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Life as a Roadie: Dropkick Murphys Concert

Are you ready to…assemble? As one of the 125 student volunteers for the Dropkick Murphys and Black 47 concert this past Friday, I got exposed to what it’s really like working behind the scenes for a rock band. It’s not as glamorous or as rocking as you would think, but just as fun. Below I outline what it’s like being a roadie for the day.

The Work
Being a roadie is so much more than just hanging with the band. It’s intense and kicked my butt more than any workout I’ve recently had at the gym. As a volunteer for about eight hours, I mostly worked on helping to prepare the stage area. Some of the tasks I worked on included assembling the stage lights, connecting various chords to power the mixing board and speakers, putting up the Dropkick Murphys’ backdrop and transporting the bands’ equipment from the loading dock to the stage. While none of these tasks sound that thrilling, they were all critical for the show to go on. It felt good to know that the mostly manual labor I was participating in was meaningful to the event as a whole.

The People

Trying to figure out to assemble and lift a light fixture may not sound like the easiest way to bond with someone, but it sure did work for the volunteer crew and official stage crew that I worked with. Chatting with others was the perfect way to get through some of the most tedious tasks. Plus when something gets difficult it’s always good to have a people to bounce ideas off of. The official crew even welcomed us into their group, offering us advice and joking with us by the end of the day. Also I was able to connect with students who I would never have met if I had never volunteered.

The Perks
So we weren’t exactly living the life of the rich and famous, but there were perks aplenty for being a volunteer. Quinnipiac provided us with endless amounts of food, drinks and coffee which were needed when working such long shifts. The biggest perks were the more personal interactions with the bands. It was very cool that we were able to pass them in the hallway and say, “Hey. What’s up?” as if they were anyone. You got to see the band goofing off and just being themselves. Even cooler was that I had the opportunity to watch the Dropkick Murphys’ soundcheck. In a mostly empty arena filled with just about 10 people, it felt like we were at our own private show. Where else can you experience that?

While the manual labor was more than I expected and there was often lulls where there was not much exciting stuff to do, the people I was able to meet and my experience with the band more than paid off for my sore arms the next morning.

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