Monster Massive 2006 (Complaining Like A Little Girl - part 2)
Yours truly! I called my self the killer of killers. Notice the "trophies", so to speak, hanging from my belt.
A lot of people thought I was nuts flying out to Los Angeles on October 28th primarily just so I could catch my favorite DJ perform. Although Judge Jules was the instigating factor behind the spontaneous decision to go to Monster Massive, I was also able to visit old friends of mine from Illinois (Katie) and Missouri (Kelly), and not to mention I made a new one as well (Hey Margaret!!).  

Although I wouldnít claim my self to be the biggest sports fan, I did indeed watch the World Series and was very pleased with the outcome, although, in my humble opinion, and with no disrespect, if it wasnít for all of the errors on Detroitís end, they may have had a better chance at winning. The majority of the Cardinals scoring points were made due to errors, so.... you never know. But before I go off on a topic I know little about (baseball), the point is, I wanted to go to bed around 9pm so I could wake up at 2am and head on over to St. Louis so I could catch my flight, but ended up staying up until 11pm due to the game. I woke up, cooked and ate breakfast and walked over and said my goodbye to my cuzin Daniel, who I knew was awake playing the new FIFA 2007. Ahhhhh, addictions. So I get in my car and I head on over to the airport, a much difficult 2 Ĺ hr. drive at 3 in the morning.  

Finally arriving at the airport, parking, and then standing in line for about 45 minutes so I could get my boarding pass, the moment of truth was about to take place. Taking off my shoes and my belt, I place them in the "x-ray tub" along with my back-pack. Passing through the metal detector with ease, I stop behind an older gentleman, having another young man right behind me. I turn around and check to see what the hold up is for our bags, when my ears and eyes suddenly focus on the security guard sitting on the chair who is ever so cautiously viewing the "skeletons" from all of our belongings "innards".  

X-ray security guard #1 speaking to security guard #2 - "I need a bag check.  

These could be possible joints." (3 joints in a cigarette box, a "trick" that has never failed before!)  

Panic and fear starts overwhelming my very soul. "Your luck has finally run out Mike and thereís nothing you can do about this one."  

Calm, yet standing like a statue not really knowing what to do, or what is about to take place, my mind, my thoughts, and my insides are turning like never before. Glancing over towards both of the guards, security guard #2 grabs the older gentlemanís bag and tells him nicely; "Follow me sir." As the "tub" containing all of my belongings was left hanging at the end of the conveyer belt, holding my fate. Still not knowing what to do, I merely watch as security guard #1 makes the conveyer belt move back and forth, scanning ever so closely my bag, when once again he spoke those dreadful words; "We need a bag check."  

Moving the conveyer belt forward enough for my "tub" to go past the open little door where security guard #3 was supposed to grab my bag, deep down inside I said; "Itís now or never." Reaching past the young man behind me, I grabbed my "tub" and slid it down the rest of the way. As security guard #3 was grabbing the other young mans "tub" and began telling him to follow, security guard #1 was staring at the screen, still trying to figure out which was the "correct" bag. Without further hesitation, I grabbed all of my belongings out of my "precious little tub", slid past behind security guard #2 as she was checking the older gentlemenís briefcase, barefoot and still somewhat panicking deep down inside, walking fast, yet as calmly as I can project, I immediately turn left into the menís restroom. I put my shoes back on, my belt, and I immediately walk on over to my departing gate, not knowing it is the very first gate past the security check point. Having a Cardinals shirt on top of another shirt, I take it off and put it in my bag. Having sat down without knowing in the handicapped seating section, I face towards the enormous windows when I suddenly take notice a security man, hands still covered in those surgical look-alike gloves that they use to check passengers bags with, walking around. Was he searching for the individual who darted away without getting his bag checked? Who knows, but I was not about to move away from my spot. I will never take my habit on another flight for as long as I live!! I can not imagine the negative life changing events that would have taken place, and not to mention missing out on Judge Jules, for 3 measly joints. Marijuana laws suck, but all users already know this. But at the same time, Lord, when will I grow up? When will I learn?  

MikeyFinally getting on my flight with no more self-inflicted drama, and flying for 4 hours (how I love to fly!!), I finally arrive in L.A. at 9:20am. Finding a nice and cheap hotel near the airport (just as nice and cheaper than in St. Louis even), I eat breakfast at the hotel restaurant and quickly return to my room where my first "victory joint" is lit and where television briefly takes up some time, but ultimately where sleep takes control. Waking up after 5 hours of restless sleep, I made my phone calls, said my hellos, and began the "waiting game" as another joint and once again where television consumed my time as I waited for Katie and Margaret to arrive.  

Kelly and Jude
Arriving at the hotel, we said our hellos and we immediately went across the street where we each partook eating what our individual stomachs desired, Pollo Loco for me, baby! After stuffing our bellies, we go back to my room where we start preparing for the occasion, and yes, I took the longest to get ready (I told you that you had time Margaret!!). By the time I was done getting ready it was close to 10pm, and I was the one who wanted to get there by 8, due to not knowing the line-up, and not knowing when Jules was going to perform. When we finally reach the exit that we need to get off on to get to the arena, not knowing if there is a wreck due to the amount of traffic that is in line, we finally make it to a certain point where an officer of the law is helping traffic through. Seeing an ambulance heading our way, I role down my window and ask the fellow officer if there was a bad accident, due to the ambulance and the traffic.  

"This is all for the event." He says in disgust, while the 3 of us spend the next 2 hours in the car trying to get to the parking lot, "knowing" deep down inside I just "knew" I had already missed Judge Jules.  

Moving back and forth in an annoying kind of way, and then adding an uncontrollable leg movement that was shaking the car, surely I was irritating them and more than likely making them just as anxious by my immature behavior when finally Katie turns around and asks; "Is the car moving?" The car wasnít moving at all due to the traffic, but; "Yeah, itís me, sorry." At that point I finally decide to get out of the vehicle where I end up jogging towards the end of the line just to see how long the line really is exactly. Arriving at the gate, I take notice of a huge sign that reads; "Event sold out!!" I thank my self for purchasing the tickets way before the event took place, a habit Iím not known for, do due to normally purchasing my tickets for festivals the day of the event.  

Running back to the car, I mention to them that getting in the left lane would be most beneficial. After a few more minutes in the right lane, Margaret merges into the left lane where we end up moving at a more rapid pace and where within minutes we actually finally get to park. Getting excited and thinking that since we had V.I.P tickets that we would be getting in with ease, my excitement suddenly and most rapidly changes into agitation and where my anger was almost unleashed. One fellow tells us that the V.I.P line is "way over there." And when we finally arrive "way over there" someone else says that we first have to go to the white tent where V.I.P tickets were being accepted by the V.I.P ticket holders. The problem was that the V.I.P tickets that I purchased on-line were not by the same ticket providers that had the regular tickets that others
Judge Jules baby!!
were purchasing, making the venue have several different entrances and tents due to all of the people attending having different tickets other than what the other guys had. Are you confused yet? Did that make any sense? Of course not, and thatís my point, none of it made sense!! After several; "You have to go there, and then here, and then back to there", we finally get inside. Working ourselves down the ramp where I believe the House of Horror stage was located, my only mission was to see if Jules was playing, or whether or not he had already performed. Once inside and working our way through the massive amounts of people, if my vision was correct, I do believe Armin Van Buuren was respectively hopping about on stage (anyone reading this, please correct me if Iím wrong). Meanwhile, while Katie, Margaret, and I were trying to communicate through the loud beats, when I wasnít speaking to them, I was asking the people around me if they knew whether or not Judge Jules had already performed, but nobody really knew. We started walking around, not far from the main stage, scoping out for a place where we could actually dance, but it was rather difficult to do so due to the two types of people that did not belong on the dance floor.  

Group A) consisted of people cutting through the main floor where other people were trying to dance, disruptively pushing dancers (I being no exception) and cutting across the middle of the dance floor to get to the other side instead of going around, respectively. And then you had group B), which were the group that made no sense to me at all. These groups of people, big groups, and smaller groups, were spread out over the dance floor and were just sitting on the floor, not moving around, just sitting around each other and I guess talking. But I really can not see how they were able to hear each other because Katie, Margaret, and I, could barely hear each other, but the main reason we were on the floor was to dance, well, it was for me anyway, and I think they had the same intentions, we were on the DANCE FLOOR (key word). If group B) really wants to sit down and chat (respectively), go sit on the upper bleachers, but not on the dance floor folks, some of us are trying to dance!! Were they not listening to the music, and not to mention the beats that were blaring out of the speakers? Did these people not understand that this kind of music makes people want to dance (well, it does me anyway), and if you arenít there to dance, then why are you there (specifically on the dance floor sitting down?)? Were these individuals deaf? Or were they simply in the K-hole? I kind of made people a little upset when I stepped on their fingers, or bumped into them and all of the other people who kept cutting across where the few of us that were actually dancing, or trying to at least, could do so when suddenly....  

What seemed to be an estimated time of 20-30 minutes after our arrival on the dance floor, right in the middle of a song, Van Buuren suddenly welcomed upon the stage, Judge Jules. I was ecstatic that I hadnít missed Jules performance and at that moment I instinctively pulled my camera out of my bag and then told Katie that Jules was now on and that I was going to go up front and take pictures. I then told her that if we got separated that I would be around the main stage all throughout Jules, thinking that it would be easy to find one another in that way. Then, out of no where, a metamorphosis occurred, I suddenly became part of group A). Without any care in the world or respect to those around me (sorry people), I pushed my way through the masses, almost getting to the very front, but then politely asked the remaining few that stood between me and the blockade if I could squeeze through so I could take a few shots of Jules. Although I was in the very front and standing on the blockade, I just wasnít close enough to get the shots I really wanted, but at least I got a few that were visible (the best shots are posted).  

Although I did dance to a few of his tunes, a lot of my time was spent walking around where I kept looking for an actual place to dance. At one point in time, sick and tired of walking around, feeling I was wasting valuable dancing time, somewhat of an edgy feeling came over me and I decided to dance right where I stood, pushing on the people who insisted on walking through those who were trying to dance, and unfortunately, and although I tired really hard not to, I would at times step on the hands of the people that surrounded me on the floor. Sorry folks, but I didnít fly over from Illinois so I could stand, or sit, I came to dance, and I did, but unfortunately not for long. After about 20 minutes or so of wiggliní and dodging fingers and bodies, and not to mention the weight of my belt/costume, my body began to tell me it needed water, and lots of it. I found one booth, but they had run out and only had soda and alcohol to offer, which wasnít what I wanted, or what my body needed for that matter. Then a few paces further down the way there was another booth, which was insanely overcrowded, and that had a line that you wouldnít believe!! Being in line or the "big huddle" for nearly 20 minutes, people were shoving people left and right trying to reach the front, or an open gap so they could quench an uncontrollable thirst that was plaguing us all when all of the sudden, just feet away from where I was sandwiched in, two girls started beating the living crap out of each other which left a really negative vibe and impression for the rest of my evening, and that just really sucked. Finally getting my waters (I bought 5, at $3.00 each), I squeezed my way back onto the "dance floor" where I tried to enjoy my self and where I tried to dance and also enjoy the rest of Jules performance, but where ultimately, I decided Iíd had enough. I had grown tired of fighting the restless and disrespectful herd of those who chose to walk through the people trying to dance, and where the monotony of the apologies that were coming out of my mouth began to make me irritable and were no longer expressed in truth upon those whose fingers were getting stepped on. In other words, I had reached my point of no return. I began looking around for my friends and was ready to leave when Jules suddenly (and at no better point) said his goodbyes and where Paul Van Dyk was introduced and took over for the remaining of the evening.  

So I walked, and I walked, and I walked. Outside, up, down, and all around, and I could not find Katie or Margaret, or Kelly or Jude for that matter. The fact that the "maximum" capacity was 12,000 might have had something to do with it, but at the same time, I KNOW for a fact that there were more than 12,000 people there, there had to be. I have been to a lot of festivals in my short 32 years of life, and I know what 12,000 people in an arena looks like. When you are in a arena (nonetheless) and ALL the people around you are just as uncomfortable as you are, barely being able to move around, and then you look around you and you see everyone basically touching one another due to not having any room and due to the people who have decided to take up a ton of room by sitting on the floor, yet while some of their fingers and hands are getting smashed, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah........... The point is, I walked around and it was pointless, I wasnít going to find my friends, no matter how distinctive their costumes were. So I ended up walking around some more, checked out the whole arena, took some pictures of the place, then after doing some dodging around some ghouls, princessís, and other such creatures and what not, I ended up standing (off of the dance floor, mind you) beside a pillar and just waited if by chance I would see any of them walk on by. Although I never found anyone that I was looking for, I did meet some interesting people who wanted to be featured in this review (in the physical/picture sense), so to all of you reading this who see your picture on here, you are welcome and thank you for taking up some of my time and making my night a little more tolerable!  

Although the thought of me leaving and catching a cab back to the hotel before the event ended crossed my mind countless times, I decided to stay just to see if I could find Kelly and Jude, and possibly Katie and Margaret. Although I ended up finding Kelly and Jude after Paul Van Dyk ended his performance, the lights being turned on, and walking around for about 10 minutes, it was an awkward encounter for some reason, and if it was not for the picture that I had taken of them both before I left, I would have never believed that I had met Jude, or that I had even spoken to Kelly. As if it was a dream. We said hello and exchanged a few words, but just minutes after we exchanged the few words that we expressed, I told them both I was going to go and look for the people I had came with (knowing that they were surely gone by now, but I looked anyway), but immediately left after my half-assed search, finally finding a cab about 20 minutes after I had left. Then to add onto the nights disappointment, when I told the driver where I needed to go, he looked at me and said that he didnít exactly know where I was needing to go and that La Hacienda Hotel didnít exist, and not being from L.A., well.... What was I supposed to say now? What was I supposed to do? Ah, but after finally reaching the street I KNEW the hotel was on, come to find out, there wasnít a hotel called La Hacienda that I was staying at near the airport in L.A. on Supelveda St., it was simply called Hacienda. I had accidentally added "La" in front of Hacienda, which didnít belong, which caused mass confusion between the driver and I. This caused my already aggravated state of mind to get even more aggravated. So I added "La" in front of it. Can one not use common sense that maybe, just maybe, since this person who just asked for a cab and just happened to mention that he was from Illinois, maybe accidentally added "La" to his hotels name? Hacienda, La Hacienda, whatever man, I just want to get to my hotel, get some broken sleep (it was going on 5am, another reason Iím sure I was grumpy) catch my flight home at 3:55 (this time with no stuff!), drive home, and sleep in my own bed, where I unfortunately had to be at work the very next day.  

In closing, it was indeed a monstrous of an event, and it was definitely massive. Massive to the point that it annoyed me to the point I just wanted to leave, something I have done at other indoor events where movement, even just to go to the bathroom, was overwhelming. The next event I go to, and the ONLY "big arena" event that I will ever go to ever again is going to be right here in the town I live in; Murphysboro, IL; Salt Peter Cave baby (PLEASE come to the cave Judge Jules!!)!! Yes, town, only a few thousand people, and only 15 minutes away from my apartment, without having to go through any airport security experiences, or other for that matter. Not only does one have room to dance, use the restroom, get water (you can bring in your own coolers!!), those who want to sit and mingle and be in the K-hole or whatever, can do so conveniently at their camp-site! Hundreds of acres cover the land at the cave, so it makes the thousands of people A LOT more tolerable (everyone has space). Not only is this a spectacular event, this is an outdoor event like no other! Nothing beats nature, man!! I will be doing a separate and brief review of 2006ís Freak Fest that occurred at the cave on a later date, although I should have done that 2 years ago, I suppose, the first time the event took place. But just to give the reader an idea of who exactly performed this year at the cave, I will mention just a few names out of the 18+ DJís that performed; Infected Mushroom, Electric Sky Church, John B, Woody Mcbride, Monk, Paladin 5.1, and my personal favorite of the evening, Elephantronic.  

Finally, in case anyone is wondering if this trip was worth the money, it was worth every penny. Not only was I able to hang out with Katie and Margaret, going back to the instigating factor, I was able to witness Judge Jules perform. It wasnít Ibiza, but it was closer and cheaper for sure. And although there was a lot of negativity in the air due to the massive amount of people that made this event impossible to enjoy 100%, I am glad I made the trip and I am glad I was given the opportunity to witness such an event, regardless of me whining like a "little girl".  

P.S. To all of you who I gave my card to, if you do not see your picture on-line, e-mail me and Iíll e-mail it to you, or I can send you the original print. Sorry I couldnít include you all in! - Mike