Saturday, May 30, 2009

Now... where was I?

The Crystal Inn, the white car is mine and my hotel room is the second floor above it:

Self portrait in my hotel room:

My comfy bed:

Picking up where I left off last...

As was promised, the exuberent water polo crowd calmed down and filtered back into their rooms by 10:30 p.m. Somewhere around 11 p.m. I was back in my room for a little more sleep. I woke up again around 12:30 a.m. One car had pulled into the venue lot. It was still raining - and the sprinklers were on. I watched for a few minutes, and then went back to sleep setting the alarm for 1:45 am. The alarm never went off, but somewhere between 2:30 and 3 a.m. I again woke up. This time I decided to shower and go downstairs for a bit. I got on the computer for a few minutes, then chatted off and on with the gals at the reception desk for a couple of hours. I checked the venue lot twice, retrieved something out of my car, and put something back in my car.. exciting things like that. It had been I think I know the life history of the lobby gals. They probably know a bit of mine as well. LOL I went back upstairs,and went back to bed for a couple of hours and left a message for the gals to call me for breakfast. No changes. It was 7 a.m. before I knew it. Again I checked the venue from the comfort of my room and headed down for breakfast. The breakfast was complimentary with the room, and it was a nice breakfast indeed. I couldn't sample everything, since I am on a low-fat, less sugar diet, but it was all wonderful. There was fresh fruit, a fruit cocktail sort of mix with large pieces of fruit, biscuits & gravy, scrambled eggs (I had to take off cheese, but they were yummy), bacon, sausage, bagels, cereal, apple/orange juice... and other breakfast foods. I took pics with my cell. :)

After breakfast, I headed over to the venue - about 8 a.m. to be the first one at the door.

The next two people arrived around 8:30 a.m. by taxi cab. They were from SoCal and had stayed in downtown SLC, spotted Paramore's bus and met Haley and Taylor. I chatted way too much about anything and everything. We took turns at the door when someone needed a break. There was one other guy there that had an early entrance/meet&greet for No Doubt who had been in the venue lot for a while. He was waiting in a separate line, but he did come up to chat about his No Doubt obsession with us for a while. (I saw him after the show ... and he was pretty happy about his meet and greet.) After a few more people showed up, I finally went over and moved my car from the hotel lot to the venue lot and used the restroom. I also refilled my cup with hot water for tea. It was a nice, casual sort of day for most of the day, and it was absolutely gorgeous outside.

This is the beautiful, scenic view from the venue doors:

At one point in the afternoon, I saw my friend Amanda with her kids and met her kids for the first time. They were just as cute as their pics. :) Her boyfriend was with her also, and his kids. She was coming back later for the show and had reserved seats.
At around 2:30ish, I think, Lauralee showed up and got in line with me. She's faster than I am, so the plan was for her to go ahead and get a spot for us if I get delayed (and something always happens to me.) LOL A while later a couple of her friends showed. She finally asked everyone in the line ahead if they minded if those friends got in line with us and I guess everyone was ok with it. So, we waited, and waited some more.

An hour or two before door times, they had a portion of the venue blocked so that one could enter the buidling, buy merch and get back in line. IT was genius. :) I bought a Sounds tee, A No Doubt tour tee, and a Paramore wristband. In other words, I think I spent that bonus I'm getting on Monday already. ;)

Finally it was getting close to the time to go in. Point and shoot cameras would be allowed. I was at the front of the line watching, waiting.... Finally they opened just my door, but the scanner wasn't working. I was getting nervous. Then they couldn't get my wristband on. She said, "calm down, you'll get in." LOL I knew I would get in. IT was being in front I was worried about. I don't survive in the middle of a floor show. But I did make it to the front on the far left. The No Doubt fans had early entry, so most of the center stage was taken. I didn't want direct center anyway.

I started to notice I was a little tired... but too jazzed for it to faze me too much. :) The show finally started to much applause. To my surprise, the crowd wasn't too scrunched. The Sounds opened and played a great set. I saw them in 2006 at Warped Tour and they were quite good. The gal does have a certain fondness for a word beginning with the letter "F" (no, this is not Sesame Street folks) and the last song was B.S. Lies (only bs is not truncated.) LOL That only really happened at the very end of their set for this show. I still liked them, though.

Finally it was time for Paramore, and I was ready to be squished within an inch of my life, but it never happened. I have seen Paramore a few times, and I have to say that even though they are always amazing live, they were even better. IT helps that the E-Center has good sound. Haley, just glowed, and the set was well performed and energetic. It was obvious from the crowd response that the arena was full of Paramore fans. Too soon it came to an end, and it was time for No Doubt to set up.

No Doubt's set up took a while. They taped a thin, white mat of some sort to the stage floor. It was interesting to watch. When everytning was ready a sheer curtain drops, and you can see the shadows of all of the hands reflecting back, and NO Doubt took the stage. The curtain falls. It was quite an entrance. Both Lauralee and I were pretty impressed with No Doubt's set and would see them again if they come back to Salt Lake City. They did a lot of old favorites, Don't Speak, I'm Just a Girl, Sunday Morning, Hey Baby. A few minutes before midnight, Gwen brought out her son and had everyone sing happy birthday to him.

Then he was so cute and waved at everyone. Even though they played a fairly long set, it didn't seem long at all.

I'm leaving out about a zillion things, but this is already far too long. After the show, Lauralee and I chatted and waited for traffic to die down. She needed to leave, so we said our goodbyes and parted company. I waited in the car just a little longer and headed for home. I think I finally arrived back home somewhere between 1 and 1:30 a.m., tired but satisfied.

And so another saga of concert adventurism, comes to an end.

Peace out,

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