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Prisoner of the Pit: Rock the Bells Recap from the Frontline

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What would you do to see a newly reunited Rage Against the Machine playing on the same stage and day as Wu-Tang Clan, Cypress Hill, Public Enemy, The Roots, Nas and Talib Kweli? If you said: Drive over an hour, stand in a line for 80 minutes in the 99 degree sun, avoid a restroom for nine hours, sit in possibly the worst parking lot traffic the Western Hemisphere has ever seen and inhale pepper spray, then you should have been a part of Rock the Bells on Saturday at the Hyundai Pavilion in Devore.

If you were there, like we were (see LAist's killer photo set here), you were handsomely rewarded for overcoming all of these challenges with a killer performance from Zack, Tom, Tim and Brad along and the rest of the Rock the Bells lineup.

Originally scheduled to be held at National Orange Show Pavilion in San Bernardino, the show was moved to Devore to accommodate the crowd of more than 50,000 who paid $75 for a general admission ticket. Unfortunately, the Hyundai Pavilion is not a general admission venue. It has a pit, lodge seating and a lawn. If you look at the schedule of upcoming shows at the venue, you'd notice that all shows sell tickets in different price ranges for the different areas of the venue.

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As a result, anyone who walked through the gates on Saturday was entitled to any spot they were able to grab, with exception to the two rows of VIP boxes which were held mostly by middle-aged white guys and their trophy wives. We claimed a spot in the pit at 2 p.m. and stayed there for the entire show, which concluded at 11:30 p.m. Nine plus hours without a trip to the bathroom or concessions stands, because security told us our chances were not very good for getting back into the pit once we left. Relieving yourself would knock you out of the pit and on to the lawn.

This would have been a significant downgrade, in the words of one lawn dweller on the comments of the OC Register's recap of the show,

I was was one of the thousands of people that paid 76 dollars, for a lawn admission and felt ripped off, and couldnt tell who on stage was rapping or singing.