Bonnaroo essay contest winner No. 2: Jeremy Reagan | Rock Candy

Bonnaroo essay contest winner No. 2: Jeremy Reagan

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Jeremy Reagan (he's the one with the circle around his head) on stage with Everclear et al.
  • Jeremy Reagan (he's the one with the circle around his head) on stage with Everclear et al.

Our next concert essay contest winner is Jeremy Reagan, whose story of adolescent rock-fantasy fulfillment goes to show that sometimes you've just got to grab life by the horns and get up there and show 'em what you've got.

In 1999, when I was 18, I saw Everclear at Memphis in May. This was at the height of their popularity, so the crowd was gigantic. My friend Jordan and I fought our way to the front of the crowd, where we shouted the words to every song at the top of our lungs.

After about an hour, the band stopped, and Art Alexakis (the frontman) started picking people out of the crowd to get onstage. I got picked, and Art helped me climb up on the stage. I couldn’t believe it.

To make it even crazier the band started playing my favorite song, “Local God,” a track from the “Romeo and Juliet” soundtrack. I knew every word, and was dancing my ass off along with the other people onstage. Near the end, Art pointed back at me, and then nodded his head toward the mic. He wanted me to sing!

Some ballsy part of me that I probably don’t even have now (maybe it was just youth) grabbed the mic and proceeded to sing to a crowd of thousands. I could see my friend in the crowd snapping pics with his disposable camera (hey, it was the nineties!) and the rest of them were wide-eyed in amazement that I was up there. It was totally unbelievable. I was 18 years old, and got to sing my favorite song with my favorite band. How many people can say that? It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life.

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