ATLANTIC CITY — A group of teen girls with brightly colored hair stood next to their makeshift campground Friday outside Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall and rattled off their hometowns and the number of Twenty One Pilots concerts they’d attended: 10, nine, eight, seven, two.
They’d been hanging out since Wednesday afternoon, when they took their spot at the front of the queue.
“You kind of form friendships while you’re here,” said one of the girls’ mothers, Jennifer Demarinis, 50, of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.
Spots on the floor for those with general admission tickets for Saturday’s Twenty One Pilots concert are first come, first served. Those in line want the prime real estate near the stage to see the alternative rock/rap duo — formed in 2009 and best known for their hit “Stressed Out” — and want to beat out the inevitable crowds that will pour in Saturday. The girls took charge of keeping the line organized, handing out red wristbands with numbers signifying their place in line. Venue employees were receptive to the idea, they said.
They haven’t had any issues since their arrival.
“The police have been great,” Demarinis said. “I don’t think the neighbors like us too much.”
They haven’t been bored either, they said. The camaraderie and anticipation of seeing their favorite band has made it a mini vacation.
Dylan and Holly Pierce, both 26, of Lower Alloways Creek Township, Salem County, sat with Holly’s sister, Ronnie Foster, 19, eating Wawa sandwiches on the curb. They were trying to avoid using their phones, even though they had portable chargers. Saturday at 6 p.m. — when doors open — was still far off.
The excitement was keeping them going since they arrived earlier Friday morning.
“We think we’re gonna be pretty close,” Dylan Pierce said.
They’ve had their tickets since the fall.
The Pierces saw Twenty One Pilots for the first time for Foster’s birthday in Allentown, Pennsylvania. They didn’t want to listen to their music on the way there. They weren’t sold on the band yet.
Their performance that night sealed the deal.
“They’re very interactive,” Holly Pierce said. “I didn’t believe (Ronnie), because I’ve been to shows, concerts my whole life and I’m like, ‘nah, nah, nah.’”
But the frontman, Tyler Joseph, put on an electric performance, even making his way up into the “nosebleeds” a few feet from them.
“I was like, ‘Wow, you proved me wrong,’” Holly Pierce said.
Sleeping on the sidewalk, of course, is illegal, and not without its hazards.
Set up on the sidewalk since Thursday morning, Madison Tice, 19, from the West Chester, Pennsylvania, area, sat with friends in a circle of camping chairs taking in the sights.
A man chugged a full bottle of Bacardi rum and passed out right next to them, they said, prompting a visit from police.
“He did play his guitar,” Tice said of the man. “So it was a preshow.”