RnB Fridays Live Was The Sh***iest Sh**show I Have Ever Seen
On Saturday, I attended RnB Fridays Live, and it was the worst concert experience of my life.
Now, I've been to my fair share of messy concerts in my time. I was at Selena Gomez back in 2016, where they didn't let anyone into the damn arena until after the support act was already supposed to be onstage, so everyone was just queued up outside for ages in these crazy long lines that looped all over the place.
When I saw Rihanna in Adelaide back in 2013 for her Diamonds World Tour, I was like "whatever, she's a rockstar" when she was 90 minutes late to arrive on stage and the crowd booed her.
I was at Sia's concert where everyone was like "was she even on stage?", and I cried tears of joy -- twice -- while watching Britney lipsynch along to her Circus Tour back in 2009. I'm unfazed by pretty much anything, but nothing could have prepared me for the absolute s**tshow that was RnB Fridays Live.
I'd heard that the show had been getting bad reviews, but brushed it off, because Australian crowds are notoriously salty about pretty much everything. Whatever! I thought. I'm going to have a great time!
To be fair, I did have a pretty great time, but it was really in spite of the event, rather than because of it.
Let's begin with the lines. There were SO MANY OF THEM. You want to get into the venue? Good luck working out which of the many, many lines -- undivided by barriers, so it's less like multiple lines and more like a crowd -- you're supposed to be in, and then have fun waiting to get through.
The lines to get in were only a taste of what was to come, though. The real chaos began in the bar lines. At one point, my friend and I waited an hour for drinks.
Think about that. A full HOUR.
"Huh... It would've been nice to see Eve," my friend said, 45 minutes into our wait, as we listened to her perform "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" from the line, which was quickly turning into some kind of Lord of the Flies social experiment, as people cut in, only to be dobbed in to security by angry would-be bar patrons queuing up.
At minute 50, as we were so close -- yet still so far -- from being served, a woman at the front of the line wasn't paying attention while the bartender tried to call the next person in line.
"SIS GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER!" I found myself screaming along with the five other people yelling at her to go order her damn drinks. I hadn't yelled at a stranger since 2014, when a stranger stole my carpark at the hospital cancer ward, where I was visiting my dying father on my birthday.
We left at the beginning of Taio Cruz' set to line up, and eventually, we said goodbye to the friends we'd made in line, wished them a happy rest of the evening, and got back for Eve's final song of her set, "Tambourine".
These long bar lines had a butterfly effect of bullsh*t that rippled through the event. Aside from a general mood of irritation hanging in the air, to avoid having to line up for drinks again, everyone in the line was buying four drinks at a time. Of course, no one wants to hold four drinks while trying to dance, so everyone was slamming their drinks as fast as possible, which -- when paired with the aforementioned sense of irritation -- led to a bunch of drunk, annoyed people stomping about, annoying the people who didn't want to deal with the lines at all and were stone cold sober. It also probably didn't help that they were stomping through literal PILES of rubbish, which the dance floor was littered with, as there wasn't a bin in sight.
Where were they stomping, you ask? Well, most likely to the bathroom, where they were promptly met with another long-ass line. That's the other thing about necking four drinks as fast as possible, isn't it? It's gonna wanna come out the other end sooner rather than later, ya know?
The toilet lines were basically as hectic as the bar line, so we also missed all of Trey Songz. I was blessed that my friend had the foresight to nick some toilet paper from a portapotty on the way into the stadium, because as we lined up for the men's bathroom (the women's line was even longer), someone informed us there was no toilet paper left.
"It's not my first rodeo!" she exclaimed, handing it out to the women in the line -- one of whom was a very drunk 20-year-old girl, who kept trying to block men from using the urinal because -- as she put it -- "IT'S EQUALITY!!!!!" Held back by her dismayed friend from using the urinal herself, she cried quietly while confused men continued to enter the bathroom.
Eventually, we made it to the front of the line, and while my friend was in one of the stalls, a girl came up to me, wrapped me in an embrace, and begged me to pretend to be her friend so she could cut in line because she was busting and had been waiting for half an hour. I let her cut, handing her some toilet paper as I recalled that there wasn't any in the stall. "Oh my God, really?!" she gasped when I told her to go before me. "You're the F*****G BEST, I MEAN THAT, THANK YOU."
This was one of the best parts of the entire event, to be honest. There were drunk women bonding, helping each other out and commiserating all over the place.
Back in time to see Salt-N-Pepa, we finally got to have a dance, albeit amongst the ever-growing piles of rubbish, and they put on a great show, as did Usher and Lil Jon. Oh, and at one point I'm pretty sure Fatman Scoop made the crowd yell "Hi ScoMo". I'm not sure, though. I was in a line at the time.
Feature image: Stephanie Anderson