This led to our determination to see this fantastic group of men perform live. At the time the closest concert to us, that wasn’t already sold out, was in Northampton, MA on April 18, 2010. This is about a 2 hour drive for us, but we knew it would totally be worth it. We were far from disappointed. The concert flew by way too fast, and we were upset we could not listen to them longer. After leaving this concert we didn’t waste much time before buying our next set of tickets to see Straight No Chaser. This time we would see them in Boston on November 20, 2010. The wait from April to November was proving to be too difficult to bear, however, and we knew we would have to remedy this situation quickly! That’s when we remembered that during the concert in Northampton the guys had announced that they would be doing their summer gig in Atlantic City at Harrah’s Casino. We knew instantly that we would be making the 6 hour journey to see them that summer. There was no debating it!
Needless to say, we booked tickets to their last show at Harrah’s on August 28, 2010. We decided to get a hotel room at Harrah’s and make it a weekend extravaganza! We didn’t even care if they sang all of the same songs we heard in Northampton, we knew we were willing to make the sacrifice to see them again, no matter how far and long we had to travel. We were even able to introduce our friend, Mike, to the excellence of Straight No Chaser that weekend…although I’m not entirely sure why he decided it was a good idea to drive 6 hours to see 10 men with 2 girls?!
|View of Stage at Harrah's|
We entered the theatre in Harrah’s with as much joy and excitement as we had had for our first show (okay, maybe a little more). We didn’t care what they performed that night. We knew they would blow us away no matter what. They surely didn’t disappoint! Their Through the Decades with a Twist was unbelievably amazing. I got more and more happy and excited with every song and medley they performed. I remember the feeling of elation when they guys announced that they would be doing a meet and greet after the show. I knew without a doubt in my mind that we had to meet the guys who had brought so much joy, relaxation, stress-relief, fun, and laughter into our lives. This feeling was soon followed by a feeling of sadness when the guys then announced that this would be Dan Ponce’s last show with Straight No Chaser. I was saddened and dismayed at this news…how could they ever find someone who could possibly replace him??? The show ended with an extremely emotional rendition of “Up on the Roof”…seriously I don’t know how there possibly could have been a dry eye in the house! It was done without microphones and you could tell that this song meant something special to every single one of them. You could not help but feel something as Dan choked up while singing it.
As we picked up the broken pieces of our souls and left the theatre (I’m just kidding…I was an emotional wreck, but this statement is quite the exaggeration!) we began to think about the fact that we would soon be meeting Straight No Chaser! Amanda and I were completely willing to wait all night to meet them. As we approached the line, which extended onto the casino floor, our excitement for meeting these guys grew exponentially. Seriously, this day had been one emotional roller coaster! We purchased Straight No Chaser posters (because how good would that look on our walls!) and returned to the end of the line. At this point, Mike could no longer handle our “teen crazed” behavior, and decided he would wait for us at the bar…seriously still do not understand why he wanted to come! ... Although he did really enjoy the concert (I mean, come on, who wouldn’t ?!)
|Candid shot right after the Material Girls incident- Dave is being a goof!|
As Mike ventured to the bar, Amanda and I tried to wait patiently in line. We were positioned next to a band playing on the casino floor, and to be quite honest after seeing Straight No Chaser I’m surprised my ears weren’t bleeding, but none the less they provided some entertainment for us. Amanda and I were in such a giddy mood that we were jamming out to these far less than Straight No Chaser standard cover songs, and talking to all of the Chasers in our vicinity. This made the line seem to move rather quickly. As we got to the front of the line, I was so excited and overwhelmed I think I forgot how to breathe. The woman in front of us stopped to take a picture with Jerome, who was the first guy at the table, so we had to wait. At that moment, the casino band decided it would be a great time to do a cover of Madonna’s Material Girls, and Amanda and I couldn’t help but make fools out of ourselves in front of these men. Luckily, they were all having their own conversations, and Dave was the only one caught laughing at our shenanigans…he loved it!
|Mike, Megan, and Jerome|
Then, finally, it was our turn to meet Straight No Chaser! As we stepped up the stairs toward Jerome, it was unbelievable how instantly these guys were welcoming to their fans. Jerome introduced himself to us and asked us where we traveled from to see them. When we told him Boston he misheard me saying Austin. When I clarified that we were actually from Boston, MA he seemed a little bit more at ease, stating that Austin would be an awfully long way to travel to Atlantic City. I was then able to take a picture with Jerome and Mike (I told Amanda that if she took a picture of me with them, I would take her picture with Ryan. We didn’t want to be too greedy, knowing there were still a lot of people waiting to see these guys!) As we traveled down the line, the guys began to catch wind that we had traveled all the way from Boston just to see them perform. From a little way down the table we heard Ryan say, “You’re from Boston? We love Boston!” Our excitement continued to grow as we talked to each and every one of the guys. We also reassured them that we already had tickets to see them in November in Boston. They thought that was awesome. When we got to Tyler, he was excited that we were from Boston, and began telling us about his experiences with the Hyannis Sound for two summers. It was great to talk to him about Massachusetts, although to be honest, I didn’t do much talking, just a lot of staring and nodding… in a total state of shock! Ryan then told us that the radio stations in Boston were amazing to them, tapped Tyler on the shoulder, and they both began to sing the jingle for “Magic 106.7”!!!! Let the shock and amazement continue…I can no longer listen to this radio station without thinking of that moment; it always puts a smile on my face :-). We then asked if Amanda could take her picture with Ryan and Walt (of course they said yes). When the picture was taken, Ryan then looked at me as we were about to go and said, “Don’t you want one?” How could I seriously say no to that! After I begrudgingly (ok, ok joyously) took my picture with Ryan and Walt, we thanked the guys one last time and shook Dan’s hand (who looked sad and sullen at the end of the table :-(.
|Walt, Amanda, and Ryan|
There were mixed emotions as we left that table, sadness that we had to leave the guys, but pure elation at the same time. I have never felt that feeling of pure giddiness and happiness like that before. I remember going back up to our hotel room to deposit our posters (there was no way we were going to let anything happen to those), and jumping up and down with joy because of the experience we had! We then went and found Mike at the bar, and relived our memories of meeting Straight No Chaser over and over again…I think he may have wished he had stayed home at this point! On our car ride home, we played Straight No Chaser the entire way…yes all 6 hours of it…and we seriously felt like we were on Cloud Nine!
As the time elapsed from seeing Straight No Chaser again, the wait to the concert in November began to become unbearable again. One day I saw that they had two concerts in Rhode Island the day after the concert in Boston. Amanda and I instantly decided that there was no choice; we had to go to see them there. However, we didn’t just buy tickets to one of the shows, oh no! We bought tickets to both shows in Rhode Island. All of our family and friends thought/think we are CRAZY, however, we know that Straight No Chaser is completely worth it! They can seriously make any day better, whether it’s with Twitter, YouTube videos, blogs on their website, or just their CDs playing in my car on the way home, I know that I can count on them to put a smile on my face and put all my worries far behind me!
|Walt, Megan, and Ryan|
TO BE CONTINUED
P.S. The moment the blog was posted about their New Year’s Eve show in Reading, PA we both knew that we would be attending. There was absolutely no discussion! I received a text message that day from Amanda that just said, “NYE…PA?”, and I knew exactly what she was talking about without any mention of Straight No Chaser. My immediate response was an affirmative “Yes!” We bought tickets as soon as they went on sale. I know for a fact that as soon as that night is over, I will slip into a steep depression, however, I am excited for all of the Straight No Chasery Adventures to come. (And, yes that is not a typo; chasery has now become a part of my vocabulary and is used quite often in every day conversation!)