.

Once we got back in the car, Noe presented an alternate solution. "Let's go see if they have any tickets at the Norva. Plus that way I can make sure that I know how to get there." Ken and I went along with the idea, although we were pretty sure that if Ticketmaster was sold out, the show was sold out. (Just to give an idea of how out of the way we were going, the ride from Hampton to Norfolk is about 35 minutes.)

After a mini-adventure finding a place to park in downtown Norfolk, we went to the Norva box office. It was closed, so we went around to the Backstage Cafe. As soon as we walked around the corner, the woman in front of the door said, "You guys better hurry up for tickets. We have less than 20 left." Easily the nicest surprise we'd had in a long time. And even better, they didn't tack on the $2.25 "convenience fee" that Ticketmaster is so renowned for. I don't know if we got the last tickets, but my ticket number was 1200 (Ken's was 1199) and they were the last twenty tickets...I don't know. It's cool to think so.

Before the Concert
We left Ken's house at about 5 the next day, even though the concert was at 9. I was wearing my Tool shirt (the smokebox) and Ken happened to also be wearing his (he affectionately calls it the "dick wrench" shirt). Our matching wardrobes led us on a pre-Deftones excursion to Fantasy. There, he bought another Tool shirt (the contortionist) and gave it to Noe to wear. We realized that we would look like a gang, but we thought it would be funny.

Once we got to the Norva, we had about 3 hours to kill before the concert. The new mall in Hampton Roads, the MacArthur Center, is right across the street from the Norva. So, our time-killing plan sort of wrote itself. We explored the mall pretty thoroughly, and had many misadventures on the retarded elevators. Ken and Noe got yelled at for running up the stairs and escalator. The music store at that mall is huge. They even had Manowar CD's (OH MY GOD). Every time we looked down from the third floor to the ground floor, we thought about how funny it would be to see Lee roll off the edge and land next to you while you were reading the paper.

It was pretty easy to find the other people that were going to the concert. These two guys came up to us asking for tickets. I felt sorta bad. They might have been big Deftones fans...and the only songs I had heard by them were Shove It and Change...but I was going and they weren't. But at the same time I felt good. I can look at the 1200 and tell myself it was the last ticket.

After we had some food, we went over to the Norva. I was surprised that they were letting people in at 7:30. When we went to Staind they didn't open the doors until like an hour before the concert, and at X-fest they opened them 15 minutes before. This guy stopped us and asked if we had any Opiate CD's we would sell him. I was so ready for him to ask for tickets that it took me a minute to realize what he was talking about. Then it was pretty funny.

The Concert
The Norva consisted of a floor that was way too small and the balcony. We remarked how much less cool the concert would be from the balcony. The first thought Ken and I both had about the giant chandelier was Lee hanging from the chandelier, then dropping to the crowd. We also noticed that there were like two people wearing Glassjaw shirts, and it gave me that forboding feeling, like I had before Staind when the guys were yelling "TREE!"

We hung out inside for over an hour before the concert. We were almost right on the stage. When Glassjaw came out, I was immediately disappointed. Their singer sounded almost exactly like Zack de la Rocha from Rage. And, I hate everything Rage stands for. So my first impression of Glassjaw was not good. They didn't suck that bad. As Ken so cleverly put it on the way home, "Opening bands just get the crowd in the mood...like foreplay, only for music." They weren't doing all that good of a job starting the crowd up, though. There was almost no moshing. Towards the end, the guy reverted to screaming "fuck" and "shit" over and over into a mic with a voice distortion thing on it. I was thoroughly not impressed.

Man, did things change after the Deftones came out, though. I had some room to move before, but all that changed. I got pushed really close to the stage. And when Chino came and hung over our corner, shit. No room at all. I was stuck in the air with my hand outstretched to touch him. He high-fived me. I felt good about that. Ken told me about how he had "options." He said he was holding Chino's tie, and he could have pulled his head down and smacked him. He said that he also had his finger in Chino's pocket at one time, and could have pantsed him.

Like I said before, I know almost nothing about the Deftones (although I think I'll be getting a few CD's in the very near future), but I was provided with a sketchy setlist by Ken (who has the White Pony). Off of that CD, they played Feiticeira, Digital Bath, Elite, RX Queen, Teenager, Korea, and Change. They also played Be Quiet and Drive (they opened with that) and Shove It, plus they covered Say it Ain't So by Weezer and some Rage song.

But anyway, besides getting to touch Chino, we also had some other adventures. Actually, none of these are really adventures, and involve being debilitated in some way. We left the floor during Korea I think. I didn't even realize how bad my knee was until Ken tried to pull me after him. It had been sore for a few weeks, but as I was leaving it barely worked at all. I sort of stumbled after him, and he was half-dragging me. We had to go upstairs to the bathroom, and climbing the stairs was an...interesting experience. I don't know if I was high off contact smoke or if I was just that tired, but I felt like I was watching myself climb the stairs from above. It was...weird, I don't know.

I watered my face down with clean water (it was already very, very wet and it felt dirty cos I knew all that sweat wasn't mine) and Ken came out of the men's room with the news that he could no longer hear out of his right ear. We went back downstairs and hung out for the rest of the concert. Chino climbed from the stage up to the balcony while we were over there. Despite the fact that we were all in shitty condition, we sort of regretted not being over there, cos he climbed right over where we had been standing. During the last song, this girl standing like right in front of me got kicked in the head and knocked backwards, where she hit her head on the floor. It was scary cos it was right there. I felt bad cos that was like the shittiest way to end the concert. I felt really bad for the guy who she was with. And I felt really pissed cos the girl behind us was bitching at the guy who went for help.

There was an accident in the bridge tunnel, so we just parked the car and chilled on the bridge for about 45 minutes. We amused ourself by screaming "Whazzzzup?" at people who walked by to see what was going on at the other end. No one dignified us with a response, though. I got to my house at about 12:45, and I pretty much went straight to bed. It was a cool night. That was the loudest concert I have ever been to. I don't think that position will be taken for some time, either.