Last Tuesday night, I saw one of my favorite bands live. It seems I had been waiting forever and then it all came so fast and also ended just as fast.
These past few days, I had been doubting my going (in spite of the 300€ that I had invested in the ticket and VIP upgrade + hotel room and the fact that it’s a-fucking-7x). After all, I was going on my own and that sure wasn’t guaranteeing an anxiety fit-free night. I was scared that I would have a panic attack or whatnot and be alone to face it or even worse, becoming a burden to those witnessing it. But I thought, to hell with these demons! They’re here to stay, I can’t drown them or anything, so they’re coming with me, but there ain’t no way I’m missing this. This was supposed to be the most important night of this month and so I went, determined to let all the importantness happen. Of course, thirty minutes before the time I should be there for the backstage tour, I started freaking out and I called my mom. Stayed with her on the phone until it was time and then I went.
Was lost at first but the lady inside was so nice to me that all the growing anxiety just vanished. And so I walked to a small (soon to be bigger than my brain could process) crowd of people without an ounce of anxiety in me. Got in the corner with the other VIP dudes, waiting outside in the wind, cold, for the bracelets — the French way. Then, I heard this voice in my head which I hadn’t heard in a while now. The one that said “Come on, say something. You can do this, just anything really!” instead of beating me up. Of course, I didn’t do anything. Well, I tried looking at the two girls closest to me and found a more receptive one on my left and so I tried to smile with my almost-numb face.
Thank God she spoke to me. And we kept on chatting a bit. And a few minutes later I had my arm wrapped around hers. And, oh my glob did I not understand what was happening to me. Have I been living in a cave too long now, that kindness felt so foreign? It has actually been a while since I met someone new to be frank, so I think I actually forgot how it worked. Also, all the gravel accumulated in my shoes these past few years had me forgot how smoothly things can go. That girl, everyone, was Gloria. She came all the way from Mexico to see Avenged for her birthday (which was the day before) and she was one of the most important person of that February 28th.
She was the light that I had forgotten to hope for and she found me! She made this whole experience more meaningful and more perfect than it would’ve been had I remained a dark lonely bubble hiding in the shadows. We talked so much and shared so much in such short time and just freely, you know. No pressure or anything like most of my relationships have felt lately. We were just two happy women existing together in a room full of different people and we were just being ourselves and not expecting anything. It was simple and refreshing! She was the loveliest and I guess that she was the cherry on top of that tasty metal cake. She even bought me a beer (which was really nice because I’m seriously running low on money after all of this) and took pictures for me (because I, the clever one, had come to the show with a 15% battery and was trying to save it… SPOILER: it died even if I kept my phone off the whole time u_u)!
That’s one of the feelings I was overwhelmed with during the whole show. We were so many people standing/sitting in that huge place, each and every one different although very likely in some ways. We all came for the same thing. And there I stood, amongst hundreds and hundreds of people that I didn’t know, and yet have I ever felt like I belonged this much in a place. It really hit me earlier on, during one of Chevelle’s songs. I just stopped for a moment and looked around and I smiled; and I never stopped smiling until I was in the subway the next morning. All these people… Who were they? Where did they come from? I didn’t know and it did not matter. I belonged in there. We all belonged there. From the girl with the green hair to the little boy with glasses. I just felt at home. I felt comfortable, understood, valued, beautiful, in the right place. I was in the right place. I didn’t feel like leaving, I didn’t feel like too much. I was an actual part of the puzzle and I also contributed to its beauty. This was a beautiful feeling. Belonging.
Now, I won’t be posting much pictures, although Gloria nicely gave me permission to, because I don’t really feel like it. There are plenty of pictures all over the internet and you can take a look at the local press weirdly written article about the show to see those HQ babies. I think I got those memories tattooed on my soul and no picture can top that. I mean, pictures are great and I love them, but this experience was just above pictures to me. I mean, meh… I don’t know what I mean. I’ll just tell you about the thing now.
So, the backstage tour was shorter than I had dreamt of BUT we got to hold Johnny’s bass and take pics with it, like the dorks that we are and so we did. I honestly couldn’t make a face, my hands were still cold and damn, Johnny’s bass. It looked really big and surreal and professional. I know that sounds stupid but I’m not above being stupid when it comes to holding the bass guitar of one of my heroes. A professional bass. I swear. So black, so… professional. 😛
Then we headed to the merch table and I of course felt like I couldn’t just not buy anything so I bought the cheapest I could afford and got me a badass keychain that I SHALL PASS ONTO MY CHILDREN. And after that, we got to talk a bit with the security. And it was funny because Gloria and I went back and forth a couple times from one side of the stage to the other as we were confused so as to where we would be for the Avenged show. And well, that was funny. We talked a lot to the man that was in charge of our side (which was the right one, but they called it left one because WEIRD; so, Zacky’s side of the stage to be clear) and it felt amazing. Everyone was just so nice I was blown away almost. Like, is this a dream? Everyone was so cool. Wow! Oh, and, we also had another man from the crew come to us and give us one of Johnny’s picks so that’s cool also.
Then, the show finally started. They were a little late and it was almost agony but we were stoked when it started.
Chevelle were really great!
I felt bad though because there wasn’t a lot of people as most only wanted to see Avenged and Disturbed (or just Avenged in a lot of cases x) ). I mean, they worked really hard too and they were rocking that stage! And the crowd didn’t really give it back to them. It just made me sad; slightly. But I guess that’s just how it is when you’re not headlining. Also, I wondered if their sound was shittier on purpose…?
Then, came Disturbed!!
Boy, was it weird to see them, flesh and bones walking on that stage, a few feet from me. They were FIRE. Literally. First time I ever saw actual pyrotechnics in action. There was real fire on stage and it was awesome! When they started using it we were back from a toilet break so we were further away from the stage, in the back really, but it still felt really hot each time the flames came on! And when they played Sound of Silence… I didn’t cry! 😛 But it was beautiful. And what I enjoyed the most was to see actual lighters held up in the air and not just ugly cellphones!
FUN FACT: as I was lying awake in my hotel room after the show, I had a mashup of Disturbed’s Down With the Sickness and Ashley Tisdale’s He Said She Said stuck in my head. I’ll let you imagine it… I think it greatly contributed to my sleepless night.
Finally, and not without having us wait forever more, on the stage came Avenged Sevenfold. I don’t think that I can describe what happened inside of me as I saw them come up on stage one by one.
Everything happened so fast then. We screamed, we sang at the top of our lungs, we threw ’em horns. I was so happy. I was smiling all the time that I wasn’t singing. I might have stared at Brooks a little too much but it just felt too weird to see the other guys for real so I often focused on the drums.
The sound wasn’t the best, the drums was obviously loudest as it was right in our noses, but really, I couldn’t have cared less. Often I wouldn’t recognize the song from the first note like usual but eventually I’d get it and sing along. Honestly, had there be no sound at all, it would have been just the same to me. I mean, sure I couldn’t hear the full power of Syn’s heavenly solos nor Matt’s beautiful voice, but just being there and seeing them and screaming/singing along with hundreds of people that was it. That’s what this night was all about. And seriously, you don’t walk into a concert venue expecting studio quality performances. They were amazing and I don’t have words!
Johnny always looked at us when he’d come back to his side of the stage, mouthing the lyrics and just being awesome. He came and sat near us at one point. Zack also did and I stopped functionning. He was just sitting there and man, what’s a girl to do? I just smiled and enjoyed the show, that’s what I did, making sure I wasn’t staring at him cos that would’ve felt really weird. And they both touched my hand. Yes, for real!
I loved seeing Matt’s smile as he ran around the stage. He was always mostly closer to the audience, as he should, but he’d come near us sometimes and I think I know what happiness is now. And seeing all of them interacting with Brooks now and then was the sweetest thing. It was beautiful. My heart stopped everytime Syn walked near us or looked into our direction. It was all surreal.
When the last song came on, I knew it was the last one because it’s been like that for a while now, I died a little inside. That riff and the energy, and the way Syn just held his guitar during *that* part… A beautiful thing to have your heart broken and put together at the same time. A show coming to an end is the happiest saddest thing I’ve ever experienced. I still put all my energy into it and it was fucking awesome!
Then, the lights were back on and the guys were running around throwing picks and setlists into the crowd while we waited in our little VIP areas to get to see them, maybe, possibly. And of course, they came.
By the time they did, though, I was starting to fade in the background as the lights were back on, so bright and draining the magic, leaving me feeling so small. Everyone was all excited and getting their phones ready for pictures but my demons saw an opportunity and manage to throw small rocks at me. I just wanted to leave now. But I stayed, in a corner. Which was really weird but I just had lost all my social strength I couldn’t do anything anymore.
Then, I saw Brian right there just so close to me, hugging people, saying he didn’t really have much time. And my head was telling me “He’s not gonna come to you, forget it” but he looked at me, and walked through people to come and hug me. I did not understand what happened at all. It went SO FAST. I looked up saw him, he was there, I was in his arms and then he was gone. But you know what? It turns out that a split-second hug from one your heroes does out-weight pretty much everything else. And actually, it was the best hug ever. Like, these arms – what? I just can’t describe it. Some things you just can’t understand until you’ve lived them.
Then, I was lost. Brooks and Matt were here and even Johnny but I remained in the corner. That was just too much reality for me to take in at once. And then that was it.
Despite that weird ending, I regret nothing. I didn’t need pictures with them. I saw them with my wide eyes. They were alive, we were breathing to the same rhythm, they were here for real, with me, so close and that’s it. I didn’t need more. And no, I’m not just saying this to cover up for my demons’ intrusion and that small pinch in the back of my heart. I just really didn’t feel like a pic. And that hug that came out of nowhere really just made me complete and happier!
This was the best night ever for me. And surely one of the most important too. I saw those heroes that have been keeping me together unknowingly for ages. I saw these humans that have been my best friends for years, through the good and the bad; they are real. I met a lovely person that I can only hope to see again. I smiled more than I cried in the past three years. I had a good time, felt alive and understood a few things too.
This night was fuel and one I’ll hold dearly in my heart forever. ❤