As I anxiously approached Madison Square Garden, I could feel the excitement in the air. My boy Christian had hit me up just a few days earlier with an invitation I couldn’t refuse: a VIP, all-expenses-paid experience to see Rage Against The Machine, a band we had idolized growing up. It felt like a dream come true, a moment that we never thought would happen after their breakup. I sparked up a cigarette to calm my nerves, checking my phone every few seconds for an incoming message from Christian. When it finally buzzed, I followed his directions and navigated my way to the designated meeting spot. There, I was greeted by my longtime friend Jeremy “Thunder” Friedman, and a new friend, Denis K. We exchanged hugs, high-fives, and excited chatter about the night ahead. As our group entered the arena, we were guided by security through a maze of hallways, leading us to the luxury suite reserved just for us. The moment we walked in, my jaw dropped. The room was massive and filled with plush seating, mood lighting, and an insane view of the stage below. What really blew me away, though, was the spread of food and drink laid out before us. The buffet tables were laden with delectable dishes and an array of beverages, including several bottles of top-shelf liquor. I made it a point to remind everyone of my sobriety and steered clear of the alcohol. Instead, I grabbed my weed pen and munched on the mouth-watering cuisine. It was surreal, being in such a luxurious setting, surrounded by close friends, about to witness a band that held such a significant place in our hearts. Our anticipation heightened as we settled into the balcony seats stage-side. The view was incredible, and I could hardly contain my emotions. When the lights finally dimmed and the band emerged on stage, a wave of pure joy and gratitude washed over me. It was a moment of victory, a reminder of how far I had come, breaking free from the chains of addiction to bask in the light of sobriety. As Zack de la Rocha’s powerful voice filled the arena, I felt a sense of liberation and elation that’s hard to describe. Every note, every lyric resonated with the essence of my own personal journey. I looked over at my friends, their faces mirroring the emotion I felt in my heart. It was an unforgettable night, a moment of triumph, and a testament to the power of perseverance, friendship, and the healing force of music.