Driving down the 101, California here we come, right back where we started from.

24 Sep

Back to playing catch up on my crazy life. This picks up the end of March/early April:

7 states in a five week period of time. What is wrong with me?!

I don’t know how to stay home. Correction, I don’t know how to stay in California for that matter! But finally, after 5 weeks of planes, and buses, and vans, there was a string of shows in my own state. Good old California, how I missed you.

The first stop was Bakersfield. It was just a few days after getting home from Seattle, and I was still exhausted. I was playing the solo game for this show, but started chatting to the girl sitting next to me, Katie, who was at the show alone as well. We became fast friends, and talked for the whole hour before the show started and between sets. We’re both Kelly nerds, and Matt totally won her over. Hi, Katie!! 😀

During Kelly’s encore I headed out to talk to Matt, because I had a long drive, and had to be at work extra early the next morning. Gag.

Kelly was still playing when Matt came out. When it was my turn I walked up, singing. He was laughing and then happily was like, “HI!!!”

I told him Happy Birthday, (it was the day before) and then we got to the small chat. How are you’s? Good. We’re both tired. I told him I had a long day, I worked that morning, then drove to the show, and I was about to drive back.

He asked, “Where IS home?” and when I said Monterey, his eyes went huge. “MONTEREY? Monterey?! Oh man. We’re driving back to my house tonight, in San Francisco, and then I fly to Reno. Oh man. Now I feel bad. Monterey. You should just drive with us.” (Um, yes please?) I tell him if he can hook my car up to the back of his bus he has a deal. HA.

So then out of nowhere, I get a little sappy, and just say what on my mind. “Matt, I just want to thank you real quick. This tour has been amazing. And you know, not a lot of bands appreciate their fans, or what I do…the whole following thing…but I feel like you’ve been giving me, and my group, a lot of love in return.”

His eyes go wide.

“Well YEAH. You guys are bad ass!” He gives me a double high five, then locks his fingers with mine. We stand like this the remainder of our conversation. “You’re the most bad ass of them all. You just keep SHOWING UP PLACES.”

I laugh, tell him if it gets too much to tell me stop going. He gives me an EYE, and says, “I sang you Lifehouse.” HAHAHA. I guess that means STFU I love you?

By then Kelly is over, and I needed to get going, so we wrapped up. We go to take our picture, and Matt says, “Come over here and hold me.” Hence my “I’ll squeeze you to death” grip in this photo.

Before I leave, Matt asks “Am I seeing you in Anaheim?” I literally stand there for a few seconds because I can’t even think of where I’m currently at, or where I’m going next. “Yeah! Anaheim. LA. Oh and San Francisco!”

“SAN FRANCISCO IS GOING TO BE FUN!” he says with the most excited look on his face, and grabs my hands again. He’s so adorable at times. Scratch that. All the time.

“LA is going to be so fun, I have a fucking front row ticket, and I’m just going to…”
“Get ready to beat down some Kelly fans!” he interjects. (What?)

Then I guess we said goodbye. I was exhausted at this point. The drive home was a blur of loud music, a energy drink & birthday cake Oreo’s.

I had a few days off (re: 2) to sleep in and go to work like a normal person. Then, it was back on the road for a few days. I made California my bitch. From Bakersfield to LA to San Francisco to Anaheim to Indio, I was all over the place in a short period of time.

The morning of the LA show, I drove down early to Redondo Beach. I was staying with my friends Steve and Charity that night, who were also going to the show. Steve took me out to lunch while we waited for Charity to get off of work, and then we headed to the Nokia Live.

Oh hey, everyone behind me. Oh my god. My seat was so so close. I had somehow scored a front row ticket during the pre-sale and I think I about peed myself for 3 straight hours.

I was the only person standing during Matt, and that probably wasn’t even necessary because the stage came to about my hips and I could see perfectly fine. But who sits during their favorite bands?! Not I! The guy next to me was obviously gay, and asked me after his set, “Oh honey, you like that guy? He just does nothing for me.” (HAHAHA. Love it.)

Matt gave me his typical, “Oh hey, there you are.” grins while playing. Then it was Kelly time. Oh em gee. Ms. Clarkson up close. There were points where I could literally extend my arm out and I’d hit her. But I’m not one of those “touchy” people, so I kept my hands to myself.

Seeing as the show was in Los Angeles, we got blessed with a 2 hour long set and lots of special guests! Out came Tamara Grey, Michelle Branch, Blake Shelton & Reba to sing duets with Kelly. Holy shizballs.

I jumped up and down. I sang my heart out. Then I met back up with Steve and Charity and I gushed about how I jumped and sang. Then we made a late night In N Out run before crashing.

The next morning I woke up, got my stuff together and jumped in my car to drive to San Francisco. 6 hour drives by yourself are long and sad. I finally arrived to the city and grabbed a much needed cup of coffee, and then met up with my friends in line.

Once inside we defrosted and I ate a GIANT Fillmore apple. I should have taken a picture of it. It was a meal in itself.

Seeing Rachel and Craig in my own state for once made me happy. Both of their faces lit up when they saw me, and that made me even more happy. I adore them.

Matt gave me lots of love during the show. When he was playing Amazing Again, he gave me the “hmmm, whatcha think about that?” face where he had been adding in Lifehouse, then gave me a smirk and shook his head and sang a bit of something else. Jerk.

Someone yelled, “Welcome home Matt” and Matt thanked him. He then added, “We were supposed to be in San Jose last week with Kelly…I know some of you bought tickets to that, sorry…” and then quickly guiltily glanced at me. HA.

(I had bought a 6th row ticket for the show. I was excited. Then Matt got the offer to perform on Dancing With The Stars with Sugarland, so he had to cancel. I playfully gave him shit for it, he apologized, then I sold my ticket for $98 and I was happy as well.)

After the show, I was standing around chatting with some friends, when Craig appeared out of nowhere and rushed towards me. “HEEEY!” he said, high fiving me. We then got into a lengthy conversation about a ton of random things. He flew in that morning at 4:30am from NY, and he had played a show the night prior and got home at 3:30am. He said he felt like he was on crack, and if I could tell that him and Rachel were really giddy and sleep deprived onstage. I joked about how that’s the way I had been feeling the past few weeks of my life.

When I introduced my people to him, and they were all like, “What the hell, does everyone know you?” Hmmm…yes. I was going to say hi to Rachel but she had a line of people wanting to talk to her, and it was 11:30 and I had to drive 2 hours home. And then work at 9am the next morning. Ouch. I ended up only getting 5 hours of sleep and dragging my feet through the 8 hour day at work.

My friend Tara arrived the last hour I was working, and walked around downtown until I got off. We met up with a mutual friend for dinner and then headed home to try to sleep early. We had a extremely early morning, as we were headed down to Anaheim for the last show on the All Night Noise tour leg.

The next morning we woke early, and headed the 6.5 hour trek to Anaheim.

When we finally arrived, we met up with Lisa and a old friend of Tara’s for lunch. After lunch we wandered around Downtown Disney, and I heavily caffeinated myself (as always.)

A few more of my awesome people met up with us, and we were loud and obnoxious and laughed a lot in line.

Since it was the last show of the tour, Matt and crew messed around with Rachel while she opened. They kept turning her keyboard off and on. I felt so bad. She kept laughing and looked at me like HELP! Poor girl. Shiben came out to play bass on the last song, and Andy Grammer came out soon after to have a rap battle with Rachel. It was bomb!

I was sad that it was the last show. To make it worse, before Matt introduced the band during his set, he talked about how he’s never felt so bummed to be going home. Usually he looks forward to getting back to San Francisco, but he’s never been more sad to leave a group of people behind. He said it was like high school on a bus. How he hoped that when he tours again for the next record, he hoped they could all regroup and play together again.

Break my heart! That’s also when I realized I couldn’t go home yet. I knew I had to go to Indio the next day, where he was opening for Kelly Clarkson somehow, despite the fact it was sold out.

After the show I talked to Rachel and Craig for a bit. Rachel is the cutest thing on the planet, plus she hugs people more than I do, which is ridiculous, because I’m all about hugs. “HIIII busy girl!” she exclaimed when I saw her. Too cute.

Lisa and I reunited with an old friend we met when Matt opened for Lifehouse back in 2008. We chatted it up, and didn’t leave until security literally yelled at us for the third time.

Tara and I stayed at her aunt’s house that night, and as we got ready for bed, we schemed ways to get into the show the next night.

In the morning, we woke up and called the box office to see if they were going to release more tickets. They didn’t have any at the moment, but we got wait listed in case some were. In other words, we were shit out of luck. We then checked StubHub, ticket brokers, Craigslist. Everywhere was sold out. We. Were. Screwed.We decide to say fuck it and to just take our chances and go. We were talking to Tara’s aunt, and Tara was telling her how the band knows me and pretty much loves me, and she was like, “Why don’t you just ask them for tickets?” I explained how I’ve never asked for ANYTHING because that’s not my style. I’ll never ask. Ever. But then I did. Sorta. No. Yes?I sent a DM to James, asking to let us know if he heard of any tickets being released, because we were in search of some, and I was trying to not make tour end. Ha. I got a message a few hours later saying he knew how important it is to avoid reality (ha) , and he’d see if he could do anything. I wasn’t expecting anything to come out of it at all, so we stopped to caffeinate, and stop at the bank to get money in case we ran into scalpers outside the venue.We headed to Indio, which is a little less than a two hour drive from Tara’s aunts place. At this point we had the mindset of if we didn’t find tickets, we had a bunch of cash and we’d just get some drinks and gamble, since the show was at a casino. We’d make it fun no matter what.

Then the unthinkable happened and I got another message asking if I still needed a ticket. I replied yes, and soon after I get a reply that my name +1 would be at will call. James Farrell, you are my hero! Or I think I replied that I loved him and thanked him over and over, to be correct. Haha. Sorry.

“What’s a show without you?” was another reply. OK fine. I’m spoiled and its possible they do love me. He joked around that I owed him a drink, and I told him that we’d BOTH buy him drinks, and to just find us before the show starts.

When we got to the venue, it was like Christmas when Will Call handed over the envelope with the tickets.
I had to control myself from not ripping it open to see where the seats were. Row 7? I’ll take it!
There was a bar outside of the venue, and it was 75 degrees, so we grabbed a drink and were hanging out on a little grassy hill nearby. James came out and as promised, we bought him a drink.

He probably graced us with his presence for a good 45 minutes or so, before he had to go do his job and get ready to rock. He is a good dude. I enjoy his company.

The doors were opened at this point, so we headed in, got another drink, and found our seats.

During Matt’s set, we were of course the only 2 standing. The crowd was really lame the entire show really, and hardly even anyone stood during Kelly’s set as well. Boo, Indio, boo.

Some asshat yelled at Matt, “Where’s Kelly? Bring her out!” and Matt just FLIPPED. He literally walked to the end of the stage and said, ‘Who said that? You? You’re going to be a douche bag? What the fuck do you do for a living? You’re bald. You’re probably 60. You should know better. Do I come into your work place and heckle you?” and at this point I’m basically drunk off my ass and I’m grabbing Tara like HOLY HELL WHAT IS HAPPENING.

Lets just say….the next few songs were played with extra angst. Poor Matt. I fully support your bad temper in this situation. Haha.

Sometime during Matt’s set I guess I had set my phone on the floor. And I guess someone stepped on it. And I guess its 5 months later and I’m still too cheap to buy a new phone, because that crack is still there. Drunkness at its finest, folks.

During Kelly’s set, I sang extra loud thanks to the cocktails, and I had a serious lack of voice for 2 days after. It happens every Kelly tour. I’ll never learn.

After the set, as we’re walking out, and I see James and Konrad walking right past us. I stop to say hi, and then I realize I haven’t talked to Konrad in eons. I say something to Konrad like, “I haven’t talked to you this whole tour. I don’t think I’ve talked to you in like 3 years! What the fuck have you been up to?” Oh dear do not drink.

I’m saying ridiculous things that I can’t control. I asked what happened with the dude in the crowd. James asks what happened to my phone. We talk about Kelly. I’m pretty sure I imitate how I dance during her sets. Alcohol, nooo.

Konrad leaves soon after. He kept laughing at me because I know he could tell I was drunk. James chats for a little while longer and then has to go. I hug him goodbye, and then we’re off to shove pizza and coffee in our drunk faces and walk around to sober up.

An hour or so later we’re ready to drive back to Tara’s aunt’s, and it felt like the longest 2 hours of life. We were so exhausted! I think we finally went to sleep at 3am, and woke up at 8am to drive the 6 hours home. I had a perma-grin on my face the entire drive back. It’s amazing how happy these people and their music makes me. It’s a feeling I hope never dims.


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