By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Attempting to prove that its technology is indeed here to stay, controversial Napster recently enlisted Limp Bizkit and Cypress Hill to help spread the word via a free-of-charge, Napster-sponsored tour. The tour was originally scheduled to hit the Bronco Bowl on July 22 and 23, but has since been moved to August 1 and 2 at an undisclosed location. (While a venue won't be announced until two days before the first show, Bronco Bowl is still a pretty safe bet.) Two free shows, everyone's happy--right? Well, not really.
After the recent tragedy during Pearl Jam's performance at the Roskilde festival in Denmark, concert organizers were forced to come up with a handful of crowd-control solutions in an effort to prevent a similar occurrence. In the end, a plan involving lottery numbers and numbered wristbands was chosen to ensure a manageable number of fans, but a number of interesting solutions were left on the drawing room table. Thanks to a source deep in the Bronco Bowl, who spoke on the condition of absolute anonymity, here's a few of the ones they came up with, based on the assumption that the concert would indeed happen at the venue. We've taken the liberty of tossing in one of our own; see if you can tell which is which.
Plan A: Should security lose control of the general admission area, a pre-selected code word would be relayed via hand-held radio ("green, green," or "abort, abort"). At that time, a low-power, high-intensity electronic pulse would be emitted throughout the arena, causing all small electronic devices (mobile phones, pagers, etc.) to act as de facto "shock collars," momentarily disabling anyone in direct contact with said device. Studies suggest that, with the particular demographic group in attendance, enough of these objects should be in the immediate vicinity to restore order quickly and somewhat quietly. Early warnings that the frequency of the signal would also cause all electronic equipment onstage (microphones, amplifiers, etc.) to act in a similar fashion appear to be unfounded.
Plan B: In the event of a temporary loss of managerial control of the venue, a grizzled character actor dressed as a chauffeur will be dispatched to the arena's side entrance, along with a limousine with heavily tinted windows. The pseudo chauffeur will hold up a sign in front of him with the words "Bruce Springsteen" written prominently across the front. Should anyone ask what the sign means, he should respond gruffly, "I was told to meet The Boss here." A recent nocturnal viewing of the 1986 Rodney Dangerfield vehicle Back to School suggests that this tactic will draw more than enough attention away from the stage, allowing order to return. We might, however, want to play with the wording of the sign; changing it to "David Hasselhoff" or "Jason Priestly" might better serve our purposes.
Plan C: If a fatal surge toward the front of the venue is deemed imminent, a fine mist containing a sizable amount of the drug tryptohydrochlorothorodine (commonly referred to as "Christmas Future") will be sprayed on the crowd via the arena's sprinkler system. The drug produces an increased level of several different hormones in the body, a combination that results in a short-lived sense of paranoia and intense, detailed hallucinations. A common element of these hallucinations is a vision of the user as many as 50 to 60 years in the future. We believe that to the particular type of attendee this bill will attract, the sight of themselves even 30 years in the future will be enough to shock them into submission. Extra emergency medical staff should be alerted and on-call. Tryptohydrochlorothorodine was administered to a rioting mob during a Dr. Dre/Eminem concert in Teaneck, New Jersey, recently, and the image of her sagging, naked breast, covered in an elaborate tattooed mural of 'N Sync's Justin Timberlake and Joey Fatone, caused one young woman to have a stroke.
Plan D: Once security has been breached, covert operatives in the audience will be alerted (by a series of flashing lights near the drum riser) that the concert has been upgraded to a Don Piper Situation. At that point, they are to immediately break off their clandestine reconnaissance assignments and proceed to the previously designated attack posts. Once assembled, they have been instructed to fire upon anyone who enters the "kill zone," the area located between the back of the stage and the first level of seating. Once the panic has abated, the remaining members of the audience will then be sent to one of four debriefing centers, where they will be presented with a "correct" version of the night's events. A similar cover story is already in place and ready to go at most local media outlets. Jimmy Frank Glasscock, a former CIA trainee and rabid Limp Bizkit fan, is in the process of being set up in the Oswald role, should we need him.