By Jessie Bonner
When I was preparing for Mala Luna, one of the artists I was most looking forward to seeing was Juice WRLD. When his single “Lucid Dreams” was gaining popularity, it resonated with many people due to the heartbreaking nature of the lyrics. Even my friends that had never had their heart broken were feeling the lyrics a little bit too much.
Since then, I had been listening to his music, and began loving it even more when my boyfriend would play random songs of his in the car. Our favorite thing to do in the car together is to dance along to the music, so I was excited to dance to one of our car-jam artists in person! Since he was the second-to-last to perform the entire festival, the suspense built more and more throughout the weekend.
On Sunday morning, I spent my day taking pictures of the artists of the day and sitting in the media lounge editing said pictures. I was basically just passing time until Juice WRLD would be performing. Finally, his stage was being set up and I rushed as close to the stage as I could get (which, in hindsight, was probably not the smartest decision in this particular situation). More and more people scrambled to the stage to get the closest view of Juice WRLD possible. I felt myself getting successively more squished and my anticipation was still rising.
Because I had press credentials, I was able to bring my camera to take pictures of the event. This is where getting close to the stage wasn’t the most brilliant idea I’ve ever had. As all of these flocks of people arrived at the stage, I realized my expensive, valuable camera was at risk of getting stolen, damaged or lost, so I moved my bag in front of me and protectively hugged it. Because I was so worried about it, I didn’t even take it out to snap any pictures the entire show. This camera is my baby and I could already tell that this crowd was going to be wild.
Time crawled closer slowly, and we were all getting restless. A screen in the background had a phone number and told us to text it with songs we wanted him to perform. I texted in my requests: “Robbery” and “Armed and Dangerous.” Thirty minutes. Fifteen minutes. Two minutes. Finally, the DJ came out and a screen in the background played a cartoon to open the show. Everybody started yelling and cheering as the DJ asked us, “Are y’all ready to see Juice WRLD?!” He came out on stage and immediately the crowd’s energy got even more wild.
Throughout the whole performance, I experienced this concert in a way I never had experienced one before. We were jumping, pushing and going absolutely insane screaming the lyrics to every song. I was still clutching my camera bag close to my chest, but I was trying to match everyone else’s energy. People were leaning left and right, forward and backward, and surging toward the stage every chance there was.
Eventually, I ended up even farther back in the crowd than I had started! At one point, I was dancing around, having a good time, when someone smacked into me super hard from behind. I turned around and found myself in the middle of a mosh pit. Having never been a part of one before, and not particularly wanting my first one to be at that exact moment, I was truthfully kind of terrified.
I scurried back to the edge of the pit and acted like I didn’t just run away like a scared little kid. Even though I acted like the mosh pit was a dog fight that I didn’t wanna get in the middle of, and my hair was getting yanked by random hands in the crowd, and I was getting pushed around and squished constantly, I can honestly say it was one of the most fun crowds I have ever been in.
Even with all the fun I was having, eventually I got overwhelmed and had to leave. When I got home, my shoes were scraped, my legs were covered in dust, and it took me a good 20 minutes to comb my tangled, messy hair. That, my friends, is how you know you were at a good show.
Juice WRLD is an amazing performer; he interacted with the crowd and his voice sounded exactly like it does when I’m playing him in my car. The lights, the visuals, the DJ hyping us up and the pure elation of the crowd all combined to make this an unforgettable performance and probably my favorite of the whole weekend.
Juice WRLD, come back to Texas ASAP. We are all begging you.
Featured image via Mala Luna and Juice WRLD.