When we last left the great hair affair, BFF and I were loading up the car in Portland and headed to Seattle. Deflated and frustrated from the events from the first night, I was determined not to repeat my mistakes. I thought about where things went wrong. Some things aren’t in my control like weather and opportunity. In fact, the only thing I could control were my own actions.
The realization brought a freedom. Why did I sacrifice my concert enjoyment for a hair memory which wouldn’t tell the right story anyways? In my fantasy of this good hair picture, Mikel and I first make eye contact during Half of Something Else and use it as a callback when we meet after the show. We laugh it up about what a great rock show the band put on. The photo is only a glimpse into our deep-souled connection about everything we have in common and how we plan to maintain our long distance friendship. This couldn’t start with the admission I hung out in the back of the room trying to protect my hair. That’s not who I am. I had to be in the mix.
BFF and I started our 250 miles of travel early. This time I needed to get to the show with plenty of time to spare. I needed to line up early to ensure a place near the stage. Lucky for me, I was invited to an awesome TATE fan forum a few weeks prior to the show. (I call them “the Super Secret Fan Club” when I speak to friends.) They gave me the inside scoop to show up early, head to the bar, and buy drinks. This scored you an early entry card. Drinking? Getting in early? You didn’t have to tell me twice.
After taking us on a terrible detour because maybe I started that drinking a little earlier than the show, we made it to the right venue. (Hey, there are two Showboxes in Seattle. What’s up with that?) We ran in straight for the bathroom. I did however catch a glimpse of a familiar face from the Super Secret Fan Club. In Portland, I was a chicken. I hid in my bright pink shirt because I was too scared/worried/embarrassed/stupid to introduce myself. Seattle brought a new resolve and new confidence. When we returned to the bar, I marched right up to “G-man Superfan” and introduced myself. This is what we call a turning point. From that moment on, I had the time I knew I was meant to have. G-man introduced me to others from the Super Secret Fan Club and it was a blast yucking it up with all the Airborne junkies. I may have scared G-man a bit with my drinking loudness. I definitely have more to say about the group, but I think that’s another blog. From the front windows we caught sight of Drummer Daren. G-man Superfan didn’t miss a beat. He said ”Let’s go get a picture” and we did. (I didn’t post his to save his secret identity.)
Once we got into the concert side of the place, BFF and I headed right to the front. (Note: G-man Superfan left our asses because he was in the pre-admission crowd. Did I mention he is a superfan?) When we picked our place we were lucky enough to squish up against some of the gals from the Super Secret Fan Club we met earliery. They were more than cool about the lack of personal space. One even offered to switch places with her friend to make sure I could see the stage better. How nice is that? The show was more than I expected by being the closest experience I’ve ever had at a TATE show. I jumped. I danced. I sang. All like no one was watching. Hair be damned. I lived the fucking rock show.
After all was done, and when the crowd crushed against the stage to get a piece of Mikel, I went the other way. (Of course after shaking his hand.) I think there was a part of me who gave up on the photo. I didn’t need it anymore. I had Noah’s pic, Darren’s drumstick, and a badass view of the whole thing. The memory would suffice.
BFF and I hung towards the back and sucked down some glasses of water the bartender was nice enough to spare. I’m pretty sure she worried we were on death’s door. The crowd began to thin and Mikel still stood in the middle still posing for photos and signing autographs. BFF said I should do it. Get my photo with my jacked up hair. I think she grimaced when she looked at it.
I did get the photo. I took my piece to thank him for the show. He smiled and charmed like he always does. I floated away like most do after his interaction (he’s a very talented communicator). The night was how it should’ve been. It looked like this:
Hair destroyed. Photo taken. Resolution failed. While I didn’t get the results I expected from this resolution, I got a lot more than intended. Many lessons were learned in the experience and I’ve come out the other side with a more memorable gift than what a photo could’ve captured.