Thrashing bodies, voices yelling the words of their favorite rap songs, Tyler the Creator and rap fanatics were everywhere, excitement running through their veins, and I was no doubt one of them.
As I walked through the gates and entered the utopia of Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival I surged with energy, heart and mind racing with pure elation. I was finally here!
Now, as an experienced festival and concert goer, I had a plan, and that was to be as close as possible to the front for as many shows as possible. I was prepared to push through the crowds at any cost; whether it be the loss of a shoe or an elbow to the ribs, I was ready. My goal: to see and experience the music in full throttle.
After some slightly aggressive navigating, I found myself in a great spot for the first show of the day: Domo Genesis, a close pal of Tyler the Creator. From the beginning of his set, his funky beats pulsed through my body while his lyrics bumped in my ears. Domo’s hands went up displaying his spirit fingers–a jazz move that will never get old–and the whole crowd, myself included, gleefully put up our spirit fingers chanting “HEART POWER! HEART POWER!” I was in pure bliss!
All of the sudden the crowd became frenzied, shouting “Tyler! Tyler!” I looked around and there he was, the one and only, Tyler The Creator in his green GOLF WANG hat, so close I could touch him. This is something Tyler does; he walks around his own music festival, watching the artists he handpicked perform, with what must be a great pride in himself and his friends.
Later that Saturday night at Tyler’s own show he came on and exclaimed, “Five years ago Camp Flog Gnaw was just an idea I had in a notebook–look at it now!” He told us, his beloved fans, that no matter what, if we wanted something we had to go out and get it; work our asses off for it and not to let anyone tell us we couldn’t do it. If we had people telling us “no” we were instructed to use that as motivation to work harder and to prove the naysayers wrong.
After his inspirational spiel, Tyler started, “I’m a fucking walking paradox, no I’m not, threesomes with a fucking triceratops!”
It was Yonkers! We went wild, we pushed, we shoved, we elbowed, we jumped, and we most certainly moshed, all while shouting the twisted nonsensical lyrics made up by the sweet, sweet mind of Tyler Okonma. It was invigorating.
Before thenext show, I had to get a breath of fresh air and regain my strength and energy for the highly anticipated next set of the man, the myth, the legend, Lil Wayne. And that he was, a legend. Lil Wayne put on a performance I could never forget. His charisma and swagger transcended the fact that he was clearly on lean. Our man, Lil Tunechi played all the hits: “Lollipop”, “A Milli”, and “No Worries” along with many other classics. Overwhelming feelings of pure awe and nostalgia hit me with vigor. I couldn’t believe I was seeing the man who was the soundtrack to all my extremely awkward middle school dances and the orgies that were my high school homecomings.
By the end of his set, I was euphoric, yet heartbroken. Heartbroken that the set was over, heartbroken that Lil Wayne was retired, and most of all heartbroken that Lil Wayne will probably die of a codeine overdose in a few years. So let’s all send wishes and good vibes out to our main man Lil Weezy and hope for his recovery so he can keep blessing us with all the classics and continue to be the soundtrack to future awkward adolescents.
The weekend of Nov. 12 was one chock-full of musical memories and one I will never forget. I saw a grand total of seventeen amazing shows in just two days! I met my goal of experiencing the music in full throttle mode. Actually, I surpassed my goal; not only did I experience music in full throttle, I found someone who was equally willing to throw themselves mindlessly into a crowd and push through without a worry in the world, someone I’m confident will become one of my new favorite concert and festival buddies. The thing is, there is so much more to a music festival than the music and, for some, the drugs. It’s about the memories and bonds you create with your friends. It’s about the joy of experiencing your favorite artist perform, or the excitement of discovering someone new. Music festivals are about everyone coming together, regardless of beliefs, backgrounds, age, skin color, no matter the differences. They are about coming together and loving and enjoying it all. So, go out, go to a concert, go to a music festival, and get lost in the bliss of it all!