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Wavves @ Sunstock Solar Festival at The Autry 6/18/16. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13)

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The crowd began to push forward. I turned to my fellow photographer and motion to the surge.  “That barricade doesn’t look very sturdy”, I said, wary at the way the steel was bending.  Not a moment later and the photography pit was flooded with the band Wavves’ most dedicated devotees.  Nathan Williams and the rest of the punk rock crew that make up the band sang “Sail to the Sun” – if there was ever an ironic metaphor, here in it lay – we had just spent the entire afternoon and early evening collecting the sun’s rays to power the trucks and lights that littered (not literally, mind you!) the grounds around the Autry museum.

It was a push-pull battle to get the blockade back up after the opening tunes quelled, but the security and my fellow photogs made valiant strides to do so.  Alas, we worked to no avail, and in the end to protect the well being of my bones, I had to mouth a sad “Please Help Me” to a roadie who looked out over the crowd from atop the stage.  I motioned with my arm to have him come save me from being pulled into the moshing crowd behind me, and – as luck would have it – his heart took pity on what must have been the most pathetic facial expression I have made in my life.  A hoist up onto the stage and a firm “Get to the back” and I found myself running past Mr. Williams and down the back stairs.

The crowds relentless rush of the stage, and the tear down of the photo pit barricade, resulted in the audience literally crowd surfing a panel of the steel railing to the back of the audience.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the music continued. The music kept rocking and fans were going wild. A rendition of “Green Eyes” and “Riot” mixed among the rest of the ruckus rockers’ tunes made for a whirlwind of a set that left the viewer entirely exhausted, and ready for the dreamy closing performance by the band Cults.  What a night, and what a nice little bruise I have on my right calf to remember it by!

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