"No more tears."

-MC Kemst 06.16.2001 3:12 a.m.

"It's tough at the top, it's tough at the bottom, hard to survive, in a world of destruction. It's tough when your young, seekin' a system for justice, open your eyes, it's pure devastation, it is this." These lyrics always make me want to cry, but I don't always know why. This time it was easy. It was because I just had a great time, the kind I have every week. The kind I have every time I can go to a party, hear some House, some Premium Drum and Bass, and see the (always diminishing) number of people from all over Southern California that leave their separate lives behind and do whatever it takes to make it out to the party. Smoking a cigarette, now alone in my car -fellow jungle Dancer Nick has gone home, he has work in fours hours- I think about whether this will be the last party ever. It won't, there will be a few more, maybe there will be a million more. I don't know.

Heavy Sound Seminar was great (all parties are…). I can tell you about how much fun it was to dance in the spotlight of the House room, I can tell you about how the vibe was right there in the Trance room, or about how Usual Suspects spun a set that built upon itself for the first half hour and took me to a higher level. About how I danced to Jungle until 4 a.m. -once again, about the good clean fun you can have at a rave with just music and other dancers. I can tell you that this was like fifty other parties I've been to in the last two years, and served it's purpose just the same. But what I keep thinking about is not what this last party was like, but how I could possibly survive without my weekly fix of raving. Right before my very eyes the rave scene has gone from 30,000 plus person massives (year 2000) to 3,000 person parties at the Masterdome (2001) and Orion (2002, a few weeks ago, in fact), to the state it is in now, with a 1,600 person turnout at "Mystic Illusions" seemingly the best we can hope for.

I listen to a bootleg (from the now defunct raveworld.net) of Bad Boy Bill's "How Sweet It Is" set from 2000 and can hear thousands of people screaming, whistles blowing, and energy crackling from the crowd. I remember that night, with over 30,000 people at the Orange Show until 7 in the morning, maybe half of them were rolling, and maybe that is why there was no HSII 2002. Maybe the government has a point, and in all honestly I remember thinking at that very party "California is such a laid back place, on the East Coast they would never allow such a thing. 15,000 people obviously on drugs, and for some reason it is OK."

Well, that didn't last forever. Lately the rave scene has been getting kicked around more and more, and the last common venues are, for one reason or another, being shut down. It's hard to say if this trend will continue until the scene goes completely underground, or if at some point things will get better. As of now I sit alone in my car and listen to Jungle, wanting to bask in the glow of having just been to a rave, but instead think only what it would be like if I never got to do it again.