So, we meet again my friends. This is that coveted time where I can reminisce with Megan and ward off the SNC depression for just a little bit longer (it has been showing up increasingly sooner with every passing concert.) I think I figured out why this happens though….Every time we travel somewhere we end up having so much fun with other chasers and the guys that when it’s over and we have to return to real life it all seems so boring and mundane in comparison. And Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t get depressed over that.
Anyways (she proclaimed setting aside her “woe is me” attitude) this road trip started out like any of our other ones, with very little sleep, more coffee/caffeine than can be healthy for one person and shenanigans. Lots of shenanigans. The laughter started promptly at 430am as we hit the road. Before long our bodies were craving the caffeine we both normally consume in preparation for work so we stopped at by far the fanciest rest stop either one of us had ever been to. Naturally we classed up the place by busting out our “sunstache” glasses (at this point, they aren’t a secret but more on them later.) Things seemed to be going well and then all of a sudden traffic came to an abrupt halt. We had been expecting traffic but this was no rush hour traffic. Oh no, this was car in park, get out, and walk around for a bit traffic. We took this time to people watch. We watched a man SO into his air guitar that I thought he’d give himself whiplash, a woman (maybe? Hard to be sure. We just called them “Pat”) driving a school bus who frankly looked homicidal, and a little girl painted on the back of a MAC truck chasing after her ball. All very exciting stuff, I know. After sitting in the parking lot that is more commonly referred to as 95 for about an hour, we were able to get back on our way and it was smooth sailing the rest of the way.
|View for an hour|
We were nearing our destination and we had hit the point in the drive where we literally do 5 mph down the street trying to find the next street we need to turn on to. At one point we got to the top of a hill and as we went over the other side we both become VERY nervous and let out a little “AHH!” because for some reason we had the irrational fear of just falling down the hill uncontrollably. You know that feeling when you’re sitting in the first car on a rollercoaster and you’ve just reached the top and you’re about to go downhill. Yeah, that feeling. It’s the WHOLE reason I avoid roller coasters. When we got to the hotel, we immediately saw Cindy in the parking lot and then again at the front desk. The chasers had officially begun to arrive. This had been the first time that when we called ahead our rooms were actually ready early when we got there. SUCCESS! The man working at the front desk asked us if we had ever seen SNC before. (Although, come to think of it, I don’t recall telling him that’s what we were there for?) We made our way up to the room and proceeded to melt into our beds. They were SO comfortable; Megan even contemplated bringing along one of her pillows to the concert. We would apparently be sitting in the “sleepy time” section of the audience. I managed to muster all the energy I had left and dragged myself into the bathroom to begin the getting ready process. When I came out, I found Megan, * surprise, surprise * napping in bed. I swear that girl naps more than anyone I know! After a while we had some visitors at our door. It was Tara and Jenn! Yay! They didn’t stay very long but we wouldn’t have any prolonged separation after that. At 4:45pm, we made our way to the lobby to wait and watch the elevators for other chasers. Most of the people getting on and off the elevators, though, were part of some wedding. That tidbit of information will be relevant later, so save it. Finally, the doors opened and the bunch of hooligans we were waiting for arrived. Then we walked our behinds to the Sovereign Center.
As we made our way into the venue, we were tempted to go exactly where we had gone for NYE. I won’t lie I don’t like change and I’m sure I was a bit stand offish when the guy tried to direct me into the venue a different route. Oops. We were seated at a table with Jenn, Tara, Marna, Annie, Julie, and 4 other people (forgive me, if you’re reading this and I can’t remember your name! Its just that I’m a horrible person.) The drinks started flowing almost immediately (or maybe that’s why I can’t remember your names?) We were having a blast laughing, talking, and just enjoying each other’s company. Before we knew it Richard was bringing the guys out. During the first song, Africa, they were on the other side of the room where we were having dinner (It was really just the other half of the venue blocked off by a curtain) so to us the song was on the softer side. I could hear chatter going on behind me, I don’t think I ever turned around to see what was happening but I’m sure it was chasers partaking in the usual shenanigans.
The guys finally made the long trek to our side of the room (so long that Ryan needed to steal a salad off one of the tables along the way. He returned it, or at least I think so. I don’t remember him singing the next song whilst munching a salad.) They opened the floor for questions but I missed the first one because while the guys were being asked questions we had our own interrogation to deal with from Seggie. We weren’t wearing our lights at the dinner and he stepped out of the line they were standing in and questioned us about where they were. Luckily, we were able to evade the wrath of Seggie because our lights were stored safely in our purses.
One of the next questions to be asked was regarding summer tour dates. They started naming dates and places of where they would be. No one mentioned the all important (to me and Megan, at least) Cape Cod shows so, I took it upon myself to yell out “Cape Cod!” (Or cawd) several times. Finally, someone said Cape Cod and Cohasset, which to us is practically the same place. Don made a confused face and hand gesture. I’m not sure if he was asking us if those two places were lumped together or if we would be attending (the hand gesture was versatile. He kind of pointed two fingers at us and criss-crossed them) but it didn’t really matter because the answer to both questions was “yes”
The guys proceeded to sing one more song for us (12 days) I could tell something was going on behind me because whenever one the guys glanced over they would give a weird/confused look. Apparently, they didn’t know a guest star would be joining them for that song. It was Gumby and he made a hilarious cameo in Jenn’s recording of the song. The guys were inquisitive of Gumby, but we just played it off as completely normal because for us, it was. Sorry guys, you’re outside of the loop on this one. When the song was over, the guys left and we were coerced into the venue area with the promise of more drinks, good music, and the potential need for a bathroom.
Once in the venue area, Megan and I had one simple mission. Find Blake and give him the birthday card we had gotten for him. A task easier said than done. We did manage to spot him once but we were in the midst of a conversation with chasers and he was moving too swiftly for us to get to him. The chasers walked away but we were holding our ground, waiting for Blake to make his undoubted return. We were left with glow sticks on our heads, feeling downtrodden and defeated. We decided to just camp out in front of his little area until he returned. We also used this time for photo ops with the other chasers, chatting with Trist, and playing Gumby Adventures with Tara. Finally, Blake dutifully returned to his post and our mission was a success! Upon giving it to him, he thanked us and then asked “But why are you yelling at me?” We had written “BLAKE!” on the front of it. As we walked away, our answer was simple, “We were just SO excited to give it to you!”
|Helping out Blake|
At this point, we had just about 10 minutes before the show was set to start but that wasn’t going to stop us from playing a few more rounds of Gumby Adventures with Tara. We took pictures of him in all sorts of fun places (I guess, he would be kind of like a flat, only not flat and made of clay. Also, he’s green.) We decided with moments to spare that we would make our way to our seats. Our entire row was already seated and our seats were smack in the middle of the row. Needless to say, we were a huge inconvenience to everyone we were sitting around. Not to mention we were dressed, well actually, make that lit, obnoxiously. The lights went down and naturally, our ridiculous looking sunglasses went on. I’m not sure any of the guys actually saw the mustaches attached but the neon, glow in the dark, pink sunglasses were enough to warrant some interesting looks from the guys. We were unable to keep them on any longer than Get Ready for the sole reason that we couldn’t see any thing, just shadows and that’s an unfortunate way to spend an awesome concert. During Buddy Holly, we were silently questioned as to where our Buddy Holly Glasses were. I promptly retrieved mine from my bag and put them on. Megan, however, did not. She spent the entire song struggling through her bag trying to find them. It has gotten to the point where Megan and I need to bring an arsenal of supplies to shows with us and make sure they are strategically placed in our bags for easy access. If anything is missing, the guys no longer let it slide. The concert was completely captivating. It had been the first time we’d seen the show since any of their new songs were introduced. When the show ended, I was in complete awe; the last song had literally blown my mind. I won’t lie; I have love for LMFAO.
When the show ended, we left the venue (because why would we stay?) and got into the LONGEST LINE EVER! Okay, maybe not, but it certainly felt that way. I don’t normally mind the wait in the line because it gives me time to get my random, crazy, and possibly inappropriate comments out of my system before I get to the first person at the table, but the people standing behind us in this line we’re super annoying. They were complaining that they didn’t want to stand in the line and that it was too long and blah blah blah. It was literally painful to listen to. Luckily, we were able to tune it out with the sound of our own laughter as we chatted with other chasers in the line. As we neared that table, and saw Richard pacing the front of the line, we were reminded that we had a birthday card for him as well. (I swear we were like a Hallmark store that night.) When we were finally able to steal a minute of Richard’s time to give him his card, we were literally standing in front of Charlie so we had only moments to spare. Richard opened his card right then and thanked us. He then told us that our card would go on his “wall of fame”, he described what it looked like and it actually sounded pretty cool (he could have just been humoring us but hey it made us smile.) It’s also possible, that he was saying that just to get on our good side because his next move would be to use his “executive power” and cut us in the line to send down a couple shirts to get signed. (I think it was for one of the guys’ family members? Maybe Walt?) We certainly didn’t care, which is probably why he chose that opportunity. I jokingly said “Oh hey, don’t worry about me! By all means, YOU go first!” Charlie heard this and said “Don’t worry, I can talk and sign at the same time!”
|A Mechling always repays his debts|
It was okay though, I needed this time to decide what I would have signed, since it hadn’t crossed my mind to do so the entire time we were standing in line. I turned to Megan and asked “Do you think the signatures would smudge on this”, holding up my lanyard from the dinner. Charlie then informed me that the only way to find out was for him to try it and that we should “Live life on the edge.” We also took this time to show off our amazing pink sunstache glasses. They were an instant hit. I immediately pulled out the extra pair we had found. They were just regular black rimmed glasses (think Buddy Holly) with clear lenses but attached by a little chain was a black mustache. I asked Charlie if he thought any of the guys would be willing to wear it the next night when they sang Buddy Holly. I don’t think I even finished the question before he grabbed them and put them in his jacket pocket. Apparently, he had accepted the challenge. *more on that to follow * I knew I should have bet Megan money because when we had just bought the glasses I remember saying to her “I bet either Charlie or Ryan would wear them.” Anyways, either we talk super fast or the line had been held up because we spent a good amount of time just standing in front of Charlie. He told us that we had had some competition with all the glow sticks in the audience that night. The knee jerk reaction (not to be taken offensively) was a stern point and a simultaneous “NO WE DIDN’T!” He just laughed. The last thing I (well, we but I was put in charge of giving it to him) did before leaving Charlie was give him birthday card (if you’re counting, that’s 3). I had written “Chazzmatic!” on the front. When Charlie saw this he laughed, showed Randy, and then said, “We also would have accepted ‘Chastasic!’” I told him that since he had written his birthday on my calendar under “Chazzmatic” (in an effort to confuse me) that we had decided it would be appropriate on the front of his card.
I slide my way down to Tyler, and proceed to say hello to him. Megan and I had a couple questions we wanted to ask him, mostly pertaining to Hyannis Sound. I decide that before I asked anything I would wait for Megan to finish her up her conversation. That plan didn’t go as planned. We said hello to Tyler and I think I heard him say, “Hey girls!” But the security guard who had tapped me on the shoulder and told me to move along was distracting me from any further conversation with Tyler. So I moved down to Randy and just rolled my eyes. He so kindly told me “don’t worry about them.” I wasn’t worried, just annoyed. Randy also told us that there was a lot of glowy stuff in the audience. He asked us if ours were battery operated and we told him yes. He then told us that every time he and the guys see light up stuff in the audience it always makes them think of us. (insert collective “aww” here)
As we shuffled our way down the line, racing ahead of the things we were having signed, we came to a complete stop at Ryan and DR…actually reverse that order. Although the first thing I said to either one of them was “I LOOK RIDICULOUS!” and the response I got from Ryan was hysterical and yet all it was, was a simple, “why?” My answer was just as simple, “well, just look at me!” The headband was really driving me crazy but I was not about to let it win this battle. Ryan then said “I feel like I haven’t seen you in SO LONG!” Megan responded with, “Yeah, 122 days! But who’s counting” and DR retorted with, “obviously not you.” Nope. Lets blame Don, shall we? He did the math and told us in Atlantic City that it was 152 days and we then shaved off 30 of those days by going to Tampa, leaving us with 122. I gave DR his birthday card (that’s 4. BTW, his card made us laugh EVERY time we looked at it) and then Ryan asked us if we would be coming to both Cape Cod shows. I guess the look on our faces gave it away because before we answered he said, “That was a silly question, wasn’t it?” it kind of was….OF COURSE we’re going to the Cape Cod shows! He then said “Well, how about the cruise” I was shocked by the fact that he seemed to be shocked that we had already booked our reservations. (Ryan, what kind of slackers do you think we are?)
When I once again got the death glare from the security guard, I knew it was time to move on. Seggie was next in line and when I showed him my glasses he promptly took them and put them on (for a moment I thought he was claiming them as his own.) He then instructed Mike to pose for a picture (to which he did not oppose) but luckily, Megan was close behind with her glasses as well and so mine we’re passed along to Mike and Seggie put on Megan’s. The resulting picture is what can only be described as pure perfection. Megan then gave Seggie this (VERY belated) birthday card.(5) He was very appreciative of it which kind of through us off because we had completely prepared ourselves for flow of sarcastic remarks from him. Seggie is unpredictable like that. He then asked if we would be coming to the show on Sunday. Megan told him that we had to work Monday so we needed to drive home. His answer was “So? I have to work too.” There’s the sarcasm we were ready for and ummm, our situations are just a little different. He refused to believe that we weren’t going to be at the show. We actually got asked quite a few times if we would be at the show on Sunday, which was surprising because no one asked if we would be at the show the next in Newark.
We made our way onto Don who said, “We missed you!” Megan replied, “We missed you too!” it was all very touching. At this point we had learned that we needed to hustle or else we would get a stern talking to, so our conversations were short and concise. When we came upon Walt, he was in conversation with his mom (I think) and not wanting to be rude I stepped out of his way. I believe he was trying to hand her the t-shirts that had been sent down before us. Megan offered to hand them to her but instead Walt just threw them over her head. As this was happening, Jerome had stopped me and was already standing in order to give out hugs. When he gave Megan a hug he bumped his lip on her shoulder. He then started to explain to us what had happened and that he should just stick to singing so that he doesn’t get injured anymore. He also told us that we had surprised him and that he hadn’t been aware we were coming. He said, “I didn’t see it on twitter! Did you have a countdown?” We told him that we did have one and that we never intended to keep it a secret. While we were talking, the security guard came over to us (well me, since Megan always makes me go first) and told us that we needed to get our stuff and exit the line. I then realized his mistake and why we had been rushed along. He was trying to keep people with their belongings and naturally since there was a gap between us and the people ahead of us, he assumed that the t-shirts Richard had passed down were ours and was moving us along with them. When we got to the end, the t-shirts were given to their rightful owner and we were left waiting for our things. So, we stood our ground and for the first time that night, didn’t leave when we were told to. I’m calling that a win. At some point, probably while I was being apprehended by security, Megan managed to sneak in like a covert op and give Jerome his birthday card (that makes the final tally of the night 6.)
We slide over to the side to wait for group pictures. We had some good laughs during the wait because every time someone would tell us to leave we would just find a new spot to stand in. As we were making what would be our last move in eluding security, I dropped my glasses on the floor. This warranted an overly dramatic reaction from both Megan and me. Molly heard this reaction and began to laugh. This prompted a conversation with her about the glasses and how moustaches are taking over the world. It’s true, they are. Our glasses were quickly becoming quite the conversation starters. Finally we were instructed to get in line for pictures. While we were assembling into line, I turned to Megan and said, “Hmm I suppose I should have my camera on automatic with my flash on and ready, huh?” No sooner did those words come out of my mouth did I hear Richard same the exact same thing. It was almost simultaneous.
|Thats just how we roll|
As we were walking up to the guys for our pictures, I asked, “Glasses on or off?” before I could even finish the question and in unison the response was “ON!” Charlie then said, “That’s not even a question!” Seggie wanted to wear Megan’s in the picture but then had a change of heart so she got to wear them. Richard snapped the picture and we sauntered off, glasses and all. When the pictures were over, Richard was trying to gather the family members of several guys and show them which way to go. He said, “Walt’s family come this way” so naturally I said, “Oh, that’s me!” and tried to follow him. Richard is smart though and was not fooled by my shenanigans. Seggie made sure to yell to me a reminder to tweet the picture I had taken of him and Mike. I had every intention of doing that; it was just too awesome not to share.
We began the long trek back to the hotel. Some how along the way Megan, Jenn, and I ended up separating from the rest of the group. We were all planning on meeting up when we got back to the hotel but since we were now unaccompanied on our journey we didn’t know WHERE we were meeting so we just ended up going back to our room. We weren’t there long before we got multiple texts from Tara inquiring about our location and telling us to get ourselves down to the bar before they closed. Apparently we had walked right by everyone and hadn’t even noticed.
We were hanging out in the lobby area, just chatting and showering Tara with birthday gifts, when we a drunken man stumbled upon us. His name was Wesley (just like the bartender from AC, only this time we didn’t make it up) and he was the groom from the wedding mentioned earlier. His family and friends were all in the bar but several of them quickly came out to retrieve him once they realized he was missing. He asked us why we were all there and we told him that we were there to see Straight No Chaser. Without hesitation, he broke into song and began serenading us with I’m yours. I can’t say it was the most pleasant version I’d ever heard but we were impressed nonetheless. After that, we were privy to his life story and a short piano recital before his best man dragged him away. At some ungodly hour of the evening (approaching the 24 hour mark since the last time Megan and I had slept) we all went our separate ways. We needed to rest up for the following night.
To be continued…..
While you wait….here’s a question to make you think. How many miles have Megan and I traveled to see SNC (not including the return trips home.)