It poured rain from San Diego to Cypress and I wondered if I left Oregon at all. Where was all the sunshine and warmth I remembered from living in Long Beach for eight years? Sticking to my road trip plan of driving fast to make record times, I ended up at my friend’s home by lunch. This may have had something to do with the fact she promised to join me at my favorite old Mexican restaurant haunt from fifteen years ago. (OMG, it was as good as I remembered.)
We did a little shopping, got caught up on recent life events, and headed back to her house for a little more quiet time visiting before my pre-concert ritual. While I planned to Uber to the event, she agreed to drop me off before her plans even though it would have to be a little early. A huge score. With no planned familiar faces at this venue, the ritual brought the needed couple of cocktails before heading to the show. It was a little surprising to find Disneyland turn-style gating in front of the doors.
The wait can be painful when alone. Sometimes I start a conversation with the people next to me, but my neighbors were a “no-go” in this line. I did see the cute mom/daughter couple at the very front dancing while Coast Modern sound-checked inside. They waved hellos and kept company with the others who lined up hours before.
The inside of the venue was quite surprising. Three step down layers led to the stage. Once again, another gated barrier kept us concert-goers a few feet from the stage’s edge. This is different from Portland’s smaller venues. They let you right up close and photographers have to elbow it up with the rest of us.
I shimmied into a second row position right behind Mother/Daughter. They were front and center chatting away with the people they met in line. They saved my place as I procured a vodka soda. After the second double, I slid right into meeting everyone around. My favorite was a delightful pair that I found out was a mother and son. (I spent a good five minutes telling the mother it was impossible because she looked so young.) When I went to take their picture, an amazing thing happened. A friend I met two years ago in line for The Airborne Toxic Event photobombed the picture.
Needless to say, I flipped the fuck out. We’d been talking for months since last reuniting at a Dreamers concert in April. I’d been begging her to join me because she and her husband are such great fans. They travel great lengths, appreciate the music, and even send care packages while the band tours. (Who wouldn’t want them as fans?) I knew they would love Coast Modern just as much as the other bands we share in common. With them joining, the party really went into full swing.
It wasn’t long before Coast Modern took the stage and I started my picture-palooza.
The craziest part was this guy next to me who insisted on texting the entire time. Of course I had to know what was so fucking important you would text during a concert. It wasn’t a problem to find out because he had his text font size at a giant 144pt or something so I read his screen as he talked about the show. He was so lost in it, he didn’t even notice when I took our picture.
After the show, my friends headed back to the merch table, as good fans do, and started to buy gear to support. On my way back to the bar, the funniest thing happened. A gentleman stopped me.
Him: “Are you Susan?”
Me: “Yeeahhh??” (Waiting for it to register that I know him from somewhere even though I’m 800 miles from home.)
Him: “I know you from Twitter.”
Him: “I don’t mean for that to sound creepy.”
Funny thing, I then knew who it was. We chatted for a bit, I tried to buy him a drink, and he introduced me to others he came with. Once again I was reminded how incredible Twitter can be. You meet the most amazing people. And some people think social media is the devil. What do they know?
I took some random shots before my friends and I decided to skip Temper Trap and head to a bar to catch up.
My darling couple friends drove us to a small, dark bar and we drank the night away madly. The thing about these friends are they are hella fun and don’t even flinch about keeping up with me. We talked bands, sent snaps, and played in a giant photo booth. This might have been when the night went a little hazy.
After hours catching up, they said they would take me back to my friend’s house. When we walked in the parking lot, I confidently headed to their car and tried to get in the backseat. Spoiler alert: It wasn’t their car. Worst part was the owners of the car were standing next to it and didn’t make a sound as I tried to get in. Awkward!
I stumbled into my friend’s house sometime around 2 am, I think. She was waiting up for me like the night owl she is. I confirmed it was another amazing show and pulled myself up the stairs to try to get some sleep before traveling to Los Angeles the next day.
I think I clocked in another three hours of sleep before I was up and packing my bag for another round. The eyes were a bit redder, I moved a tad slower, and I slammed two Zip Fizzes before leaving the driveway. Only forty miles to the next show city, so many things to see on the way there, and I might have started to worry a bit if I could make it another three days.