Our spontaneous Manchester adventure got me home around 1:30 AM the morning of the Boston concert. With a mere 3 hours of sleep behind me, I left for work thinking there could not be enough coffee in the world to keep me going. As my work day progressed, however, I became super hyper (I made lots of silly comments and I think some dancing may have occurred at some point…what was wrong with me?). Many of my students had never seen me like this before. They seemed to find it quite amusing. I don’t know if it was the lack of sleep, the large amount of caffeine I had pumped into my body, the memories from the previous night, or my excitement to see SNC in Boston (it very well may have been a combination of all four), but I was out of control. How could I control myself when the most anticipated day of the year had arrived? Well, at least for Amanda and I that is. Straight No Chaser was in our hometown and we were loving it!
When I got home from work, I had big plans of packing for Baltimore and getting ready for the show that night (maybe even squeeze in a quick nap). I wanted to be ready so that I could head straight to Amanda’s apartment when she got out of work. During this time, however, the guys began tweeting about the things they were doing in Boston. Naturally, I got distracted from all of my plans. Ryan and Don had ventured to the Museum of Science (one of our all time favorite places to go) and I was so excited they were there. I had to suppress the urge to abandon everything and go straight to the museum myself.
Before I knew it, Amanda had gotten home from work and I still hadn’t packed a thing for Baltimore yet. I attempted to focus for a nanosecond and packed everything I needed (or so I thought) as quickly as I could. When I got to Amanda’s I realized I didn’t pack any t-shirts for non-concert time, and my sleepwear was conveniently left at home as well. I decided I could make do with what I had packed, but I would have to stop at the merch table and buy a t-shirt (I never once considered calling my parents and asking them to bring me clothes…I was meeting them at the Wang for the concert…guess I just need an excuse to add some more SNC apparel to my wardrobe).
|From the Boston Dictionary (like Ryan's)|
Seeing as I arrived at Amanda’s super early (again) and we obviously left for the show as soon as I got there (duh), we were left waiting in the parking garage yet again hours before the doors were open. Eventually we couldn’t wait any longer and decided to make our way over to the Wang. As we stood at the corner across from the Wang, waiting for the light to change so we could cross the street (and not be killed by the crazy Bawstin dryviz); out of the corner of my eye I spotted a dark, hooded figure approaching me. As he got closer, naturally all of my guards went up. When he was practically in my face…he got really close to me… I turned slowly to look at him (not sure what he was going to do next). As I recognized who it was I breathed a huge sigh of relief and exclaimed, “HI!” It was Jerome! Amanda recognized my change in demeanor and dropped her guards too. Jerome should be more careful, we probably would have taken him down if it had taken us any longer to realize it was him.
Amanda and Jerome then had a pretty funny conversation practically in the middle of the Boston street. I remember participating in the conversation, but I honestly don’t know what I said. It was probably all nonsensical anyway…my heart was still racing from the scare I had just experienced (thanks, Jerome).
Amanda: You scared the crap out of me!
Jerome (whispering): I’m on vocal rest (he looked really cold. Upon further inspection he was all bundled up like he was ready to experience the weather of the tundra)
Amanda: I’m so cold. I hope they let us in soon
Jerome: What time do they open the doors? Go over to that karaoke bar.
Amanda: Sorry, I can’t come to the show tonight. I’m going to the karaoke bar.
Jerome (stopping in the middle of the street): You guys!
Jerome: I wish we could stay in Boston, but we have to go to Baltimore.
Amanda: We’ll race you there.
Jerome: Are you serious?
Amanda: We were going to stow away on the bus, maybe offer to clean the bus for you.
Jerome (thinking face): that could go a long way. I’ll have to run it by the guys. Have to go, see you girls later.
Amanda and I laughed about the experience as we walked toward the Wang. It was seriously so surreal. Thankfully the Wang allowed us to wait in the lobby by the box office out of the cold. This was also helpful seeing as I had to pick up my parents’ tickets (they had accidently thrown theirs away and I had to get replacements…they had been a gift and I had left them in the Citibank envelope, apparently they thought this was a piece of my junk mail…woops. I am so glad the Wang was so easy to work with when it came time to fix this horrible situation). Once we got the tickets, we still had some time to wait and my parents hadn’t arrived yet. We spent this time discussing our encounter with Jerome, which received strange looks from people standing near us. My parents arrived shortly after, and we retold the story to them. They laughed, they were getting used to our crazy stories and weren’t surprised that something like that had happened.
Moments after we were let into the venue, we met up with Vicky at the merch table. I had to buy my SNC shirt so I would have clothing for the following day (plus, who was I kidding…I really wanted that shirt). My parents had gone in search of a restroom and drinks. We told Vicky to enjoy the show and that we would meet up with her after. With shirt acquired, we went to find our own seats in the mezzanine. We were third row in the mezzanine and had a magnificent view of the stage. My parents were the next row over from us; there was literally an aisle and one person in between us. They watched as Amanda and I prepared for the show, laughing as we adorned ourselves in lights and glow stick bracelets (which we also shared with them). We couldn’t get yelled at again. Seggie had told us to never NOT wear our lights again after all.
During this time we also spotted Terry and Tracy a few rows above us in the balcony. They informed us that Valerie had made it here safely from the UK and was sitting down below about seven rows back from the stage. Amanda and I thought it was a perfectly good idea to look over the edge of the mezzanine and try and find Val (who currently was not in her seat). One of the ushers saw us and immediately came over and yelled at us for leaning over…I understand his concern (and this is his job), but I highly doubt either of us would put ourselves in a situation that would harm ourselves in any way. Especially not tonight.
We settled back into our seats and got ready for the show to begin. Like usual we were super excited. It was nice to sit in the mezzanine because we had no obstructions. Up here we were also able to witness the mastery of Blake’s light work. It was fantastic. There are a lot of light details that go unnoticed when your seats are so close to the stage. The Boston crowd was the rowdiest crowd we had been in yet (not too surprising) and we were loving all the enthusiasm from both the guys and the audience. At one point during the first half of the show, Ryan pointed at us. During the intermission, my dad looked over at us and said, “Ryan pointed at you!” I know dad, I saw. I think he was starting to understand why we love these guys so much.
The show resumed, and the crowd was rowdier than ever. Boston really loves these guys. During their introductions, it was apparent that all of the guys enjoyed Boston as well; from the a capella history in Boston, Charlie’s wife attending Boston Conservatory, and Tyler’s connection to the Hyannis Sound. Ryan’s introduction was particularly special. When he introduced himself he said, “I’d like to thank my friend Mahky Mahk for coming to the show tonight, oh and Hahvuhd, Hahvuhd, Havuhd.” We noticed the people in our vicinity seemed confused by this, but Amanda and I were in hysterics. This was Ryan’s subtle shout-out to us, but I wouldn’t be surprised if most people in the audience really thought Mark Walberg was in attendance. It was awesome! The guys received multiple standing ovations from the Boston audience. During the final one we received some recognition and waves from Ryan. He really knows how to make us feel loved!
The show was over, but the excitement hadn’t ended quite yet. We met Valerie, Terry, Tracy, and Vicky in the lobby before heading down to the meet and greet. I introduced them to my parents. I can’t even remember everything we talked about, but I can honestly tell you that my parents were out of control. They like to tease me and threaten to tell the guys things that could be embarrassing. My mom even joked that she had naked baby pictures hidden in her purse…oh my. I’m not going to lie. Having my parents in the meet and greet line was something I had been dreading all week. I love my parents dearly, but I wasn’t quite sure what they were going to say and I was definitely on edge.
The Wang sets up their meet and greet line much like Disney’s amusement park rides. As we snaked our way closer to the front of the line, the guys started to spot us and many of them waved at us when they noticed us in line. This gave them the opportunity to start their conversations with us before it was even our turn to talk to them (this is my open apology to anyone standing in front of the guys at this time…I cannot control what they do). Walt took this time to examine our outfits. He had told us the last time that there must be some law stating that we are required to dress alike (I have accordingly dubbed this law “Walt’s Law”). He told us our outfits were much better and not too similar. He then stated, “Here’s the thing, I wouldn’t mind if you coordinated with me. Call me. We’ll coordinate together.” We’ll make sure we do that next time, Walt. Seggie than motioned to our lights and exclaimed, “Much better! I saw you guys up there.” Phew, one angry Seggie avoided for now. After this encounter I just turned to my parents and simple stated, “So there are my 10 best friends.” They shook their heads in disbelief, but thought it was pretty cool that we could interact with these guys like that.
Then it was actually our turn with the guys. Our conversation started a little like this:
Amanda (to Mike): Do you ever get sick of seeing us?
Jerome: did I scare you?
Amanda: I told you that you scared the crap out of me. Our MA attitudes came out and we almost took you out!
Jerome then told Mike and Randy the story of how he put his hood up and scared us on the street.
Randy: Did you really?
Jerome (laughing): yeah I did!
He was so proud of what he did. Jerome then held our hands and smiled at us. I think he thought that would make up for scaring at us. Jerome, you were right. It did.
I then introduced my parents to Mike and Jerome:
Megan: These are my parents
Jerome: Wow! I thought she was your sister.
Megan: I know, right?!
Once my parents had been introduced the guys I spent my time trying to pay attention to Amanda’s conversations, my own conversations, and my parents conversations. I would not be surprised if I forgot most of the details. I remember telling the guy in front of me that “these are my parents” then running to the next guy before I actually heard what they were talking about. With a little collaboration with Amanda, this is how I recall the rest of the meet and greet going down:
Randy: I saw your lights during fix you
Amanda: we had to make sure we wore them. Seggie yelled at us last night. He’s such a jerk.
Megan: it’s true. He is a jerk.
Randy (to Don): Did you hear that? They called Seggie a jerk.
Randy proceeded to gave us high fives (twice…he wasn’t satisfied with the first high fives we gave him). Don then asked us about our seats in the mezzanine. We told him that we enjoyed them because we had an unobstructed view of the stage and the lights looked amazing up there. Don than said, “we pay Blake too much. No one even sees the lights.” Charlie than asked us if that was our first time sitting up there. When we told him no it wasn’t, he exclaimed, “What is wrong with you?!” Sorry, Charlie, we can’t have front row seats every time. That would just be greedy of us.
When we got to Ryan the usher ironically told us to “keep it moving”. Ryan stated, “Oh, they’re strict here in Bawstin”. Yes they are, Ryan and apparently they were warned that we can get a bit chatty with you. We continued moving, but not before I introduced Ryan to my parents. He seemed happy to have the opportunity to meet them.
While I was introducing my parents to Ryan, Amanda had a conversation with DR about the local wine we had given him this summer in Atlantic City:
Amanda: So, we keep forgetting to ask you, did you ever ge to try the Cape Cod wine we got you?
DR: Yes! It was a bit too sweet for my liking, but it wasn’t bad.
Amanda: They didn’t have all their wines bottled yet, but we wanted it to be from Cape Cod and that was our favorite of the ones we tried.
Ryan: Cape Cawd
DR: Oh, don’t worry, I drank it anyway. I never waste wine.
We then moved over to Seggie who apologized for not making it to the Union Oyster House for clam chowder. Apparently his schedule was very busy and he had to fit in a much needed haircut.
Amanda: Yeah, that’s fine. I just told Randy you were a jerk!
Tyler: Oooh! (burn!)
Seggie: I’m a jerk?!
Amanda: Yes, for yelling at us last night!
Seggie: I didn’t yell! I simply stated my opinion.
Amanda: NO! You pointed at us and said, “Don’t EVER do that again!”
Seggie: I felt like a piece of me was missing!
Megan: So let me get this straight. When I don’t wear MY lights, a piece of YOU is missing?
Seggie: Yes! That’s what I said.
Amanda: I better get new batteries by tomorrow then!
Tyler made a confused face at Seggie. Don’t worry, Tyler. We’re not too sure how a piece of him is missing either. We didn’t talk much with him (or at least I don’t remember speaking to him). I told him these were my parents and quickly ran to Walt where Amanda was asking him where all her stuff was.
Amanda: Where’s all my stuff?!
Walt: Well, I put them in order of how they come down! (He is very organized)
Amanda: Are you going to do group pictures? Last year they told us no.
Walt: Yeah! We are!
I made sure my parents got their signed tickets from Walt and we moved out of the way to wait for group pictures. I sent my parents to get their picture with the guys first and handed Richard my camera. He joked with me saying this camera looked familiar. I don’t know why, Richard. They guys serenaded my parents by singing “Megan’s fam” during the picture. They all seemed really happy to meet them. Then Amanda and I took our picture with the guys. After the picture Amanda turned around and said, “Walt, what should we wear tomorrow?” Walt simply replied, “I’ll text ya.” We simultaneously said okay (as if that was a perfectly normal response from Walt). This resulted in laughter from the rest of the guys.
Once all of the group pictures were done, a local a capella group from Algonquin Regional High School, Algonqapella, sang for the guys. They were amazing and all of the guys (including Richard, who tried to get us to clap along) seemed really impressed with this high school group’s abilities. We walked out of the venue with these high schoolers and my mom struck up a conversation with some of them (she just can’t help herself). Outside the Wang I said goodbye to my parents and they thanked me for taking them to see Straight No Chaser. They were heading home and I was heading to Amanda’s. We would be heading to Baltimore early in the morning after all. Our week long SNC adventure wasn’t quite over yet.
We made our way back to the parking garage and into Amanda’s car without being attacked by anyone this time. We were reminiscing about the day’s events as we drove down the streets of Boston. We spotted the buses and logically got SUPER excited! There was someone crouched down near the side of the bus (on the side with the traffic) and I joked with Amanda telling her to try not to hit him. As we got closer we realized it was RYAN! Amanda slammed on her brakes, and I believe there was some yelling and frantic waving before she drove away. I don’t know how Ryan didn’t see us, we were out of control. Right after this encounter I did the most logical thing possible…I tweeted Ryan:
racer8and9: @ryansongs RYAN! We just almost hit you while you were crouching down putting stuff in the bus. BE CAREFUL!
@ryansongs: @racer8and9 I was wondering who that was! Thanks for not hitting me. Baltimore tomorrow would've been super awkward.
I do believe it is safe to say that we laughed our entire way home. We were so happy with all of the events of the day and we couldn’t wait to see what Baltimore would bring the next day. Not only would we be able to see Straight No Chaser again, but we were also excited to reunite with many of our Chaser friends!