The night began with the usual noisy pepTalk from the man I have only recently come to know as Mark, not that I was particularly interested. He told us all about his disappointment with the staff the previous night, when numerous people had been calling him to ask if they could take a short break or have a bottle of water delivered, as it usually is, but was not on that night. "I had much more important matters to deal with," he boomed. "A woman had a miscarriage," The majority of the staff either gasped in horror, or feigned shock suspecting him of over-dramatisation. "So you will get your drink whenever you get it, got it?"
As we marched across the road from the office to Festy, a modest few queued quietly outside their respective doors - a stark contrast to the frantic Black Parade of the night before. Along the way, Mark matched my pace and walked alongside me and spoke quietly into my ear, a first for him, perhaps. "I want to talk to you after the show." I have found out since that many would have been frightened by such an order, fearing the constantly threatened "Instant Termination!" constantly touted by Mark, that Sim and I have come to find as a source of humour. I, however, was intrigued. This could, perhaps, be something interesting. Although I have heard from others that he is constantly impressed with my work - a point possibly proven by the simple fact that he remembers my name.
Once again, I found myself working in prime position, right at the side of the stage, with a clear view of the on and off stage action. In terms of work, the night ran smoothly. Patrons came in slowly and steadily, but were mostly in by the time Muse started. This was also the night I heard the Ground Components play, but I wasn't really taken by them, perhaps because the support acts play right when the majority of my work takes place. When Muse walked on stage to take up their weapons for the evening, the roar of the crowd was louder than the impressive cheer from My Chemical Romance fans the night before, and all without any of their pretentious ceremony. From the smokey stage came the opening strings of Knights Of Cydonia, and so began the night's fantastic line-up of songs (oddly enough, included in my entry about the following evening.) As one favourite led into another, I wished I could be out there jumping around with the rest of the fans. When the entire Hall realised that the guitar fuzz of the closing notes of Map Of The Problematique was evolving into Plug In Baby it was almost unbearable. I spent a lot of time reminding myself that I would be in that audience the next night.
I was, though it sounds odd to say, a little disappointed when I saw staff from somewhere tossing giant, confetti-filled balloons into the audience. When I last saw Muse at Festival Hall with Lee and Ash the balloons had been incredible to see suddenly drifting down towards us, only to be thrown back into the air, and eventually be burst by a key or lighter and shower everyone in confetti. However, seeing this again seemed old. They don't need gimmicks like this. Particularly not for deployment during one of their faster songs, like Starlight. It was interesting though to see where they actually came from, and surprising that Festy staff hadn't been notified. The thought of Mark's rising anger amused me.
Then came the threat of that anger. Once the crowd had efficiently left, I used the excuse of talking to him as licence to ignore my other usual duties. He pulled me aside to discuss an incident of the night previous, at My Chemical Romance. He asked me if I remembered a girl collapsing on the stairs that I was supervising. I did, as it had been only moments after I'd spoken to Kathy when she left. He then told me that he needed to 'get some things straight' about the incident with me. When I asked why, he told me that she was the one who had had the reported miscarriage. I told him exactly what happened - I hadn't seen her collapse. I saw her sitting on the stairs, in no real visible distress or incapacitation, but perhaps in need of some water. A Festy usher had already seen her and was speaking with her, probably trying to establish what was wrong with her, and keep the crowd moving without her being stepped on. I didn't know what the problem was, but he looked like he could use some help. I opened the door on the next flight of stairs and directed people to exit that way after clearing the people already on their way out, while the other dude waited for St John First Aid staff to arrive. Once all the patrons had left, I closed the doors as per normal and continued my usual closing proceedure, and did not see what became of the girl.
Apparently she had threatened legal action, and I was presented with a scenario that somehow involved a teddy bear, but said that I would stick to my own story, and not deviate, since, a. it is the truth, and, b. I don't believe it places any blame on Festy. As I said at the time, what is a pregnant lady doing at the front of a mosh pit anyway?
(Note my gradual reintroduction of hyphens.)