11 days until the much anticipated release of Little Dragon's second album, entitled "Machine Dreams."
Three weeks ago, I was probably floating around inches away from the band. I went to New York City for a weekend to see Little Dragon perform at the Central Park Summer Stage. Not only was this performance free, but it was one of few LD concerts in the country that wasn't held in a 21+ venue. (As some of my readers may know, I will be 20 until mid-October.) While in New York City, I stayed with a good friend of mine who scored a summer marketing internship through NYU. I hadn't seen the City since childhood, and both my friend and I were wayyy excited to see Little Dragon perform live. Unfortunately, that moment never came.
We arrived in Central Park on Saturday at about half past 3. Despite my desires to get there earlier in the day, my friend decided that we would leave the house and take the subway at about 3. The Summer Stage would be blasting live music all day - Chester French, Benji B, and Qtip were performing in addition to Little Dragon. According to LD's tour info on their website, though, they wouldn't be on until 8:30pm.
Anyway, when we reached the heart of Central Park, my jaw dropped. A mile long line stretched from the Summer Stage entrance to the horizon. My friend and I exchanged a glance; we both knew that going to the back of the line would be as promising as going back home. We sat on the fence near the front of the line, until I spotted a guy with promo material in one hand. He said his name was Live and he was involved with hip-hop music and film. We exchanged contact info, and I offered to help him pass out his flyers if he would let my friend and me in the line with him and his crew. He agreed, and I ended up cutting hundreds of people in line.
There were no more than 15 people in front of us when the security guards said, "That's it, go home. Nobody else is getting in today." Qtip was about to perform and it was around 5pm. I refused defeat once again, saying that I'd come too far for all of this. My friend convinced me to sit down under the trees until we could devise a way to sneak in. Then, halfway through Qtip's show, Live texted us:
Live: R u in?
Me: No, u?
Live: Yeah. Go back to security and let him kno u were in front b4. He'll let u in, that's how I got in.
My friend and I rushed to the front, where it all had begun. We asked the security guard if we could get in, explaining that we were at the front of the line before. Still, he said, "Sorry, nobody else is getting in today." I shot back, "Well, after Qtip is done performing, I'm sure some people will be leaving... Will you be letting more people in then?"
"Qtip is the last performer of the day," he replied. My jaw dropped again. How was this possible? "Well, did someone cancel? Because I came to see Little Dragon--"
"Little Dragon was the first performance."
I exhaled. I gave it all up. Not 20 minutes beforehand, I had at least had the hope of hearing "After the Rain" or "Constant Surprises" floating over the stands and into the park, even if I couldn't see Little Dragon with my own eyes. And now, I realized that we had arrived 30 minutes too late, and there was nothing I could do.
300 dollars, 1200 miles, 4 days. Still, I wouldn't give up the experience if I could. It was running with my eyes closed, and the rush of adrenaline was worth hitting a wall or two.