Here we go again!
Black Sheep, concert, emily haines, Fillmore, Grow up and blow away, Joywave, Live it out, Metric, Pagans in Vegas, Party, Philadelphia, Philly, photography, rave, Scott Pilgrim, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, Synthetica, Travel
METRIC! I’ve been a fan for year, but I’ve never really been a big show goer outside of my usual handful of bands. I don’t know why, but I’ve made it a point to start going out to see more live music. I always have a great time, it’s bizarre that I’ve been missing all of these events for no good reason.
Metric released their tour dates back in December, and I snatched up a ticket as soon as they went on sale.
Before I get into them, let’s talk about the venue!
Lemme just say, this place is BEAUTIFUL. It’s essentially just a gutted warehouse with a more modern and minimalist interior, but what it does, it does extremely well. Dual iron staircases, exposed brick. They nailed the aesthetics of the place. Right down to the glowing purple chandeliers. Might be my new favorite concert venue in the city, I can’t wait to see another show here.
– See a show at the new Fillmore
The place was full, but not overcrowded like I expected it to be. For the first time in a long time, (if not the first time ever), I managed to slither my way through the crowd and grab a spot up at the front gate. Perfect timing too, the opening band took the stage not even five minutes later
Their first song didn’t do too much for me, but their last couple drew me in. I was a fan. I think. I’m in a weird neutral zone with them. I need to listen to more of their music for a final verdict, but I did appreciate their energy on stage. In fact, think I’ll put em on while I finish up this entry.
Their performance was fantastic! They didn’t pull any over the top antics, it was straight business. A rapid fire succession of music from a set list that did a thorough job covering their numerous albums.
I would have liked a few more of my favorites, I was really hoping for Lie Lie Lie, or Lost Kitten, but Black Sheep happened so I was satisfied.
Not ashamed to admit that the Black Sheep cover in Scott Pilgrim was what originally clued me into Metric, but from the crowd reaction, I’m assuming I wasn’t alone. The place went crazy when those familiar black sheep, c’mon, black sheep, c’mon, lyrics began.
The concert as a whole was a lot of fun. I THINK their US tour has ended now, they’ve recently crossed into Canada, but if I’m wrong, GO! GO TO THE SHOW! Have yourself a time. Worth it for a fan. And if you’re not, go and try out some new music!
-See Metric live! Finally!
adventure, Android Jones, art, art festival, Backpacker, Backpacking, blackrock, blackrock city, BM2015, BRC2015, Burner, burning man, burning man 2015, carnival of mirrors, conclave, death guild, Deathguild, deathguild thunderdome, dust storm, El pulpo Mecanico, Festival, Fire, Fire Arts, flaming lotus girls, mayor monday, photography, Ranger, reddit, reddit meet up, Road trip, serpent mother, Thunderdome, Travel, traveling, white out
My last few days in Boulder were spent gathering supplies for the biggest venture of the trip; the Blackrock desert and the city that buds within!
Burning Man 2015 was on the horizon. The desert happening has brought so much change, so many people, so many events and learning into my life just through its influence, yet I never experienced it myself, I’ve never journey out there. Until now.
The drive from Boulder was significant, (considering we had just driven from New Jersey to Denver it wasn’t THAT long) but still something to contend with. 18 hours of more cornfields and emptiness, although come Utah, the landscape finally started to change.
Finally we arrived, and by arrived I mean we made the last turn out of civilization. No more stores/gas/stops outside of a tiny little town a ways away. We got maybe five minutes down the road before we hit the back of the line. I’ve heard stories about the gates taking upwards of six hours, so I pretty much knew we would be greeted with brake lights.
The combination of a car accident, gate pulsing, and 70,000 people trying to get into the same place at once left us on the road for most the day. We made the best of it, all part of the overall experience, right? The crowded cars soon expelled their humans and the roadside pre-parties started popping up. Every time the caravan started moving the crowd would scurry away toward their cars, only to reemerge a few minutes up the road.
Exhausted, disgruntled, and hungry, we dropped out things in the sand and dust, and set up camp in the darkness. As much as we wanted to explore, the bed was much more inviting. After my years of local burns I’ve learned that pacing is absolutely key. Don’t burn yourself out on day 1, because you’ve got way more to do! And so, we face planted into our mattresses and passed out.
Now, before I get into this, let me preface by saying this:
One of the greatest challenges I faced after returning from Peru was trying to find the words to fully encompass everything I had experienced, especially to my eager friends/family who wanted to hear every detail. My ayahuasca ceremonies just felt lacking when I tried to attached words to them, so empty for such a powerful and life changing experience. I tried to put things down on this blog, I really tried, but I still did them no justice. Here I find myself again trying to find the words to describe Burning Man.
So instead of forcing my numerous experiences into hollow casings, I’ve decided to just let my pictures tell the tale. I’ll review some highlights, but I’ll leave this entry mostly to the pictures.
Unfortunately, my camera took a serious dive and the focus/lens never recovered (and my phone ended up breaking on the drive in! Lesson in being present much?!? ) Please excuse my blurry photos, but I hope you enjoy them all the same.
The temple is always one of my favorite places at the local burns, but finally seeing the grand scale of The Temple of Promise was like a tragic dream come true. The Temple warps in shape every year, and means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but the respect for the structure seems to be universal. Nestled away from the high energy radiating through the rest of the desert, the Temple is where one goes to let go, to mourn, to grieve, to pray, to reflect, to forgive, to express whatever it is they need to express (before it all goes up in flames on the final night).
The walls may be made out of wood, but the structure itself is infused with so much raw emotion that it’s a challenge to step inside and remain untouched. I made it a few steps passed the threshold before my eyes started to well up with tears. The stillness is the first thing I noticed. In a work of art filled to the brim with people, only silence and the occasional whimper, cry, or whisper filled the air. Along the walls, writing utensils hung freely for those who had something to add to the walls. Messages were written, pictures of loved ones hung, whatever it was you wanted to express, the Temple is the place to do it.
With tears streaming down her face, I watched from afar as an older woman wrote a message to her mother who had passed away recently, finally saying the things she never got to say in life. Behind me was a scathing message written by a woman to the man who had brutally raped her in the past. On the bench next to me, a man sat in quiet meditation, holding a picture of a young child. Stories of love, hate, encouragement, loss, sadness…I could go on. Everywhere. Every story, every makeshift shrine was different, but each one was laced with powerful emotion.
I wrote my own message, a personal something to myself, and I silently cried my damn eyes out…
-Write in the Temple of Promise
Wednesday some dear friends arrived at camp. For any long time readers, you may recognize them from one of my very first entries. We unloaded their car, helped em setup and made our way back to the playa.
The DeathGuild’s Thunderdome was my kinda place. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the house music, the burners and all the oneness with the universe and what not, but the Thunderdome stole my heart. Hard rock/industrial, people fighting, girls in revealing black leather and the guys suited up in some badass wasteland armor! When I arrived they were blasting some of my favorite songs by Manson, Rammstein, and Mindless Self Indulgence. MSI on the Playa!?!? I loveeeee my MSI!!!
The goth kid in me came out in full force! I found myself at the top of the Dome, shouting for the combatants to tear each other apart many, many times throughout my week.
Warning – The video has strong language and sexy people in black leather NSFW
I love you Thunderdome!!
Finally see the Thunderdome in person
Created by the Flaming Lotus Girls, this monstrosity of fire and metal has earned its place high on my list of all time favorites. I’ve seen a lot of fire performances and fire art, but this was…this was something else. The serpent writhed back and forth in the sand, lifting her head and opening a mouth lined with flaming daggers. The metal body of the serpent gleamed in the night, illuminated by the the plumes of fire hissing from each one of her segments. Within her coil, the Mother protectively wrapped her flaming tail around a massive copper egg.
I stood within the Serpent’s grasp, surrounded on all sides by the roar and heat of the fire until the crowd was ushered a safe distance away. A safe distance from what? I wasn’t sure, but I was about to find out.
With all the flammable humans at a safe distance away, the egg she so carefully guarded over, bloomed like a lotus. The hatching egg remained quiet, until a hiss louder than anything its Mother had produced up until then, came screaming out of the top of the egg. What burst forth was a plume of fire unlike I’ve ever seen before. One, then two, then three at once. These spires, these spears, these swords of fire tore through the sky, spouting flames of nearly 50 feet. The bright red flames bled into a blinding orange, then to a burning emerald green.
This was something to behold, truly. Words do little justice…
Radical self reliance is high on the list of Burning Man principles. You must bring everything you need to survive, and you must be capable of surviving in the first place. This is definitely not just some music festival (much to the disappointment of some girls I found sobbing in a dust storm, complaining about how terrible everything was and it was nothing like they thought). As fun as it all is, if you’re not prepared, you’re in for a world of trouble. Of course people won’t let you die, but you should do you best to not be a burden for anyone else. Whether it’s food, water, or weather, be prepared. And we had quite a bit of weather…
The white outs are a common occurrence out on the playa. Huge dust storms that blow in and drop visibility to zero in a matter of seconds. I prayed I’d get to experience one, and I think I prayed a little too hard! As my friends said, the intensity and frequency of the white outs was the worst it had been in a handful of years. Structures fell, tents were destroyed, I watched people smash their bikes into one another when their sight had disappeared.
For the first day or two I really tried to keep the dust out of my tent, but by the third day I realized how futile the battle was. Falling asleep and waking up in INCHES of playa dust took some getting used to but, hey, I enjoyed it. How comfortable does one need to be anyway?!
The art, the structures, the builds were all so beautiful to experience. But like all things, nothing is permanent. Everything must burn…
In Conclusion, Burning Man was as incredible as I thought it would be. I got to spend it with some of my favorite people, got to see some of the art I’ve only seen in pictures, and now I’ve got a ton of stories to tell! Like I said, words do little justice, and as much as I did the entire week, I still missed so much more! This is but a glimpse!
But it wasn’t all fun and positivity, unfortunately I’m coming away with a few regrets. Regrets due to a symptom of a larger internal issue. Under the microscope of a the big burn, it’s easy to see such things. Now, to fix it. Things to work on.
Always evolving right?
Regrets aside, this was truly one of the favorite experiences of my life.
Dance on an Art Car -View the best fireworks display I’ve ever seen in my life when the man burned Live in the desert for a week -Finally see El Pulpo Mecanico -Spend time with my Philly friends at BM2015 -Sit in for many BM workshops -See Android Jones’ work in person -Finally make it to Burning man!!!! Burning Man 2015: Carnival Of Mirrors!!
Cheers to the possibility of Burning Man 2016!!
“Onward!” he screamed from the mast of the war rig. The day was upon them and time was running short. Our heroes gazed at their route; the stretch of travel before them was daunting, but they did not falter! They COULD NOT falter! “Onward!” he screamed again. “Bring us the West!”
Stately welcome signs rose and fell as the crew pushed on. The road was as desolate as the landscape surrounding them. Stops were limited, and so, with only the clouds above to keep them company, they continued.
Nothing could stop them! Not even the seething rage of our Mother Nature gave them pause, try as she might! The speed and hubris in which the crew dominated her lands was taken as an absolute offense. No human should be so lax when crossing an entire country!
In her fury, she showered them with blinding lightning, doused them with rain and tried to shattered their defenses with hail. She lashed out once again with a ferocity unmatched, threatening them with a potential funnel cloud on the horizon.
But the intensity of the weather didn’t last long. Nature had opted not to destroy the rig. Instead, she granted them safe passage and formed a new host of clouds to float above their path.
Mountains appeared!! They did it!
I made it! Time to add this one to the list up there with the Alaskan road trip and the drive down to New Orleans (Entry Coming Soon)!
I’ve been here for a week now and I’m really enjoying things out here. Boulder is a beautiful!
Now, Boulder isn’t a permanent stop for me. No, no, no! It’s merely a pause, a yield before a longer trip. Tomorrow I mount back up and continue toward Nevada. My birthday celebration and a most daunting “First” awaits me the Blackrock Desert.
Cross the US heading West Spend an entire birthday in a car, driving West Explore Boulder
An unexpected email landed in my inbox while I did my morning interneting. It was from a friend of mine, a good guy who I haven’t had much contact with lately besides the usual Facebook banter. He had a friend, Terry Gotham looking for a photographer for an upcoming concert and wanted to know if I was available.
Now, my equipment isn’t cutting edge by any means so I was a little bit hesitant, but he assured me that what I had was perfectly fine. I agreed.
Who would I be shooting? The Glitch Mob.
I’ve been a casual listener to The Glitch Mob, but not a die hard fan by any means. I’ve got a couple favorites by them though I haven’t really kept up on their latest happenings. This concert was part of their new album tour. Next stop, Philadelphia.
Day of, I find myself outside The Electric Factory.
After a bit of a mix up at the box office, the woman behind the glass confirmed my information and handed me the press badge.
I’ve been to the venue numerous times but I spend my first hour wandering around, casing the place for the best spots to get my shots.
The opening acts weren’t even on and the place was already completely packed. Getting some good shots may have proven difficult with the crowd, but according the lady who handed me my press pass, photographers were allowed to stay in the pit for two songs before access was cut off. Perfect!
The opening acts/DJs were pretty satisfying. Good visuals and good beats that had the growing crowd bouncing. I tucked my camera and made my way to the front, dodging the mass of flying limbs and elbows just waiting to send my camera flying. The downsides of being a short photographer…
The lights dimmed. The crowd exploded in screams. The Glitch Mob had taken to the stage.
Now, as soon as I entered the venue I was stared with curiosity at the hastily covered somethings that were on stage. Instruments? Na, The Glitch Mob isn’t instrumental…are they? I really didn’t know. Perhaps this was a DJ/live performance mashup? This tour was highlighting something new to their on stage performance, but what was it? The mystery remained.
When the cloth was finally removed, there stood three very sci-fi-esque looking MIDI controllers flanked by giant drums that looked more like jet engines. Code named “The Blade” The Glitch Mob had finally unveiled their one of a kind, custom built musical machine.
As the performance began, the visuals slithered up the stage, up the drums (they were fitted with screens as well) and landed on a giant projection screen behind the group.
Their first notes left the building shaking and set the crowd absolutely rabid. The sound was just incredible. They had the audience captivated from the moment they stepped on stage and they never let up for a second. I have never experienced a live performance with so much passion.
As I said earlier, I wasn’t really a big Glitch Mob fan, but after this performance? This was easily one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. Their new album was hard hitting and the live performance had an energy to it that I rarely see. The mix of the drums with the visuals, and the on stage presence was just stunning to watch.
If I wasn’t a big fan before, I was now. I just couldn’t stop myself from talking about what I had just experienced. I went home and bought the album that night.
That said, I leave you with a glimpse of the performance for yourself
A big thank you to Tarik and Terry Gotham for having me out!
See The Glitch Mob Live Photograph The Glitch Mob
anime, Comic-con, Comiccon, con, Convention, Cosplay, costume, Edward Scissorhands, Emma Pickles, Halloween, Halloween ideas, Makeup, Nightmare before christmas, outfit, Party, Philadelphia, Philly, photography, rave, Tim Burton
Rewind to October 30th. I’m at an absolute loss for what I can possibly throw together for a fitting costume. The big Halloween, costumes mandatory, party was on the 31st.
What could I be? What could I be?!
I searched in internet and scanned through my movie collection. Nothing was really giving me that desire to create, to embody and become. Frustration was setting in, because I had to come up with something and time was extremely short.
In a huff, I fell onto the couch and flicked on the TV. Defeated. I used to costume a lot, but lately I just wasn’t feeling the same motivation to go all out. It was then, in the depths of my firstworldproblem, that one of my favorite movies appeared on the TV. Edward Scissorhands.
I watched the scene where he’s giving the neighbor dogs haircuts and commented to myself, thinking “hey I bet my hair could look like that if I straightened some of it”. I took an iron to a few strands and saw the potential. “This could be a it!”
I didn’t have the means or the time to make his full black leather/metal, but I DID have a white shirt and grey pants to mimic his suburban camouflage. Test!
Not bad! I could run with this, and even better, I WANTED to run with this! I enlisted the help of my brother’s fiance to do my makeup since she did an incredible job last year with my sugar skull and that was that.
With a little guidance from Youtube’s Emma Pickles and her fantastic makeup tutorial, I went under the brush.
It was creepily coming together! I really wanted to make some proper scissor hands, but I was already running late. The ol’ tin foil would have to do.
Success! It honestly came out way better than I had imagined, especially for a decision made the night before. My friends absolutely loved it too. With more time, I’d love to do the full body for a convention or something.
– Become a convincing Edward Scissorhands
Andy C, breaks, Creamfields, dance, DnB, Drum and Bass, EDC, EDM, Electro, Electronic music, Global Gathering, Jungle, Mighty Mike Saga, Party, Philadelphia, Philly, RAM, RAM records, rave, Subfocus, Ultra, Ultra Music Festival
Many years ago, when I was still a budding teenager poking around on Napster and getting teased for listening to “techno”, I stumbled onto a genre of music I had never heard before. This wasn’t the steady beats of House, or Trance, like the rest of my music library, this was something completely different. This was hard hitting, the tempo was incredibly high, it made me want to dance, and dance for hours at that. It was called Drum and Bass. And the DJ’s name, Andy C, flashed on the track list. Yet another incredible DJ from across the pond.
Fast forward to today, my music taste has changed and evolved in every different direction, but Andy C is still one of my top DJs when it comes to DnB. There are also very few artists/bands/DJs that I have a desire to see live, Andy C was one of them. One day I’d see him. One day!
As the electronic music scene started to grow exponentially in the US , the dream of seeing Andy C, in a local setting, that wasn’t thousands of people deep, was becoming less and less of a reality. Ultra Music Festival, where he regularly attends in Miami, jumped in attendance from the lowest at 30,000 to 330,000 over the years…
…so when I saw Andy C performing at a venue literally 30 minutes from me, with a ticket price of $15, I was absolutely taken back.
Andy C? Like, THE Andy C? Can’t be. Tickets were dirt cheap and the venue held a couple hundred at the maximum. Was it a DJ set? Some guy up there playing his tracks? Cause it couldn’t be the REAL guy. This was the same DJ hosting crowds in the tens of thousands. DJing all around the world at stages like Creamfields, Ultra, EDC, Global Gathering, etc.
Could it really be him?! Just how trustworthy was this sign out front of the venue…?
The opening DJs did their thing, my man Mighty Mike Saga was once again opening for an evening of legend (MSI, Sisen, etc). So far so good, but despite the full venue, I was still curious about the headliner. Friends assured me that it was definitely happening, the man was in the building, but I remained hesitant…
…that was until he took to the stage.
That feeling when a dream fuses into reality? Hello again.
True enough, the man stood behind the decks, literally an arms length away.
It’s been a very long time since I threw down that hard at a party, but this was absolutely the time for it. The energy was insane in there. People went absolutely berserk, and I dare say I was one of them.
He dropped so many fantastic tracks from over the years, each one better than the last. Each one was a notch in the history of his music for me. The lights flicked on even though everyone was still dancing hard, so Andy C dropped one more proper track before ending the night.
There are very few times when I’m the guy security hates, but this was absolutely one of them. “Time to go!” they shouted as they started funneling people out the door. “I said it’s time to LEAVE!” he barked as he set his eyes on me. “Yeahhh, about that….” I thought to myself. Comply or deny? This was was my one chance…
…I hastily made up some lie, saying I was with the photographer and that I was leaving as soon as I gathered my things. It worked.
I slipped through the crowd, made my way around the stage JUST as Andy C was coming off, I couldn’t have timed it any better. There we were, the man and I face to face. I tried to keep it professional and not go into full rabid fan mode (which has only happened once, sorry Emilie Simon!), but I could feel myself smiling like an idiot.
I managed to grab a friend of mine, who was actually photographing the evening and she snapped this picture. I’m derping so hard, but I love this photo. I have a small collection of pictures that make me smile ear to ear, this one was definitely added to that list.
ANDY C!!!! Yes!!!!
-FINALLY see Andy C live! -Meet Andy C after his set
I’ve been trying to go ice skating for the majority of winter this year but, for one reason or another, plans never seemed to worked out. With the skating season quickly running out of days, I vowed to make it happen.
I’d find deliverance from Uwishunu.com, a brilliant site that highlights a large portion of the “happenings” in the city. They were hosting an event on the ice, and tickets were free as long as you RSVP’d on their page. Can’t beat free entry, free skate rental, free hand warmers, free entry for a RETURN visit, and free drink tickets! My RSVP was absolutely given right then and there!
Day of, I found myself walking quickly through the wind tunnel that was the city center. The winter air wasn’t too bad despite the temperature being around 7F, but I had a friend already waiting for me at the venue and I didn’t want to keep her out in the cold. One more block before I turned the corner and scanned the check-in area for that familiar face. Kristina, I hadn’t seen her since August (Birthday Sunrise Entry: Coming Soon). Time doing that escaping thing again….*sigh*
She’d find me actually, and with a hug, we made our way inside to grab some skates.
We took to the ice at a slow pace, but before too long we were doing some hasty laps around the rink. Rocking out to all the hits, Backstreet Boys included, hah! (last time we hung out she was bumping the Backstreet Boys CD while we cruised along the seaside).
Its been a while since I was on skates, so I opted not to bring my camera in fears of breaking it. (Pictures are from Google)
We stayed on the ice for a good while before we hopped off to cash in our drink tickets at the corner cafe. One round of hot chocolates, a seat by the window, and some good conversation.
The night was only a few hours, but I really enjoyed catching up and doing something new with someone new.
-Ice Skate at the Center City rink in Philadelphia
The gate was open, and the next 15 of us stepped up to the bottom of the ramp where fifteen red and black Spartan icons ominously lined floor. There we stood, each on our mark. I stared at the man with the microphone, this herald of the day, as we patiently awaited his shout.
Now is the time to see how capable and resilient this body can be. I’ve always taken great pride in my fitness, and this race would provide a very real and formidable challenge to that mindset. Could I do it? Could I do it well? I had 9 weeks of training since we registered back in summer, but I wasn’t diehard about it by any means. Knowing very little about the competition kept me cautious, but now that I found myself within the stadium, I felt fine. But still. I felt good. I felt capable. I felt confident.
The announcer moved the microphone to his lips. Off I stared into the awaiting ramp, unsure of what was lying in wait around the corner. This stadium was meant for baseball, but today it was transformed and constructed into a monstrosity I was aiming to defeat.
And we were off.
Around the corner we were met with a series of ropes. Some low and crossed so they needed to be jumped over, while others were about chest height, so you had to either crawl or crouch. They were handled with ease, though I felt the sting in my legs I was hoping I wouldn’t experience quite yet.
The first obstacle loomed in the distance: 30 pound medicine ball. Pick it up from a squat position and slam it down. 30 times. Completed with ease, but I did have to remind myself that this race had the potential to go up to 2 hours. Don’t burn yourself out early.
We ran the length of the stadium countless times on a path that took us up the bleachers, and down the stairwells, inside above the waiting area, then outside on the upper levels under the blazing sun. The route through this twisted fun house was long, and we were just getting started.
Then my second, and most pausing obstacle presented itself. Doubt. The goal was to lift a cement block to the top of some very high scaffolding using the rope that hung dangling before me. I sprinted to the first open lane, grabbed the end of the rope and gave it a huge pull…nothing happened. I pulled again, this time I wrapped the rope around my arm and changed the my leverage. Still, the block remained firmly planted. All around me blocks were going up, yet mine still rested comfortably in front of me.
In a last effort, I grabbed the rope with both hands and jumped up on it, using my entire body weight. Nothing. The stone remained untouched while I hung in the air. It was obvious the stone weighed more than I did and there was nothing I could do about it. I let the rope go and tried for the women’s (lighter by 50 pounds) stones. I got it about half way up before the guy running the station came over and said “I couldn’t do that”. “The stone weighs more than I do, I can’t lift that” I said. He gave me a dismissive shrug and said “Well, go do 30 burpees then“. I let loose on the rope and the stone slammed into the ground. I walked off the line to go do the penalty, all the while feeling a little cheated.
There’s absolutely nothing I could do, no amount of training, lifting, or pulling, that would allow me to make up for my stature. I think the race would be better suited and segregated by body weight, rather than an unwavering male vs female.
“Is this the rest of the race for me? Just doing burpees because I’m not tall/heavy enough for the next obstacles?” Why even bother? It’s like going to an amusement park where everyone is on the rides, but you have to sit in a chair and spin while being told “You’re having fun too”
By the end of my 30 I told my brain to “Get over it and push forward” but my confidence was still shaken. On I ran. Doubt was replaced with determination. I was mad at what just happened, but remained focused with a desire to finish strong.
The next obstacles stood no chance while I was partnered with my anger. The Rowing Machine, the Rubber Band Hop (giant rubber band wrapped around your ankles, you have to hop a length of the stadium) and the Long Bars were satisfyingly dealt with. Even the Wall Climb, which at its tallest was around 9 feet didn’t slow me down. I hit that thing with such speed and momentum that my wall-jump sent me soaring up and over with a slight pull.
The Spear Throw was close, but I was left doing 30 more burpees. The Rope Climb looked a bit daunting after that many burpees, but I’ve always been good with upper body strength/pullups. I took a breath, threw my gloves off and climbed up with such speed my brother waiting below was shocked. Even the girl working the area said that was the fastest she had seen all morning. Yes!! Reinvigorated!
Unfortunately in my haste and glove removal, the friction from the rope literally burned a hole in the first layer of skin on my hand. Not good, since the next obstacle was a large ball of cement, the Object Carry.
The rage that carried me was finally slipping, and eventually ran out by the time I made it to the second Object Carry, two water jugs, weighing about 50 pounds each. These damn things were the bane of my momentum. Up and down stairs, through the narrow seat rows for the length of half the stadium, I just couldn’t do this one without taking multiple breaks.
I was holding up traffic. Wewps!
After that Carry my energy was gone. I had to keep going, but I was hobbling at best. Thankfully the next few obstacles were meant for my lower half. I continued on, navigating the route through the stadium before I came to a long, dark corridor with daylight at the end. One more deep breath, one more sprint, then I found myself out on the field of the stadium itself. 5 obstacles remained
The wall jumps were no problem , but the Half Wall squat/jump was absolute torture on my calves/legs. The Rock/Traverse Wall grips were soaked with sweat (from someone else), but I maintained. Two to go. The Tower and the Gladiator Pit.
My brother’s voice shouted from behind me. “Two to go. Let’s burn it!” he said as he sprinted by me. With a nod, and my motivation re-lit, we sped toward the finish line together.
The Gladiator’s Pit is the final challenge, usually where a group of previous contestants line up and do their best to stop you from crossing the line with pugil sticks (Has since been removed because people were getting creamed)
My brother and I decided to hit em at a sprint, at the same time. Maybe they’d get one of us, but the other would be able to get through (honorable enough sacrifice!). One final sprint. I ran toward my Gladiator, she was of similar stature so we were at an even advantage.
Perfectly timed, she swung a second too late, by the time her momentum allowed her a backward swing, I was already behind her. Enlisting the help of one more wall jump, I hit the barrier and propelled myself forward and over the finish line.
Sweet, sweet victory. Total Race time was 1hr 39minutes. 90+ burpees.
I really, really enjoyed that. Despite being wiped during the race, immediately after, and for the next few days I was still hyped up! I finally put my body to the test and delivered a decisive “Yes” to the question of whether or not I could match some of the goals I set for myself.
I would highly recommend doing one of these, at least once. I’m getting hyped up just thinking about it hah! Can’t wait for the next one.
Run the Spartan Race
There are very few bands I like, even less that I’d care to go see live, but Caravan Palace is definitely high on my list. I remember hearing about nearly 5 years ago during my first trip up to NYC to see Emilie Simon. I pocketed one of the flyers littering the venue with other upcoming French acts I found at the bar. “Caravan Palace eh? Maybe I’ll give em a listen” I thought to myself.
When I got home, I listened to one song of theirs “Suzy” and was instantly hooked! What an incredible, unique sound! I pride myself on finding good music, and this was an absolute treasure.
I’ve been a fan since that night, but unfortunately as a band based in France, I’ve never had a chance to see them perform.
Fast forward to the end of my trip. Returning home after months of travel is never easy, in fact, it usually throws me into a pit of depression. This time however, a friend of mine clued me into Caravan Palace playing within my first week back. This would not only be the first time I’d be seeing them live, but also a marvelous way to transition back into being home.
Without hesitation, my ticket was bought!
The concert was absolutely amazing. The energy was incredible, the performance? Even better! It was easily one of the best concerts I’ve ever been too. Below is the official video from their tour, highlighting the Philadelphia show.
Afterward the friend and I parked ourselves outside of the venue and caught up for a bit. He was one of my favorite people going back to my high school and we hadn’t seen each other for years. It was nice to have some extended time to chat.
Mid conversation however, the female lead, Zoe came out to start loading up her things onto the tour bus. She seemed to be in a hurry, as most artists are after a shown, so I didn’t make a move to approach her. I watched as she nestled her remaining bags under the bus, stood up with a sigh of relief, then turned to look in my exact direction. We eye locked. Heart flutter.
I felt like I had some silly dumbfounded smile on my face, but much to my surprise she returned the smile with one of her own. Not only that, but she followed it up with a wink before disappearing onto the bus.
What a great night 🙂
See Caravan Palace live