Saturday, April 05, 2008

The beauty of concerts is there are people involved...

I thought I would use a little wordplay off the last blog to recount Mae Day here in Salt Lake City. Sometimes the best thing about a concert is not only the music (which quite obviously matters) but also the interactions that take place along the way. It was those human interactions that made Mae day extremely special to me.

There were also obstacles to overcome. The show was on a Friday, and my place of employment doesn't like to grant Fridays off. They denied my leave. When I turned in my quarterly leave calendar, I told my supervisor that it was the most important date on my calendar to me and the circumstances. She remembered and said she'd work with me. Since I had put in to work 4 hours day shift and wasn't requesting a full day off, she said I would be counted for staffing purposes. I had one hour of credit leave and worked 2 hours on Wednesday over as a "credit" and another hour on Thursday, which means I got off work at 2 a.m. The plan was to get up, get ready quickly and head out the door to work by 10 a.m. I managed to get there at 10:20 and worked until 2:20 p.m. By the time I left it was already 2:30. The traffic was not good, so I was concerned. As it turned out, there was a bit of a fender bender and traffic picked up rather quickly. I made it to the venue a little before 3:30. Shortly after I arrived, I saw Lauralee and her sister, so we chatted until other people arrived. The first person was a gal from Idaho and those who came with her went back to get the tickets they left where they were staying.

I decided that while I was waiting it would be a good idea to set up the phone to call Stephanie (not my sister, a friend) so that I wouldn't have to try and find her number in the dark. I was going to call her for the acoustic set. She called me a while back and let me listen to Dave's solo set so I thought it only fair to return the favor (I'd have done it anyway.) :) I had put her number on a sticky note on my checkbook, but it was no where to be found. So I called my darling husband and asked him to find it for me. He was trying to look it up in an online directory, which was kinda funny. I told him just to look in my e-mail. While we were talking I saw Jacob and he smiled and said, "hello" and we struck up a conversation. Ed said to call him when we were finished talking. LOL It was cool to see Jacob and talk to him. I find Jacob a very easy person to talk to and he always seems genuinely happy to see me, which is kinda nice. :) Jacob went back inside, and I called Ed back and got Stephanie's number. I thanked him profusely. I walked back up to the front of the venue and sent Stephanie a message. That put her number in my phone.

People slowly began to arrive. One of the Switchfoot message boardies showed up and introduced herself to me. She came with 3 other people. She said she came to the show because of my post on the Switchfoot boards and it made my day!! :)

For those who read this blog and/or speak to me on any regular basis at all, know that I've really been promoting this show. I put posters up all over, posted on a few loved message boards and my myspace and handed out stickers at shows with the date written on the back. I had hoped to find out if any of that hard work paid off, but wasn't sure how I'd know. So I know I was responsible for at least 4 people showing up. LOL It really did make my day!

After lots of fun conversations and a lot of waiting, it was finally time for the concert. I tried to hurry to the front of the stage, and almost forgot my photo pass. LOL I found what would have been a good spot, but there was a case left by the first band right in front of me, so I asked Lauralee if I could stand next to her. It was almost too close to center, since I was directly under the lead singer's mikestand. I didn't get a lot of good lead singer pics. The lighting was difficult as it often is, so I'm not so sure I have anything great. I did get a few good pics of one of the guys in Far Less, and a few good ones of Dave Elkins. For The Honorary Title the lighting was pretty much red most of the time so I'm not sure what really turned out until I go to edit them. I'm not overly optimistic on that one.

The concert itself was really good, and it made all the work and waiting so worthwhile. Far Less played first, and I really enjoyed their set quite a bit. I made a note to check out their merch table and pick up a cd. Between the Trees played second, and I absoultely loved them! I have one of their cd's, but I don't think it does them justice. They played a song from a video they have up on myspace and I had heard it before online. Between the Trees should be at Warped Tour here, so I hope I can make it to see them at Warped. The Honorary Title was the main opening band and they received a very warm welcome from the crowd. I had heard their Park City performance on tv acoustic and wasn't super impressed, but thought it would sound better as a more rock performance. It turns out I was right. I thought they sounded really good and enjoyed listening. :) The crowd was pretty pumped up and ready for Mae. People behind me were already trying to use any space to push up next to me. I wasn't budging. There are no barricades at The Avalon, the stage is just really high up. There is a bit opening near the center (I guess I could have sat under the stage, so my ribs are pretty sore where I was being pushed into the edge of the stage. I thought, and mentioned it to the gals behind me, that I'd have to push back a little because being folded in half wasn't working so well. LOL I watched Mae set up and was a little glad that they moved a few things back on the stage and some of the monitors around. I said "hi" to Benji when I saw him on stage and tried to get a pic. I think one turned out o.k. He asked me if I got my photo pass o.k., and I let him know that I did. Just as he walked off, this guy wanted to see the set list, so he pulled it off the stage to read it, but then he decided not to put it back. (I love set lists, but I thought that was tacky -- sorry.) He was upset because The Ocean wasn't on it, so I tried to tell him that they always perform The Ocean on their acoustic sets. I actually love The Ocean acoustically, so I was o.k. with it. It didn't look like Zach had any major problems as a result, though.

I had hoped to get some pics of Jacob, but Dave was kinda standing in front of him most of the time. LOL I did get some good views of him, but the camera didn't really have time to focus well in the lighting. I loved watching Jacob play just the same. He makes it look pretty easy and that always impresses me. Everytime I see someone I love playing, I notice little things about the performance and I was enjoying that. I love watching faces, too, which is one reason I like being in the front. I really wanted to see the backdrop that Benji created a little better, so hoped to go to the back towards the end so I could see the whole picture, but it was just too packed to try. I do remember seeing trees during "Just Let Go" and thinking it was a cool thing to go with the song. Sometimes I could make things out. One doesn't really get the full effect from the front, though. All I can say about the show is that this was probably the best Mae concert I have seen and heard, and I've been to a few. Dave's vocals were probably the best they've ever been. Part of me wishes he'd talk a little more from the stage because it just seems to go by too quickly. :) I want it to last. Thoughts went through my head that this would be over way too soon. Dave made his announcement about the acoustic set and Habitat for Humanity, they played their last song (I don't recall the exact order), and Mae left the stage. The entire place erupted with applause, hoops and hollers and chants of "one more song". Mae retook the stage and played several more songs and it was time to leave. Lauralee's sister took the remaining set list. (I have a photo of it.)

I tried to make my way to the merch tables and ended up talking to a guy working with Invisible Children. They made an announcement from the stage about the fund raiser on Friday with Brighten (and I so wish I could go!) I tried to make my way to get some merch from Between the Trees and Far Less, but wasn't getting anywhere. I decided I'd better get my hand stamped for Mae's acoustic benefit set if I wanted
to stay and was planning to come back, but it didn't work out. While I was talking to Robert and getting a tee and my hand stamped the set was already starting. I called Stephanie, but it kept cutting off. Of course the second song played was The Ocean, and everyone sang along. I always love that. I think it's one thing that makes it such a great song to hear performed acoustically - to hear everyone singing along. It makes it fun, too. The Ocean is such a beautiful song. Dave took requests. My phone died. I had charged it all night, but it died anyway. I felt really bad. Mae played "Waiting" (another one I love acoustically) and afterwards I asked someone next to me if she had unlimited minutes and she said "yes" so I asked her if I could call Stephanie. She said "yes". Later she told me it was because I was wearing a Copeland hoodie and they were her favorite band. Dave told me about Copeland in 2005, so it comes full circle. LOL The acoustic set was over too soon (but hey, we all need sleep, right) and Zach, Dave & Jacob greeted everyone, signed lots of autographs, posed for lots of photos and gave out hugs while Robert & Josiah loaded merch. I really wanted to talk to Zach, but had no idea what to say. I finally decided that I didn't want to say anything. I just wanted to give him a big hug. So I did. :) I talked to Zach a little, then Dave and stood next to Jacob and talked to him a while. I had my photo taken somewhere in there. I really didn't want them to leave, but I knew they had a long drive ahead, and security really wanted to go home. LOL I said good-byes and went to find Benji. I found him and thanked him for everything and he gave me a hug. :) I love hugs. As I was walking out, I saw Robert and talked really briefly and the guy from the venue, who I'm sure really wanted to go home, took our pic. I said to Robert that he probably had no idea who I was, and he said he'd seen me on the forums. :) I'm not sure the pic turned out, as Robert's face is really in a shadow, but I'll see what I can do. Then, I thanked the guy from the venue for being so patient with me left.

It always seems so quiet when I leave after a concert. I guess I love being around people a lot, especially nice people. LOL I got into the car and realized how hungry and thirsty I was. I plugged in my cd player (A Fine Frenzy) and headed down the road, making a pit stop at Arby's. I love the chicken salad sandwich, and it hit the spot. So did the large Sierra Mist. I had to pull forward so I couldn't just park and have my dinner, so I had to drive almost back to the venue, make a u-turn, pull back into the Arby's parking lot and eat my sandwich. LOL Then I made the journey home.

Today, I slept most of my day away. I hope the guys in Mae were able to catch at least a little rest before the show tonight. It will probably be starting soon.

As for me, I had a wonderful day yesterday. I hope you did, too, whereever you are.


P.S. As soon as I can clear enough space on my hard drive, I will add photos.


AJ said...

oh my goodness, melanie...this post left me teary-eyed!i know...sounds crazy, but since reading & writing on all these blogs (yours included), you start to feel connected to the people. you hear pieces of people's hearts and it's hard to imagine not feeling something, ya know? it's pretty crazy and amazing, all at once, how God has created community and relationship, and now how, in this generation, it is through these blogs, webpages, etc., that we are connected...however far apart we all are. wow...anyway, since i can't make it to the show this time, i really felt like i was there through your words and images...thank you, girl! :)take care & keep rockin'!

AJ said...

dude..i feel like such a dork..totally forgot to tell you why I got teary-eyed..after reading your blog over all these months, this post just seemed to reflect your heart's passions all coming to pass & I was feelin super happy for you! I know i'm a total sap! :) have a great night.

Andrea said...

ahh sweet post. Im not a huge fan of mae but after reading this, im reconsidering.

Steph. said...

You got to hear "Waiting" acoustic?! Oh that must have been so great. The concert experience sounded absolutely amazing... you're lucky you got to mingle with them after the show, their acoustic show was before the show where I was, so they didn't get a chance to talk to the fans at all. Your pics are amazing as well.