As Amanda described previously, we arrived in Gettysburg exhausted and excited. We settled down into our comfy Best Western Hotel beds for a good night’s sleep (at 9:30 in the morning). Luckily we were so exhausted that the hustle and bustle of the real world around us did not disturb our slumber (too much…there was just that one incident where a crazy man broke into our room, realized we were sleeping in our beds, apologized, and ran back out…I seriously cannot make this stuff up). Even our exhaustion, however, couldn’t stop our eyes from popping open at 1:30 in the afternoon (making that about a 4 hour cat nap instead of a full “nights” sleep). The excitement at that point was too overwhelming for us to even attempt to get more sleep, so naturally we started to get ready for the evening’s festivities.
We were showered and beautified by 2:30 pm and couldn’t hang around the hotel room any longer. We took this opportunity to go out and explore what Gettysburg had to offer. Neither of us could even fathom the idea of climbing back into a car, so we knew we would only see what was within walking distance from the hotel (due to sleep deprivation, that wouldn’t be too far). We wanted to scope out the concert venue and possible find some food (we hadn’t had a real meal since 8 pm Thursday night after all), so we headed in the direction of Gettysburg College.
We we’re casually walking down the street when all of a sudden Amanda exclaimed, “is that the stage!?” I replied, “uhh, maybe?” (I honestly had no idea, and we were too far away for me to tell for sure). As we got closer, we noticed that there were people on the stage…10 men to be exact, with beautiful singing voices. Naturally we stopped dead in our tracks. We couldn’t move closer to the stage (what if they noticed us?), but we obviously couldn’t walk away from the stage (I mean come on! Straight No Chaser was singing on it!). As we sat under the closest tree, trying not to vomit or pass out, we did the only thing we knew how to do…send an SOS via twitter to Dottie. We knew she had to be in the area because she had posted pictures of her on the stage! She tweeted us back saying she was on stage left. We were on stage right! So we sprinted behind the building to get to Dottie (we could not go in front of the stage…we were lucky we were even moving to see Dottie…going in front of the stage would have ruined it all). We knew we could survive the experience if we had other Chasers to support us. When we rounded the corner we saw Dottie, Kristin, and Becky sitting on a bench. We ran (okay we walked) over and gave them all hugs. It was like we had known them forever, even though we had only ever met Dottie before. Laura showed up while we were there. More hugs all around! We then had some shenanigans of our own, like taking pictures of each other with our electronic devices similar to the ones the guys post. Chasers are just too much fun! Sitting on the Gettysburg College campus with fellow Chasers, listening to Straight No Chaser as they sound checked, I had to pinch myself a few times. I wasn’t entirely positive that I wasn’t still dreaming in that comfortable bed back at the Gettysburg Hotel.
Amanda and I hadn’t planned on going to Tavern on the Green prior to the SNC concert. We were just going to hang around and grab some food near the venue, that way we could still get good seats without being at Tavern on the Green. This crazy lady (who not too surprisingly comes into play again later) informed us that we had to wait outside the green barriers or there was no way she would be able to control who sat where for the concert. Really? We’re just two girls, and it’s almost 4 hours before the concert starts. Plus we were on the lawn…we definitely wouldn’t be staying there for the concert! We obeyed (we are rule followers after all, well most of the time) and left the green fenced in area. We sat in the grass behind the building instead. As we sat there, talking casually about Chasers we had met and what awesomeness was to come, I happened to glance up at the building that we were sitting behind. I half yelled, half whispered, and half hyperventilated (ok I do teach math and know that that is more than a whole, but it sounds better than I a third yelled…don’t judge) “Look who’s coming down the stairs!!!” It was Walt and Seggie! I can’t speak for Amanda (but I’m totally going to anyway) when I say this, but we totally felt like creepy stalkers in that moment. We sat, glued to that nice grassy spot, and watch those two men drive away. Oh well, it could have been worse. We could have made fools out of ourselves instead of just staring at them awkwardly (sometimes you just have to embrace the “stalker” status).
As all the Chasers gathered for dinner, we couldn’t sit and watch any longer, so we purchased tickets (we always joke that we would totally drink the Kool Aide) and the epicness commenced! When we had all gathered for dinner, Kary had buttons for everyone and we had glow stick bracelets that we shared with all the Chasers. We all looked awesome for the show! Amanda and I also added leis to our outfits that light up. They were to replace our Christmas lights…they seemed a little be out of season for such an event. They looked fabulous!
Around 6 pm Tara could no longer wait to pick her seat for the show (they weren’t going to let us pick our seats until 6:30), so she started a line (just like any good teacher would), which conveniently consisted of only Chasers. The other people clearly didn’t know what they were doing. Our good friend Wes came over and told us we could go pick our seats, but apparently he was wrong. The Festival Nazi (this may sound harsh, but no one can be that mean all the time…what was her deal?) informed us that we could not pick our seats until 6:30 because it would be unfair for everyone else…well then they should have paid to be at the Tavern on the Green and be dedicated Chasers like us who care more about our seat locations than our growling stomachs….come on now! If she wasn’t careful the next Battle of Gettysburg may have happened right then and there (Chasers vs. Festival Workers). 42 to 1 are not very good odds for her. Luckily Phyllis (a much nicer festival worker) and “The Voice of Twitter” came to our rescue and were able to allow us to pick our seats at 6:28…as long as we didn’t cause a scene and there was no running or pushing. I think we can handle that…Chasers are very civilized people after all. Amanda, Laura, and myself passed the time by playing a nice game of "Mother, May I?"...we were trying to get closer to the seats, in an inconspicuous way. After our seats were chosen, with purple name tags to stake our claim, it was safe for us to return to the dinner and satisfy our growling tummies…finally!
|Yay! Chasers together!!!|
Before the concert started, all of the Chasers gathered at the front of the stage for a group photo. That was too cool to have all of the Chasers together for one photo! As we made our way back to our seats we could hear whispers from the crowd around us…obviously we’re a big deal! The woman sitting next me had to ask me what was going on. When I explained that we were all huge fans of Straight No Chaser and we had “met up” for the concert, she seemed impressed. She asked us where we had traveled from (and was shocked when we told her Boston), and then how many shows we had been to (this is our 7th!!!). She was surprised and I even believe she used the word “hardcore” to describe us. Then she asked the silliest question ever (but surprisingly she wasn’t the only one to ask)…how do you become a Chaser? Really?! Why don’t you watch the concert and then ask me that question…Chaser = fan of Straight No Chaser, if you enjoyed the show, and are in turn a fan, then you are a Chaser…not too difficult a concept, right? Wrong! She actually asked me a few times during the concert if I “chased” any other groups. How many different ways can I say no before she understands and just enjoys the magnificence before her. Luckily by the end of the concert she was able to turn to me and say, “I understand how you have seen these guys so many times, they’re fantastic!” Finally she understood!
|Dottie, I just borrowed this for a minute.|
The concert itself was pretty uneventful. Wow, I can’t even say that with a straight face. That’s a complete lie. The guys were hysterical, amazing, and wonderful like usual, despite the blistering heat. Even with their mess ups they were still the definition of pure awesomeness. I will not elaborate much more. There were so many Chasers there that everything was caught on film and I will let you enjoy this awesomeness for yourself. They ended the show with the 12 Days of Christmas (ya know, to cool down the place a bit) and then Ryan totally told us he liked our leis (AMAZING!)…it was sort of a déjà vu moment for me. Just like when he noticed our Christmas lights back in November!
Then it was finally Meet and Greet time. Not that I would ever wish away a concert, but sometimes the Meet and Greets (or Greet and Meets as I like to call them) are the most memorable part of the concert experience. Amanda and I headed to the back of the line with the rest of the Chasers (duh…there’s just no other way to do it). We were the front of the Chaser group, so we had “new” chasers in front of us. They asked us questions about being a Chaser and we’re also impressed with the fact that we had traveled all the way from Boston to see these guys in Gettysburg. Behind us in line we had Kim, Tara, and Annie singing “Baby Monkey”. Let the Chaser Shenanigans begin!
Finally it was our turn at the Meet and Greet line (although it really wasn’t that long of a line and the wait seemed like a nanosecond with all the shenanigans going on). We handed our CDs to Mike who was the first one at the table (we both had the With a Twist album that they released in the UK and Amanda also had Mike’s solo album to be signed).
Mike: How did you get this? (Referring to WAT UK)
Me: We’re just that good.
Mike: (laughing) Oh, I see how it is
Funny conversation between Ryan and Walt about the buttons Kary made:
Walt: (glancing away from our WAT UK and noticing our Spongewalt buttons) Hey, where’d you get those buttons? From DaisyKary?
Ryan: I think her name is just Kary.
Ryan always shocks me in the Meet and Greet lines. You would think that I would be used to it by now, but he never ceases to amaze me. After greeting us by name and sincerely asking how we were doing, this is how he began our conversation:
Ryan: I just wanted to let you girls know that I subscribe to your blog. Well I don’t subscribe to it, but I have it bookmarked. I like to know what Chasers are up to.
It is so unreal to me to even think that any of the guys glance at this blog, never mind read it and have it bookmarked. He is seriously too cool. The guys also wanted to know if we would be coming down to Harrah’s this summer to check out the show:
Ryan and Randy: Are we going to see you this summer at Harrahs?
Me: of course! We’ll be there for a week in July and then Labor Day Weekend.
Randy: A week!
Me: Yup, the week of July 18th.
Amanda: We’re going to shows on the 18th, 19th, and 20th!
Ryan and Randy:(shocked looks on their faces).
Seggie of course could not let us pass by without some sort of shenanigan going on:
Seggie: Are you British?
Me: I always wanted to be British.
Seggie (extremely confused look on his face): Why???
Me: I don’t know, they have really cool accents.
Seggie: But everyone has accents.
(Touché, Mr. Isho, you are talking to someone from Boston after all.)
More conversations about our WAT UK:
Tyler (to Amanda, mimicking Seggie): Are you British? Did you get this from amazon.uk?
(You are correct, Mr. Trepp. We were stealthy and ordered it off Amazon’s UK site.)
Don: This must have cost you a million dollars.
Charlie: (to Don) No, we’re not that good…
(to us) You know we have a new CD coming out soon, right?
(little did we know he was dropping hints about the new box set…with the same cover as the UK cd…no wonder the guys were so confused!)
Most of the guys commented on how fabulous our light-up leis were. Jerome admitted that he hadn’t seen them when he was on stage, and he wasn’t quite sure how. I’m not sure either, we were practically glowing from head to toe. We told them that it just didn’t seem right to wear Christmas lights in June. Leis are for the summer and Christmas lights are for the winter. Charlie made me extremely happy when he said this:
Charlie: You girls one upped yourselves with those leis. I noticed them on stage!
After we went through the line we hung out with the other Chasers for a bit as they talked with Blake and Richard! (or Korby as he’s commonly referred to). It was so cool to see them have casual conversation with the Chasers. We then decided that we should probably head back to the hotel, seeing as we didn’t drive and we had planned the Chaser Meet-up for after the show. It only made sense that we were there to ensure everything happened smoothly. We approached the end of the Meet and Greet line to inform Dottie, Kristin, Becky, and Laura that we would catch up with them at the hotel. When we reached them, however, we got to talking about how nervous Kristin was about seeing them. So what did we do? We went through the Meet and Greet line again (for Kristin’s sake, of course). This lead to more shenanigans:
DR: No, you’re only allowed in the meet and greet once (laughter) I’m just kidding.
Walt: That’s weird, didn’t two girls that look just like you come through here.
Seggie (shouting from the other end of the table): Are you British?
And for one of the most memorable conversations to date with Ryan:
Ryan: So where are you girls actually from, Massachusetts or Rhode Island?
Amanda: Massachusetts. I live about 20 minutes from Boston.
Me: Yup, and I live about an hour and a half from Boston.
Ryan: So how do you know each other?
Me: We went to college together.
Ryan and Walt: So where’d you go to college?
Me: Bridgewater State College
Ryan: (confused look) Where?
(it’s alright, Ryan, most people in Massachusetts don’t even know where Bridgewater State is either)
Me: Bridgewater State College
Amanda: Actually it’s Bridgewater State University
Walt: Ohhh, right I knew that.
Me: (laughing) it’s fine; they just recently changed the name after we graduated.
Ryan: Hahvud, Hahvud, Hahvuhd
Ryan: Growing up, my sister was a cheerleader. I remember her going to cheer at schools in Massachusetts. There was this one time where they were cheering on the Bears and they would do this joke where they would make fun of the Boston accent: Give me a B…B, Give me an E…E, Give me an A…A, Give me an Ahhhh….Ahhh?
(Amanda and I laughed at this, but inwardly we both questioned what was wrong with that cheer. R isn’t a letter in the alphabet after all…or is it?)
Ryan: So you guys were The Fighting…
Amanda and I (glancing at each other before saying): Bears!
Ryan, Walt, Amanda and Myself: hysterical laughter
As we jokingly decided to go through the Meet and Greet line a third time, and I tried to take Mike’s seat when he left so I could give out my autographs (I think the security guards spotted me…woops), Richard! announced that the guys would do group photos for anyone who wanted them. We were totally willing to wait until Atlantic City seeing as we needed to head back to the hotel and my camera really doesn’t like to take pictures in the dark. Dottie graciously offered to use her camera (thanks, Dottie! You rock!), and we joined the guys for a photo. As we approached the guys, Seggie had to shout “Hey, are you guys British?” I answered with an affirmative, “yes!” The picture was taken (I have to say it looks awesome with our light-up leis), and the guys (most likely Ryan specifically) wished us safe travels back to Boston! They are just too awesome!
Stay tuned for more shenanigans at our Chaser Meet-up!!!!