MxPx at the X96 Big Ass Show in Salt Lake City. Fall 2005

It’s 1-26-15. I’m just now writing this hilarious incident down because I never want to forget it and for some reason never wrote it down when it happened almost 10 years ago.

MxPx at the X96 Big Ass Show in Salt Lake City
Saturday 24, September 2005

Trying to Leave Town

Back in our skateboarding, punk rock days, my buddy & roommate Stevo and I were really into MxPx. We’d been fans since the 90’s but had never made it to a show. When we heard they were playing in Salt Lake, a mere 5 hours away, we planned to go. It was more  of a festival show put on by an SLC radio station called X96 and featured an array of bands including The Used, The All American Rejects and The Bravery.
The Friday night before the show I was excited and knew we’d need to get up early to get to Salt Lake by noon, when the show opened. However, with Stevo, I knew plans were never ‘set in stone’.
Saturday morning I woke up and went to his door and knocked. Nothing. I knocked again this time, cracking the door and whispering “Hey, are we gonna go to Salt Lake?”. I can’t remember if he mumbled something or ignored me, but whatever he did gave me the impression he didn’t feel like going. My heart sunk. I was excited about the show; going alone wouldn’t be any fun at all. I went back to my room kind of sulking and thinking about how much I had anticipated this little road trip and decided to try one more time. I cracked the door and said, “Come on! We gotta get on the road if we’re going to the show!”
Surprising me, Stevo literally rolled out of bed into a ‘rocker’ position and jammed an air guitar! I laughed hard and said “Yeah! We’re goin’!”
Time was ticking away and we really needed to get out of Grand Junction and on I70 to get to Salt Lake by noon. It seemed like pulling teeth to get him ready and out of the house, but soon we were packed up (by which I mean, we had our skateboards) in my Honda Passport and and headed out of my neighborhood.
“Does it cost to get into this show?” he asked.
Baffled I said, “Are you kidding me? Of course it costs.”
“Well, can we go by my ATM to get some cash?”
Already annoyed by how long it took us to leave, this set me toward becoming angry, especially because his ATM was 3 miles in the wrong direction. Rolling my eyes I said, “Fine”.

We pulled up to the ATM kiosk, he jumped out and pushed some buttons. After a minute he jumped back into my Honda and informed me, “I’ve never used my card before and it won’t let me do anything without some further verification.”

“Seriously?!”

“Yeah, can we go to my bank?”

Now I was angry. I knew his bank was in Palisade, about 7 miles in the WRONG direction. Sure it was only about 10 minutes the wrong way, but its the principle of the matter!

“Fine,” I said stiffed lipped and gripping the steering wheel. All these thoughts were going through my head: ‘Why is he never prepared?’, ‘Why am I the only one concerned with getting there when the show opens?’, etc.

We head to Palisade, and as we pull into the parking lot, we remember: the bank doesn’t open until 9.

“Aw shoot,” he says, “Um, can we go to my parent’s house? I can get some cash there.”

Now I’m fuming, this is another 5 minutes to the far East side of Palisade, STILL in the wrong direction! (In all, we’re nearing HALF an hour the WRONG way!)

I quietly head out to his parent’s house and he rushes inside. I know he was inside for maybe 2 minutes, but in my urgency it felt like another half an hour. I wait, and wait. Finally I’m thinking ‘What is taking so long?!’

That’s when I look over and see him over on the side of the house, prostrate on the ground aiming a .22 rifle at something toward the orchard behind their house. ‘What. In. The. World?!” I think. I hear a “POP!, POP!”. Then he puts the rifle away and runs back to my Honda. As he climbs in, the ridiculousness of the situation has allowed for just enough of my steam to vent so that I can laugh and ask, “What the crap are you doing?!”

He answers, “Oh, I had to shoot a cat!”

Finally we head for I70 and to Salt Lake City.

The Show

Finally we arrived at the X96 Big Ass show, and as we neared the venue, we should have known (especially running late) that there was no parking left. We drove around the surrounding neighborhoods and couldn’t find parking until about 5 blocks north. Luckily, we had our skateboards and cruised on them back to the venue. The problem then was, the venue would not allow skateboards inside. A police officer nearby heard us being turned away and said “I’ll be here all day, you guys can store them in my cruiser”. Though I was thinking ‘What? What cop offers that?’, we said ‘Thanks!” and stowed them.

I don’t have much to write about the actual show because now, 10 years later, most of it has faded (ironic, isn’t it?). I remember being very unimpressed with the All American Rejects, especially because they were so foul-mouthed and seemed to do this only to be cool.

MxPx was a blast and it was hard to believe we were finally seeing them after being huge fans for a decade. It was in this mosh pit where Stevo “brushed” up against one of the many “punk chicks” in the crowd and felt some sort of a connection. He was so moved he later wrote a punk song called “Sweet Punk Chick”.

After this we pursued the other bands and decided we needed to leave about halfway through The Used’s set. We got our boards back from the cop and cruised back to my Honda. We hit up a Del Taco before leaving town.

The Journey Home

On our way home through the desert in the night it started to become apparent to me that my head lights were dimming. At some point my CD player started to malfunction. If I remember correctly there were other malfunctions with the vehicle as well. When we got home there seemed to be a significant difference in how long the trip took coming home versus heading there.

Half jokingly we surmised that we must have had an alien abduction experience. However, I later discovered the alternator had gone bad in the Honda. (Glad we made it home!) The Jake Wilkinson’s Unicycle song “машина автоматический (car automatic)” is loosely based on this drive home.

All in all the day was quite an adventure, and I’d like to say I will never forget it. But if I do, it’s written here for future entertainment.

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