Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rise Up

(This recap will be mostly -NOT ALL- about GRO. Because that’s what I remember most. And that’s not really saying much. I have a bad memory as it is! So… GGD and SF fans, I apologize)

August 28th 2010. THAT is another one for the record books, ladies and gentlemen. I’m not even sure where to begin.

I wasn’t sure so much epicness could happen in one week, let alone one NIGHT.

I learned about GRO opening for Goo Goo Dolls and Switchfoot back in… May I believe. I was determined to go. Now I know what y’all are thinking. “Goo Goo Dolls? Switchfoot? Throw in GRO and that’s sure to be one HELL of a show!” Oh it was.

But, if I’m being completely honest, my first thought? “GRO in Phoenix? Hell yes!! Goo Goo Dolls and Switchfoot? Bonus!” Let’s be honest, I wouldn’t have known about this show had it not been for GRO. I knew about it long before our Mix station started talking about it :D.

Why was I so excited about GRO over Goo Goo Dolls and Switchfoot? Blasphemous, right? Well, it‘s all in the timing, kids. For a long while, I lost all interest in music. Goo Goo Dolls came out with amazing music. I didn’t keep up. Switchfoot? Same deal. Two years ago, things changed. You know where I’m going with this. I’ll spare you the details. If you don’t know where I’m going with this, two words: David Cook. Let’s face it, most of us can trace our current favorites back to David. Forget Kevin Bacon. It’s freakin Six Degrees of David Cook. :D

Ever since discovering GRO’s music, I had been dying to see them in concert. So when I heard they were coming to Phoenix, I said “Oh hell yes!”

There really isn’t much to talk about as far as the time up leading to it. Except that I’m glad it was announced so far in advanced. The plan was to buy tix as soon as they went on sale. That didn’t happen, for a few different reasons. Let me tell you, I was scared out of my mind. I thought I would end up on the freakin balcony. Although, after my first experience at the Dodge theater for this show, I now know that would not have been so bad. Anyway, when I called the box office, I was given a few options based on price, for wheelchair accessible seating. But as soon as the sales rep said “3rd row in the pit area”… well I don’t think the words “Yes I’ll take those” have ever come out of mouth so fast in my life. :D

Fast forward to the day of the show. The plan was to bake some cookies for the guys. I did not have time, so I opted for store bought. While I was at it, I decided to get Wilk a couple bags of Reese’s PB cups.

My friend and I left my house at about 4:30 and we headed over to Chipotle to have pre-concert dinner. On our way over, it started raining. While the sun was out. It was pretty cool! After dinner we headed to downtown Phoenix, to the venue. On our way over, it started raining harder. Not cool. And there was NO trace of sunshine. The clouds started getting scary dark. When we arrived downtown, we ended up having to park across the street from the venue. Because of the rain, they were letting people in, thank goodness. Well, *sigh* not everything went off without a glitch. This venue is a theatre. They sell concessions. Of course I should have put two and two together but I didn’t. When a place sells concessions, they don’t let you bring food inside…of course. We had the cookies and Wilk’s PB cups. Yep. They gave us the option of taking it back to the van or leaving them at the door, but warned us that they weren’t responsible for it. Well there was no way in hell we were going back out, so the (kind of) nice security lady said we could hide everything behind her bag.

We waited about half an hour before they started letting everyone take their seats. After getting caught in the rain, sitting in a cold lobby? I was NOT a happy camper at that moment.

But soon enough, they let us in. As we were making our way to our seats, we had to walk down a long corridor, we see this room labeled “Catering” and there were a bunch of people. We slowed down a bit to see if I recognized anyone. (Yes we’re creepers) but I didn’t. My friend asks me if that’s where the band was hanging out. I said “Probably not, I didn’t see anyone I recognize.“ So we finally find our seats, and my friend and I sat there trying to get my camera ready and I tried to explain to him who was who before they hit the stage. Which led to me getting a LITTLE confused as to whether it was Wilk Geoff and Josh (our left to right) or Geoff first then Wilk.

Then we see the guys come out. I may have lost it a little bit. It felt surreal to see them walking out. I’m gonna be honest, the only song I actually remember is “Goodbye L.A.” And that was mainly because Josh told everyone about the yellow pole Jamey had hit. Oh and actually now that I think of it, I’m pretty sure they sang “On Your Own” and “Come On.” :D I should also point out that Wilk and Geoff kept laughing at God knows what. It was actually really funny to watch. =P At one point, Josh told everyone that if they had a Twitter, they should follow them. And then said, “also if you have a twitter, tweet us right now at @GRO for a chance to win a signed guitar from us. It has a cool centipede or something drawn on it.” Poor Geoff ;) So I tweeted to them!

Right before they played the last song of the night, Josh told everyone that they’d be hanging out at the merch table after their set and to come out and talk.

Right before the song was over, my friend asked if I wanted to head out. I said “No, let’s wait until they actually walk off the stage.” Uhm….I probably should’ve listened to him. It took us FOREVER to get up to the lobby (we had to wait for the elevator). And because of that, when we got there, there was a HUGE line to talk to the guys. As we were getting closer, the girls in front of us (who were up next to talk to the guys) decided to stop the line to sign up for something at a table that was there. Some VIP thing or something. We waited for a minute, but then the security guy told us to go around them and then told everyone behind us that we were going to be the last two because the guys had to take off.

My friend said they were PISSED and said something about us “cutting” in front of them. Mkay. I should feel bad. I mean, I would’ve been pissed too. But…yeah.

Anyway, we get up to where the guys are and on one end were Jamey and Geoff. Waaay on the other end were Wilk Josh and Denton. I said hi to Jamey and Geoff. The following conversation took place:

Me: Hey guys! *I hand Jamey my CD*
Jamey: Hey guys, how are you? I’m Jamey *he shakes my hand*
Geoff: I’m Geoff! *he shakes my hand*
Me: I’m good Jamey, how are you? Hi Geoff.
Jamey: I’m good.

*Geoff just smiles and I proceed to die a little*

Jamey: *he looks down at the CD* HEY! You have the “Out of my Hands” CD.
Me: Sure do! Can I be totally honest with you?
Jamey: Sure! What’s up?
Me: I’m totally here just for you guys!
Jamey: No! REALLY?! No…way! :D
Me: Yep!
Jamey: That’s awesome!
Geoff: Yeah it is!

Then they both high-five me! :D

*They both sign the CD booklet then pass it down.*

*Jamey then looks over at my friend*

Jamey: Hey! *puts his hand out* what’s your name?
My friend: Hi, I’m Victor.
Jamey: That’s my middle name!
Jamey: *he stares at me* Have we met before? What’s your name?
Me: Nope, but…no. (I was going to tell him about my FB wall posts LOL) Um, I‘m Guadalupe.

When I got my CD back, I hear some music. Switchfoot had already started. My friend then asks if I can get a pic with Geoff and Jamey and they said yes. Then Jamey looks over at the other guys and says “Hey you guys wants in on this too?” lol So they all came over, said a quick hi and posed for the pic. I thank them, and suddenly my friend tells Jamey about the cookie dilemma. :D Jamey says “hmm, don’t worry. I’ll get them.” and smiles a HUGE amazing *coughMISCHIEVOUScough* smile. He says thank you, starts walking away and then suddenly I hear “Bye Guadalupe!“ OMG JAMEY SAID MY NAME!!!!! Ahem… So, I waved and they started heading back. Then, without even thinking about it, I blurted out “HEY JOSH!” He turns around and I say “Uh, can I get a hug?” so he walks back over to me and hugs me. <3 Like my buddy Laura says “All you gotta do is ask” :D

Then we start heading back to the elevator. When we got there, a security lady asked to see our tickets and said she’d escort us back. As we’re waiting (FOREVER) for the elevator to come back to our level, I hear “There she is!!” I turn around and there is AJ, my most favorite Mix DJ! :D He walks over and gives me a quick hug. Stupid elevator decides to show up right then, so he says “Good seeing you, enjoy the rest of the show!”

As we made our way to our seats, I hear music, I hear a kickass voice, but I look up at the stage and only see the other band members. No Jon. So I look over to where the other seats are and he is IN THE CROWD. Jon Foreman is in the freakin crowd!!! This man owns! He has amazing stage presence, energy. Ah-freakin-mazing.

Remember how I said I never really kept up with their music? OK well, I recognized a whopping TWO songs. I’m sure you can guess what they are.

Jon went back into the crowd one more time at another point in the show.

When introducing the last song, all he said was “Ladies and gentlemen, we are meant to live.” Perfect intro to the song, perfect end to their set. (OK at least I think that was the last song. That’s what my memory says :D)

Jon also announced that they’d be hanging out at the merch table, BUT after missing a bunch of their set, we didn’t want to risk doing the same with GGD.

A few minutes after they walked off stage, I took out my phone to tweet. Then I saw I had a few texts. Two from twitter and one from Vanessa. (hi V!) I read V’s first. It said “NO FREAKIN WAY!” I had NO clue what she was talking about. LOL Then I went and saw that GRO had tweeted. TO ME. It said “You win, go to the merch area after the goos.” Even then, it took me a second to figure out what was going on. When it clicked, I FREAKED OUT! I text V back. Then I checked my other message and it was a DM from Nicole (Hi Nicole!) asking me if I’d seen the tweet! I told her I had and we squee’d! lol I showed it to my friend and he… was a bit jealous. Lol Suddenly this girl comes up to and shows me her phone, it had my avi on it. She says “Did you just win the guitar?!” I said “Uhm…yeah I just saw the tweet!” She congratulates me and says “Who is this guy in the pic with you.” And I said “Oh that’s Ryan Star”. Then she says “Oh! He sings that song… Breathe right? OK yeah I like that song.” So I told her about the Sept 22nd show and she said she’d try to make it out there. :D After she went back to her seat, I heard her tell the guy next to her that I’d won the guitar. He got up and high-fived me. LOL

Soon, GGD took the stage! By this time, 3rd row wasn’t so glamorous for someone who is like 3 feet tall sitting down. LOL Then after about 4 songs, nice security lady asked me if I wanted to move up. Uh, duh! :D I moved up to 2nd row which gave me a better view of Robbie. Not a great view, but better then looking at people’s heads. :D And then… Robbie takes lead on a song. What song? IDK! But John took his place on Robbie’s mic. Ho-ly crap, I freakin died! That man, is…beautiful! And he kept smiling. GAH! And then, it happened. He looked right at me. He smiled, and I SWEAR to you, I saw him mouth “hi darlin’…” then smile again. I cannot even…just…wow!

I THINK Robbie took lead on 3 more songs throughout the rest of the set.

As for the songs I recognized (all singles of course) we got (not in this particular order): Iris, Slide, Broadway, Name, Black Balloon (yes, there were black balloons in the audience) and Home. I keep trying to remember whether or not we got Give a Little Bit. Ugh. I cannot remember.

At one point, John asked if there was anyone there from Buffalo, NY. Quite a few people cheered and John laughed and said “Yeah all the drunk people in the back.” :D He was throwing picks left and right. When he threw one in our general direction, it got lost XD
The boys came back for an encore. 3 songs? I think. Soon, this amazing night was pretty close to being over. When the guys walked off stage for good this time, I met up with my friend again. But before I left, a security guy came up to me and handed me a guitar pick he’d found next to my chair. So either, John threw one at me or the long lost pick bounced in my direction. Either way, I’m a proud owner of a Goo Goo Dolls guitar pick :D

We made our way to the lobby to retrieve my guitar at the merch table. Once we got it, we stopped at some steps to try to clear our heads a bit. Suddenly we see a security dude clearing the lobby and…yep you guessed it, he had our stuff. My friend went over to him and retrieved it. I was kind of sad at that point because I didn’t think I’d be able to get my boys their stuff. So we headed out to make our way to the parking garage. Right as soon as we made our way out the door, I stopped to rest a bit. By that time we got out of there I was in some serious pain. Suddenly I turn to look behind me and Jamey is standing there talking to some people. My mood lifted QUICK! We waited a bit until he was done talking to the person he was talking to when we came out. When we got his attention, we handed him the stuff and told him there were cookies and PB cups. He says “Oh you got the guitar! Sweet!“ I said “yes, thank you so much!” We didn’t say anything else, so soon his attention went to the people who were up next to talk to him. So we just waved, he waved back and said “Thank you so much!”

I hadn’t paid attention to anything else while we were talking to Jamey so I just told my friend, “Alright let’s go!” And then…I see Josh! I went up to him and said hi. OK I love Josh, I do. But dang, this whole exchange was REALLY awkward. I don’t know what it was. Maybe I got too used to Jamey’s enthusiasm and Josh isn’t like that. I mean, at least not then he wasn’t. He wasn’t being rude or anything, not at all. He was just laid back. I just felt awkward cause I was a bit hyper I guess. But he was REALLY sweet and congratulated me on winning the guitar and thanked us for coming to the show. He said something like “the guitar doesn’t really play”. Whatever that meant. LOL I just said, “Oh that’s ok. It’ll probably go on my wall anyway!” He said he liked that idea. We then said bye to him and he told us to have a great night.

Then…we see Geoff, Denton and Joshua. I’m thinking “OK really?” LOL Denton and Joshua along with…someone whose name I do not know, were putting together money from the CD’s they were selling. We went up to Geoff who didn’t seem to be doing anything :D When he saw us he says “HEY you got the guitar!! Nice!” Then he says:
"You like the caterpillar I drew? Josh said it was a centipede, earlier. It's NOT. It's a caterpillar!" I told him it was cute! He then mentioned how nice it was outside. It really was. The temp dropped a pretty substantial amount because of the rain. :D Suddenly we get interrupted by some dude who I’m PRETTY certain was….shall I say, drunk off his ass? LOL. He asked Geoff who the drummer for the band is. Geoff pointed to Denton. Then the dude says “Five greatest drummers of all time, GO!“ Denton was totally thrown off by this and names ONE person. Who? I don’t remember. The guy who was with Denton and Joshua started naming some people. The dude approved. Then he turns his attention towards Geoff and starts rambling. Geoff, God bless his soul carried on a conversation with this guy.

Meanwhile I got Denton’s attention. I said hi and got a sideways hug. :D My face touched Denton’s face. Yes it did. I’m not even going to lie. I have NO idea what I talked to Denton about. I just remember telling him that they were amazing! And the sideways hug. LOL

At that second, Geoff comes back and says “That guy was quite… eccentric.“ LOL He asked us if we had a good night and enjoyed the show. I said “Good doesn’t even BEGIN to cover it! It was AMAZING!” My friend then asked him if they could take a picture together. I said “OK let’s hope my camera cooperates. With my luck it’ll explode!” I then take the picture. Then I ask if I could get a picture with him too. Obviously he wasn’t done talking about the camera and says: “Now, watch it start smoking!” I laughed hard, and said “OK YOU are bad!“ and then he laughs. My friend takes the pic then Geoff says he has to go. We thank him for everything, he thanks us for coming.

Then…Wilk. All I told him was that Jamey had the bag with the cookies and there were also PB cups for him. He says “Really? Awesome! I LOVE PB cups. More than anyone here!” I said “Yeah I know. That’s why I brought them. Don’t let Jamey eat them. Make sure he gives them to you.” He says “OK I’ll beat him up if he doesn’t give them to me.” I said “Uh ok just don’t kill him. We need him.” He laughs and says “OK I’ll just threaten to beat him up. How’s that?” I said “OK”

We said goodbye to him and headed home.

I was asked if maybe THIS night was the best night ever now. Not sure. But it was pretty damn amazing!!

Until next time ladies and gentlemen.

Lyric of the Day: You've got to dig a little deeper, fight a little harder knowing there may be no second chance.

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