Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Home Again, Home Again to May Showers and Flowers, pt. 4

I wasn't sure what time I'd wake up on Sunday morning. I decided not to take advantage of a wake up call or set any alarm clocks. I slept well, but woke up much earlier than I would have thought. I dressed, grabbed my camera and headed out the door and towards the venue. I figured I'd check things out and then look for a place to have some breakfast. I also took pics of all sorts of things in the area between my hotel room and the venue.

The down side of operating on not enough sleep, and waiting to long to compose all of my thoughts on the trip means that the order of events is a tad fuzzy now. I can say that I saw one of the buses right off the bat and wondered who's it was. At some point I took a snap of it. As it turns out it was Relient K's bus. It didn't take any great detective work for me to figure this out. I looked over and saw Scott and went over to say "hello." He introduced me to his beautiful wife, Leah.
WE had a nice chat about breakfast, how far away the strip was (he said about a 15 minute walk, and I thought maybe 10, but he might have been right); and the House of Blues Sunday brunch. I was thinking about going, since I missed church, but it just seemed so commercial. Maybe another time. I mentioned that I had something for them and promised to bring it by later. I believe this took place before I went into the venue just to see what was up.

At "The Joint" I met a couple of gals who were waiting for the show. I told them I was just checking things out and that I had been told that they wouldn't allow people to line up before 3 in the afternoon. So I just stayed there and chatted with them for a little bit. After a while, someone came out of the venue and asked if we were there for the show, and he did say that we couldn't wait there (which was okay, I wanted breakfast. LOL) So, I left and then asked around about breakfast and ended up at Lucky's in Hard Rock Hotel. It was very busy, and crowded, so there was a little bit of a wait. I just sat at the counter since I was by myself anyway. I ordered the French Toast with berries. Oh, one of the things I decided while talking to Scott was that I was pretty much going to eat what I felt like. I even had syrup on my French toast - in moderation, of course. LOL I will say that the French toast was amazingly tasty and I enjoyed every bite! :)

Then I walked back over to my hotel room to get the Starbucks cards I had for Scotty and RK. I also decided I was dressed too warmly and changed clothes into something a little cooler. I think that was a good move. I was definitely enjoying the sunshine, though.

I saw people from RK's crew off and on during the day and waved a few times. To kill time, I took photos, mostly, and walked around. I saw John and Jon at the bus, and was just going to wave, but figured I didn't know if I'd see Scott again, so I went over to give them the Starbucks cards. We had a short, somewhat awkward conversation, and then I continued on to the venue again. I periodically checked back at the venue to see what was happening. There was a group of people gathering outside, and I had a conversation with them similar to the one with the other gals earlier in the morning. I just kept walking around, trying to find ways to entertain myself. The group would get moved, and then I'd see them back again. At one point they were all excited to have seen one of the Paramore guys and had a pic taken with him. I saw Zach get off the bus. I didn't bug him. LOL I did bug the venue people a little, though, asking where the line would be. So, I found out and passed the info. on. Then security made them all leave again. It looked like people were starting to line up inside around 2 p.m. so I checked it out and security was telling people they couldn't line up until 3, so I went back to Lucky's and had lunch. I had a Veggie burger that was pretty good, and huge. I ate the entire thing, and one french fry. I was so full that my stomach hurt for an hour. LOL I think that was a mistake on my part.

Finally I came back before three, and there was a line, and I wasn't in front anymore. They were letting people line up a bit early. Oh well, I wasn't far back at all, with only a few actually in front of me. Then they just let everyone go up to a roped off area. It was total insanity. One gal hurt her wrist. (I later told the guy at the ticket section that I thought it was badly handled and if someone was hurt it was probably their fault, and that was before I knew the gal hurt her wrist.) I'm sure they loved me. After that things did settle down a little and everyone just waited and chatted, and waited, and chatted. Some people tried to sit down, but it was discouraged, so we all had to stand. I had people holding my place in the line to check on a photo pass periodically. I finally just stood at the front on the "other" side of the rope. and chatted to everyone and the security guy and waited. He was pretty funny and we had a decent time chatting. I heard a lot of comments about I had to have the pass or no camera.

At one point, "Bob" mentioned that there was an early entry line for people that had a stamped receipt from Lucky's. So, the two gals at the front and I both mentioned we had eaten there, so we took turns leaving the line and getting our receipts stamped, so we were then in an early entry line. I kept going back and forth to check on the photo pass, which was still not there. Finally, the pass was there, and I ran back to the line, but it was gone already. SO the security guy there made me wait, even though I did get in before the general crowd, I was last at the early entry instead of about 5th. I barely made it to the barricade.

Then I was told that I had to shoot pics from the sound booth which was back a ways. SO, I went back there and had someone trying to save my barricade spot for me. I met a really nice family there, and we chatted about music. I let mom listen to an RK ringtone I had on my phone, since she wasn't familiar, and then one of the daughters, and they liked it. Then I started asking questions about the rules for shooting and the security guy was new so he went to check. He had another guy come to talk to me and he said I couldn't shoot from there, that I had to shoot behind the barricade. Well, that broke my heart. LOL Of course, I went right back up to the front. There was a whole lot of confusion about what I was supposed to do with my camera in between sets since I had a floor ticket. As it turned out I was finally able to just put it on the ground in front of me most of the time. They had wanted me to check it in and told me I couldn't have it on the floor, and I was trying to explain the impossible impracticality of that (leaving the show, since I had a paid ticket and after each set?)

Okay, I was ready. LOL

The show finally started, and I was behind the barricade for Fun's set. As in Salt Lake City, Fun was definitely Fun! In fact, I might have had a few more shots, but how can one not clap to "All the Pretty Girls"? I ended up on the wrong end of the barricade at the end of the 3rd song, and it took me a little time to put everything in the bag and get out, so decided to make sure that I didn't do that for Relient K's set. I'm not really co-ordinated, either. I shoved everything in the back as fast as I could.

After Fun finished their set, I headed back over to the barricade again, and got my camera out to get it ready. Instead it fell to the ground and my heart sank and then began to race with a little bit of panic. I tried it out, and it was acting funny - taking a long time to focus, hanging up a bit. I swapped lenses, and it was a little better, so I thought maybe I broke another 50mm. But when I swapped back it did work, only a little slowly at first, so that made RK's set a bit tougher to photograph as I did lose a little time. (For the record, it seems to work fine now, and it worked fine for Paramore's set.) The first three Relient K songs went by so quickly, and I was in a bit of a daze.

Again I made my way back to my spot at the barricade without too much trouble, and enjoyed the rest of the show. Relient K sounded awesome at the Joint. The set list was pretty much the same, but they added "The Distance" (cover song by Cake originally.) Relient K did this on the last tour, and I think the performance in Vegas was the best. I sang, clapped, screamed and enjoyed myself. And I was able to get a set list this time. :)

Once again, I headed out to the barricade for Paramore. I was able to get a few good shots, as Paramore's lighting was pretty decent. Haley is a good performer, and it is a challenge to catch her "stiller" moments for a photo. Josh was really animated as well and was all over the place. The show was a lot of fun. Just as she had in Salt Lake, Haley encouraged people to sing and scream until they lost their voices. The crowd sang pretty much every word. There was a lot of energy. During the encore, and Misery Business, Haley stopped the song and said she almost forgot and had people coming up on stage. Then all of the other bands were coming out and Ethan had two guitars. IT got really silly and crazy up there and fun. The show ended on a great note. I tried again to get a set list, but the gal next to me (who helped keep my spot until Paramore's set, and then this tall girl took it), was able to get a copy, so I took a pic of her and her nephew with the set list. I was actually happy that they were able to get it.

Then I went back to the merch tables. I waited quite a while and was about to move up and was scolded with a bunch of other people about not being waited on at the side unless we went around. Apparently there was a small rope there or something, but you really couldn't see it. So I ended up at the back of the line. I didn't mind that, but the scolding was kinda rude since we didn't know and we were waiting patiently, not pushing or anything. It worked out fine in fact, since John of Fun was standing back there, so we chatted and I had a pic taken while I was waiting. LOL

Then I left and headed back to Terrible Herbst's. I looked at my pics and got things organized and ready to leave in the morning. Then I went up to their cafe and had a salad, came back to my room, brushed my teeth and went to sleep.

Morning would come way too soon. I delayed getting up until the last possible moment, and then quickly dressed and loaded up the car for the long drive back.
Then I checked out of my room and headed out. I made a pit stop at a local McD's and had pancakes and scrambled eggs and headed for the freeway. It looked like it would be close, and I'd probably have to drive straight to work.

As it turned out, I made decent time, so I decided to pull over and take a few snaps along the Virgin River. It was a short stop.

I stopped for a Subway sandwich on the way back, and this was the view. I thought it looked like a painting.

I ended up getting to work about 5 minutes late, and thought maybe if I hadn't stopped at the river? LOL But I think it was worth it, and the breaks kept me awake.
NO one could believe that I drove from Vegas to work. I made it through the night okay, and only got really sleepy once. LOL But I made it.

Another adventure comes to the end.

Ah... I finally made it home again about 1:20 a.m. tired, but happy. Did I go straight to bed? No, I probably should have. I checked out photos first.

As for the May showers and flowers? Well, it rained later in the week, and I took photos of flowers. I originally intended to tie all of this together - before it ended up being a novel. The Irises were in bloom when I returned home, and after it rained I wanted a few shots of them with the raindrops. I remember thinking of the rhyme, "April Showers bring May flowers, but it was already May. At least it wasn't snowing this time. I'm looking forward to summer. More nice days, more flowers, and more concerts. Then I will be happy to be home once again.