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Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: A&O Blowout

This Friday, A&O (which stands for something, but literally no one knows what) is hosting a concert featuring a black musical act preceded by a white musical act that guy from Community, and some band that you don’t listen to, but that one girl from your dorm who ironically wears the same glasses as your grandpa listens to.  It’s at some time, probably at night.[1]  There will also be Morty Schapiro a special guest.  They actually do this concert every fall, they host it at our basketball arena (Welsh-Ryan), and they call it A&O Blowout. The site of what will certainly be the greatest experience of the latter half of one of your Fridays.

Now, you’re a freshman, and the only concert experience you’ve ever had is that one time you went with your mom to see John Mayer and had to uncomfortably listen to her sing along with “Your Body is a Wonderland”.  You’re in college now, and after almost four weeks on campus you think you’ve pretty much got everything down pat.  So since there’s this concert being held very close to campus that’s like super cheap, you’re probably thinking, “fuck yeah, let’s go!”  And you should go.  Attending Blowout is a freshman rite-of-passage; you go your first year here, realize it’s kinda meh, and then never go again.[2]  That being said, it definitely doesn’t have to be meh; you can have a great time, as long as you know what to do and what to expect.  So let Sherman Ave fill you in with the deets.  You trust us, right?

Pre-Concert

So yeah, you should definitely pre-game Blowout.  However, you shouldn’t get absolutely shit-faced at five o’clock; you’ll just end up having a bad time.  Why?  Well, that brings us to our next point: you should get to A&O pretty fucking early if you want to have floor seats.  Like, at least an hour early.  And, while there will be shuttles running to and from Welsh-Ryan, you can (and should) just walk there; if you have enough alcohol in you, you won’t mind the walk; it may actually be enjoyable if you’re amongst friends with whom you can drunkenly gallivant.

Just be sure to bring alcohol along.[3]  The more conspicuously you can hide it, the better.  There is a very important reason why you should do this (besides the fact that alcohol is awesome, etc.) that we will cover in the next few paragraphs.  Just be patient.

If you do get to Welsh-Ryan sufficiently early (as in before the doors have even opened), you’ll be instructed to wait in a line full of similarly schwasted students, a line about 50 yards from the arena – so not directly next to the doors.  Once the doors finally open (probably around an hour before the first act), the security working the event, instead of devising some sort of process where they herd you into a line and have you calmly walk in through the doors and have you show them your ticket and then instruct you to casually walk to whatever seat you want, will just sort of release you.  The system of lining up to go somewhere, which you’ve been practicing since Kindergarten, will utterly fail you and your peers; the dedication you displayed in getting to Blowout early may end up being all for naught if you don’t run like hell to the doors.  It’s really fucking stressful, especially because, at about the 25 yard mark, there are just these concrete spires sticking out of the ground, for no apparent reason.  You will see someone collide with them and take a pretty vicious shot to the gooch.  You may collide with them and take a pretty vicious shot to the gooch.  But at least now we warned you, so you know what to expect, and so we won’t feel bad laughing at you as we watch you get upended by a completely stationary object.

You and your friends, as you're running to the doors of Welsh-Ryan.

The First Act

Grouplove, I think.  Maybe.  Who cares?

Ok, so now you’re in.  You’ve got your floor seats,[4] you’ve got your dirty flask of vodka and flat sprite shoved down the back of your jeans, you’re with your friends…but wait, your buzz is wearing off, and there’s still one hour till the concert!  This is where you start pacing yourself.  Yep, that’s right, Sherman Ave is telling you that you need to pace yourself with drinking at Blowout in order to maintain a satisfying level of drunk for the entire concert.  So have a few sips to maintain your mental capacities until the first band begins.

As mentioned before, the first act this year is Grouplove.  We don’t know anything about them and neither do you.  Just be sure to sort of nod your head and scream a lot.  Maybe they’ll play a cover of a hip-hop song or something.  It’ll be over soon enough, and once it is, it’ll be time for...

The Second Act

But not right away.

There will be between a one and fifty-seven hour wait for Donald Glover to start performing.  You will be really, really bored.  You’ll keep taking sips from your dirty flask, because it’s what we told you to do, so that will help.  But for an unmeasurable amount of time, you’re just gonna be standing there, listening to the 2 Chainz songs that they’ll be playing over the loudspeakers, and looking around trying to discern where that weed smell is coming from.[5]

He looks nice now, but just wait until he talks about fucking your grandma, or whatever the hell he likes to rap about.

Eventually, though, the lights will dim, and shit will get real.  Oh, holy fuck, it’s Troy Barnes, and he’s talking about his penis a lot!  I don’t know any of the words, but this is awesome!  Wait, did he just reference e.e. cummings?  Golly gee, I love college!  You’ll jump up and down and echo the more obvious choruses, and you’ll have a great time.  Then after 45 minutes, he’ll leave.  And then the lights will come back up.  And that’ll be the end of A&O Blowout.  Or is it?

Post-Concert

At this point in the evening, everyone will start catatonically limping out of the arena, in an almost poetic contrast to the pre-show stampede for the doors.  It will take 15 minutes just to leave the building, and then at least 30 minutes to find an shuttle with free space that will lethargically drive you back to Bobb.  Then you’ll get off and keep drinking, probably, because it’s Friday night and we’re gonna party wooo.

And that will be your only concert experience this fall.

But don’t worry, freshlings; you’ve got Dillo Day to look forward to in the spring, where you’ll get to see a different black musical act preceded by a different white musical act some more fantastic artists.  Who will they be?  I guess we’ll just have to wait![6]


[1] Ok, A&O, I have been searching everywhere and I cannot find the time of your fucking event.  I’m just gonna say it’s at 8.  Let’s go with that.

[2] There is a very good chance that this sentence will not survive editing.  If it does, however, I’m sorry to all of my friends who are on A&O.

[3] We also recommend bringing along a Klondike Bar®, or any one of Klondike®’s delicious line of products.

[4] Note: There is a chance that the floor section at Blowout will have no seats at all, and just sort of be a pit where everyone stands.  There is also a chance – as was true with last year’s Blowout – that there will actually be seats; in which case, you will need to claim a seat as soon as you get to the floor and not just sort of stand there, because eventually security is gonna force everyone to sit down, and if you’re not sitting down in your own personal seat, you’re screwed.

[5] Hint: See the guy wearing the beanie in the pink tank top?  Yep, exactly.

[6] One of the artists will be J. Cole.

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