Back in the summer of 2000, there was a concert festival called Summersault 2000. Summersault was the bringing together of several big name alternative bands in one venue and it was nothing short of awesome! Sum 41, Foo Fighters, Treble Charger, A Perfect Circle, Finger Eleven, and Our Lady Peace (OLP created and organized the event) were some of the names present at the show. But the reason I went was because the show was being headlined by my favourite band at the time: The Smashing Pumpkins.
In May 2000, Billy Corgan (lead singer of The Smashing Pumpkins) announced that he was dissolving his band of twelve years. I was pretty much devastated. The Smashing Pumpkins, of all bands, really spoke to me. Maybe I was full of angst back then and TSP's music was filled with the same. Maybe Billy Corgan's less-than-stellar voice appealed to me because I could sing along and stay in tune. Whatever the reason, I really loved the music, so hearing that they were breaking up sucked.
Anyway, the Pumpkins were coming to Edmonton, so they were only a few hours away. I never had a chance to see them before, and Summersault 2000 was my last chance before they were gone for good (lawl what did I know?). Shannon decided it would be uber-cool to take a road trip up to Edmonton to attend the show and I was all in agreement. The original line-up of people coming to the show included Shannon, Shannon's slutty cousin Cheryl (I think that's the spelling), Justin (an almost offensively ugly perpetual downer with super low self-esteem), Darren (Shannon's brother and at one time a friend of mine), Knickerbitch (more about her HERE), and me. The morning we were set to go, Darren decided he didn't want to go and ditched out. The rest of us went on our way at around noon.
The road trip was fairly decent. Justin was moaning and complaining about whatever, Cheryl kept giving me the slut-eye, and Knickerbitch only talked about her family, but it was fun nonetheless. We got to Edmonton and immediately went to the Commonwealth Stadium to attend Summersault 2000. I was a total badass back then and I decided I wanted to bootleg the concert, so I had recording equipment hidden on my person. Sadly, the security dudes at the door were patting people down pretty thoroughly, so I got scared. We were miles from Shannon's aunt's house (where we were to stay overnight after the show) and so I had nowhere to ditch the device. I went up to one of the security guards and worked my magic. I told him the recorder (standard cassette tape recorder) DID record, but I also used it for playback. I continued that I forgot to leave it where I was staying, but I did not have any tapes or microphones on my person, so he could rest assured that I wouldn't be recording anything. He basically told me that he believed me, but I had better keep the recorder hidden from the police (yeah there were a tonne of actual uniformed cops milling around the stadium). I was in! The first thing I did was get my tie-clip microphone out of Shannon's shoe and my blank tapes from Knickerbitch's shoe. I then went to a bathroom stall and wired myself up. I was good to go!
The show was terrific. Every band did a great job. Raine Maida (lead singer of OLP) even climbed up the support structure holding up a big banner just so he could see the entire sea of people. It was cool. But the final band to perform was the band I truly came to see...The Smashing Pumpkins took the stage. I was absolutely blown away by the show. It was a great way to proverbially say goodbye to the most influential music of my life (at the time).
After the show, we all were picked up by Shannon's aunt and we returned to the home. We got changed and then decided to take a stroll along Whyte Ave. We all strolled along the road, laughing and talking and having a really good time. As we walked, we noticed a very tiny pizza parlour that was still open. Craving something to eat, we began to go into the pizza shop. As we walked in the door, a large grubby Native man stood up and began to yell at the proprietor of the shop. Words were exchanged and we decided to quietly back out. As we left, the fight became physical, with the Native man pushing the owner and the owner grabbing a broom to retaliate. Should we have maybe intervened or called the cops? Maybe. But instead we just kept on walking.
A few blocks further down the road, a group of about a half dozen chicks approached us. They were all wearing trampy clothes, such as knee-high boots, really short skirts, and low-cut shirts which barely concealed their bosoms. As the girls got close, one of them asked us in a grammatical nightmarish version of English if we "gots" any "smokes." I honestly have no idea why we all responded the way we did. We had not been drinking and the stadium was open-air so we weren't hot-boxed. But, for some inexplicable reason, we all turned and ran. We ran as fast as we could run! As we tore away from these ladies, I remember myself yelling "go go go! They're gangsta bitchez!" The gangsta bitchez weren't chasing us or anything. In fact, as I looked over my shoulder I noticed they were just standing there staring at us. We rounded a corner and ran a few more blocks before stopping and having fits of laughter. Once we calmed down, we decided to head back to the house and catch some sleep.
The next morning, we got up at about 10AM so that we could swing by the West Edmonton Mall before heading back to Airdrie. Sadly, one of the members of our troupe was Knickerbitch. And if you read my previous entries about her, you won't be at all surprised to hear that from the moment we woke up, she was complaining about how she missed her family and wanted to go home. Well we ignored it at first. Then we convinced her to wait a bit so we could go to the mall. But after about fifteen minutes at the mall, Knickerbitch was just too much. She did NOTHING but piss and moan and demand that we go home. Fine. We all left the mall after barely even being there just to take the pathetic homesick psycho back home. I was really disappointed as I had not been to the mall since I was about eight years old (there was a mother f*#@ing Toy City there when I had last been...yeah, TOY CITY!!!!). I haven't been back there since either. I think I need to go.
But I digress. We piled back into the car and headed home. The drive back was fairly quiet. The only bit of entertainment on the drive was Shannon trying to get her portable CD player to operate in the car (it did not have any antishock protection, so it was skipping like a sunuvabich).
When I returned home, I listened to my bootleg. Sadly, aside from the final encore song (1979), the bootleg was rubbish. But at least I came home with some memories I'd keep with me forever. Memories of seeing my favourite band play live. Memories of fifteen magical minutes in the biggest mall in Canada. And memories of being "chased" down Whyte Ave by gangsta bitchez. Ah, those were the good ol' days.