Citation: Dalien. "At a Rock Concert - Intense Beautiful: An Experience with MDA (exp106997)". Erowid.org. Feb 20, 2017. erowid.org/exp/106997
||(powder / crystals)
| T+ 24:00
||(powder / crystals)
I had done MDMA twice over the course of many years and was underwhelmed by it, but I remained curious and open. A close, longtime friend has access to high purity substances and conveyed to me that the reason my experience had been lackluster (not bad, just dull) at the time, might be due to the stuff I had procured being 'pressed pills' of inferior quality. Thus, I tried high-grade MDMA that he had obtained one night, at his house, in a comfortable intimate setting surrounded by a handful of like-minded friends. The experience was typified by intense feelings of well-being and pleasure; it was beautiful.
The following day, I was invited by my friend to a concert in our area, at a large amphitheater, with a well-known band as the headliner. I was a musician in a band for many years and I've attended quite a few shows, including a couple at that same venue, so I was excited and looking forward to this day. I would be attending with my good friend, a girl he was dating at the time who had done MDMA with us the night before, and another woman, a new acquaintance of his who joined us a bit later that day. We arrived quite early, sat on the far end of the lawn overlooking the stage and spent the majority of the concert there.
My friend let me know early on that he had brought sassafras with him but I wasn't sure I was going to do it, especially since I had tried MDMA the night before: I am rather sensitive to psychedelics and prefer to be cautious, especially if I feel that they might be a bit intense. What I know about MDMA made me consider my decision, since I wasn't eager to abuse it - I figured I had a great experience the night before and it might be better to leave it at that. My friend is a longtime 'burner' and festival goer so he has tried lots of substances in quite a few different settings; I am also experienced but not as much, so I take it slow when my instinct advises me to do so. Due to mine and my friends' prior experiences with psychedelics (including LSD, psilocybin, DMT and ketamine, among others), we know the importance of set and setting and of being supportive of a fellow psychonaut, especially if the trip becomes challenging. It was a bright, sunny summer day, and with only a bit of heat to contend with, the environment seemed auspicious.
As the sun drew closer to the horizon and the natural light began to fade, the time for the headlining band approached and that's who were there to see, so we considered whether the time had come to try the sass. My friend took the slightly cloudy crystals out of his bag and apportioned a dose for each of us - the woman who had joined us, who had explicitly told us before that she's very inexperienced with psychedelics, decided she wanted to try it, so this prompted me to give it a try after all. I understood MDA was roughly similar to and a chemical precursor to MDMA, and since my experience from the night before had been so positive, I concluded that trying sass on this occasion might have a similar effect, though I ordinarily wouldn't intake these substances two days in a row like this.
I ordinarily wouldn't intake these substances two days in a row like this.
The four of us took our doses and, within only fifteen minutes or so, I was starting to feel the effects creeping up pretty hard... the familiar warm, loving feeling in my chest returned, but something else arose that I did not expect: 'tracers' or 'trails'. Trails everywhere... These psychedelic visual artifacts intensified very rapidly: a couple of minutes after the onset, virtually everything in my field of view was doubled, tripled and quadrupled... absolutely everywhere I looked, anything that moved left many, many trails and tracers behind.
I've seen trails before, especially on acid and ketamine, but this was more intense than any such experience I've had - so intense that I started to become nauseous. I realized that, though my inner state was rather positive, the visuals were becoming so overwhelming that they were making me anxious. By this time it was fully dusk, and the combination of the last opening act finishing their set with a jam session, the growing excitement from the crowd electrifying the air, and the darkened silhouettes of people walking to and fro in the twilight, combined with my psychedelic visuals (and auditory perception - all sounds took on a sort of metallic, strobing timbre) created a slightly eerie effect that unsettled me... it probably didn't help that I am naturally introverted and crowds don't exactly freak me out, but I don't necessarily love them either. It was my prior experiences in this context that helped me keep it together...
I turned to my friend and let him know that I was starting to have a hard time with the sass: instinctively and automatically, he and the two women embraced me and began to stroke my chest and my back, soothing me and telling me that they were there for me, to breathe deeply and try to relax... their supportive reaction had an immediate effect and I knew that I would be alright in a little while. I figured I just needed to sit there, drink plenty of water, try to enjoy the experience and wait for the more intense effects to pass, but it took close to an hour for that to happen, by my estimation.
After only a few minutes, my initial anxiety had subsided and the trails were still strong, but they weren't overwhelming any longer. Since we had tickets for seats close to the stage, we pondered whether to walk down there from the top of the lawn - I didn't think I was up to the trek so my friend said no problem; eventually he and his girl walked down to the seats, while I remained in my spot with my new friend from that afternoon, with whom I had conversed earlier in the day, when we were both sober, and had established a rapport. She indicated that she wasn't feeling much of anything and didn't mind watching the show from afar and sitting by my side; she was still embracing me and had her hand on my heart, which had an incredibly calming effect; it was exactly what I needed then. Due to the state we were both in, I felt a multitude of energies and emotions swirling around us both and I had the sense that perhaps she was having more intense effects that she was letting on, but she downplayed them for my sake... as I gradually regained all my faculties, I began to ask her often how she was doing, if I could support her in any way, etc. and I thanked her profusely for her company and her kinship.
Eventually the effects subsided, the show ended and we rejoined the others in the parking lot. The next day, we found out that this new friend did in fact have a harder time than she had shown us: she wound up in the emergency room with intestinal bleeding later that night, though fortunately it wasn't serious and she was released a day later. Only then did I begin to read more about MDA and found out that it can have a stronger effect on women - I think that, in our particular cases, a combination of factors contributed to our experiences. Having done MDMA the night before could have sensitized me to these psychedelic amphetamines, as the effect sass had on me was stronger than my friend had ever heard about, which is why he considered it relatively safe. Likewise, our new friend's almost complete lack of experience with psychedelics made her extremely sensitive to the effects of the sass.
In retrospect, perhaps the setting wasn't quite ideal either, but our common sense and relative level of comfort and experience helped us deal with this. My friends' instinctive reaction towards me, being extremely supportive and soothing, was absolutely the right thing to do, and even though our new friend had wound up in the hospital, she wasn't upset at us or negative about the experience: she seemed to have derived some important insights from it as well, and she was choosing to take away the best parts of the experience, which I thought was really positive. If she had been upset afterward, it would have been somewhat justified and understandable to me; the fact that she wasn't made the entire experience seem even more positive.
I have tried sass one time since; I did a comparable dose and the effects were not near as intensely psychedelic as that first time. Likely it was the particular combination of factors that all came together to make the first experience very intense and challenging for me, perceptually at least - from an emotional and psychological standpoint, it was one of the most beautiful times I've ever had, punctuated by the amazing company and the incredibly loving music of an classic band with a career spanning decades. I only wish I could have paid more attention to their set but the whole day was very memorable, though not without its challenges.
[Reported Dose: '100 - 150 mg']
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