It was supposed to be a day to do laundry. That plan quickly was vetoed when my friend Mike messaged me at noon, saying he had free tickets to a festival that included one of my favorite bands, Bad Religion. Little did I know that I was in for the punkest ride of my life.
I arrived at the Colorado Light Rail Station at 4:00 PM, Mike, who had the tickets, to arrive. While I waited, a man came up to me and struck up a conversation, thinking I was on the streets at first. About 30 minutes later, he arrived.
We took a southbound train to Fiddler’s Green and got off at the Arapahoe Village Center station, walking to Will-Call to pick up our tickets.
When we got to will call, we were given “guest passes”. Mike and I wanted to test how far we could get with our guest pass wristband. The first test was to get into the VIP lounge. We flashed our wristbands at the bouncer, getting through without a hitch. In the lounge, we got slightly more private restrooms, cubbies to charge our phones, and semi-private bathrooms.
The next step was to see about getting backstage. We flashed our wristbands again at the Argus staff members, and they let us in, again knowing that we were “with the band”. We opened the gigantic dungeon door that was the entrance to backstage, and were transported to the mystical world of being VIP’s.
While Bad Religion, Black Flag, and the Vandals have become iconic punk bands over the years, seeing the stage techs, security, and everyday people behind the scenes that were the skeleton to the bands that were going on and made the show possible was inspiring.
Despite the fact that there was only one original member left, Black Flag was a powerhouse. The singer of the band was decent at performing their set, with high points being the now classic “Six Pack” and punk standard “Rise Above”.
The Vandals were the epitome of a traditional ska band. Though I can’t say I am familiar with their catalog, the lead singer had the charisma that every ska singer that I have ever seen has.
Bad Religion is consistently the closest I had to a spiritual experience at the show. With the advent of their latest EP and the upcoming 25th anniversary of “Stranger than Fiction”, the stage was set for another amazing show. Being as close as I was to Greg Graffin was the second most punk rock experience I have had.
When Bad Religion was done, Mike and I pulled off what I would consider to be the most punk thing I have done ever, Ready to push our luck one more time with our wristbands, we flashed them at the security at Offspring’s dressing room.
Inside Offspring’s fridge was 2 PBR’s. Knowing that they would probably not miss them, we grabbed them and headed out. When security tried to ambush us on the way out, I pointed to the current manager of Offspring, who Mike had known back in High School, and he gave us his blessing. We finished our PBR’s on the way out, and boarded the train home.
I’m glad I didn’t finish my laundry.
Featured Image is of my laundry, which I am finishing right now