Lunatic Tour: Kongos, Sir Sly, The Colony House Band

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On Monday I had my first paid VIP experience. Usually to get back stage I just get to know the acts on social media before the show. I have been wanting to see Kongos for months, so when this tour was announced last year I immediately bought my tickets. When I saw they had a VIP option I jumped on that too. I even got one of the “better” packages so I could see the acoustic set before the show. Fancy right?

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I got to The NorVA at 5:30, as per the instructions on the VIP e-mail. I was gridded by one of the spunkiest guys I have met in the music world, Mo Gordon. Mo was super sweet and holy cow spunky! He lead us inside and we hung out at the merch booth for awhile. I talked to Jordan, the Kongos merch guy. (Why is there always a Jordan included in every tour group?) Talked to him a bit, got some tips, found out how he became their merch guy. Always good to make some connections. I also went over and talked to two of the guys in Colony House. A few weeks ago they posted that they needed merch volunteers so I made sure they had my information for the DC show. I ended up getting one of the Kongos tour shirts, because I liked the way they displayed the cities on the tour. It looked like a constellation. It was pretty cool!

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Mo lead myself and the two other VIP participants backstage. It was a little weird having a crew guy escort me considering how comfortable I was with the backstage area from just a few weeks ago hanging out with ForteBowie and Cherub. It was a really intimate experience. It was cool hearing them play a few songs acoustic. They told us not to take pictures or video. Naturally I got a few videos on my phone. They make me look like a super creeper, but whatever. After they played a few songs we talked a little bit, they signed my magnet, and we took some pictures. They are all significantly taller than me so some of my pictures I am standing on the couch behind us. It was pretty funny. I got my classic gather around selfies. Then we went back downstairs. It was still about 45 minutes until the doors though. We got to watch Colony House Band soundcheck which was nice. I love being one of the only people in the venue before doors. It is like a private show. Eventually more VIP people came in. and I started talking to a girl who is in the area for college. Before doors we took our spots on the barricade and we were joined by another concert enthusiast. Y’all know how much I love the concert community. We spent the time before the show talking about some of our best and worst concert experiences and just music in general. I definitely look forward to reconnecting with them at future shows.

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The opener was Colony House Band. I have listened to their album a few times since the tour was announced. I really like their stuff, so I was excited to see their set. They were great! I would definitely see them again! They could have interacted with the crowd more, but I guess that can be risky when you are the first opener.

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Next up was Sir Sly. I first heard of Sir Sly when they got in a fake twitter war with Bad Suns around the time of the Everywhere I Go Tour. They have a really cool sound. I have had more than one occasion since this tour was announced where I have put their song “Too Far Gone” on repeat for a few loops. I am a little confused by their band make up. I think there are three of them with two touring members. I can’t really figure it out, google has failed me. They had a great set! At the end in true Anne concert fashion the two people next to me got set lists. THANKFULLY a few minutes later I also got one. I was pretty annoyed at first though. It is a running sad joke on me that the people by me always get the pics, set lists, exc. I should just get used to it.

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Kongos is pretty amazing! They are so unbelievable talented! Their lights and set were on point too! One of the coolest things they did was have smoke rings during “I’m Only Joking”. It was such a cool and unexpected effect. I love this band, because they don’t stick to the typical band dynamic. They all sing, and their drummer of all people is actually a primary vocalist! Not something you see and when you hear his voice you would have no clue he was drumming away the whole time. So talented. They really stick to the music, they don’t really try to make a connection with the audience, they just kind of do their own thing. I don’t know if it was intentional or not. This is one reason why I decided not to go to the DC show the following night. It was an incredible show, but it wasn’t worth a three and a half hour drive to see it twice back to back. 10959649_10203966580981106_9092168090330302146_n

After the show I went and got my Sir Sly set list signed. I talked to them for a little bit. They knew who SomeKindaWonderful was since they know Bad Suns, so I had them throw up the Butterfly Militia sign for a quick pic. Talked to Colony House again, they are a really nice group of guys! Then I got to do another meet and greet with Kongos. I talked to them again about SomeKindaWonderful. They said they would check them out, not sure if I believe them, but whatever. Since I decided I wasn’t going to DC I decided it would be a fun idea to make an ass of myself and get them to do the Butterfly Militia symbol with me. They were really nice and good sports about it.

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It was a fantastic night and I definitely look forward to seeing those bands again in the future! I have to take a break from concerts for a little bit to save some money.

Check out all my pictures here!

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Ingrid Michaelson: Lights Out Tour

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Wow! I was really slacking! It has been two weeks since this show and I never sat down to write about it! I kind of forgot about it honestly. I guess that kind of tells you how the concert was. Okay, that sounds really bad. It was a wonderful show! Keep in mind for the three weeks leading up to the show I attended three back to back Cherub shows. Every night was a party in the crowd. I made friends, I drank, I danced, and I sang screamed along. Ingrid Michaelson’s performance, as you may have guessed, had a very different energy than Cherub.

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I started out my day in New York City. We were out until almost 5am that morning so getting on the road by noon was tough. I made it happen though. I even made it on time for my dinner reservation next door at Coda. Y’all I can’t speak enough good things about that place. If you are seeing a show at The National check it out!

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The crowd at this show was just so chill. It was several groups of girls nights and couples. I had some polite conversations with the other people on the barricade, but I didn’t make any connections worth remembering.16248592148_a8b51eb7a4_h

Greg Holden was the opener. I had hard of him, but I wasn’t too familiar with him. He is a cutie though! His set was great! He is extremely talented and also had some talented back up. I have actually heard him on the radio a few times since seeing the show!

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Ingrid Michselson is easily the funniest performer that I have seen! She was fantastic! She didn’t take her show too seriously. She had a great group backing her up. And again, I can’t stress enough how funny she is!! I really enjoyed her performance, she is so very talented.

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After the show I got to meet Greg Holden at the mercy booth. I went out to the busses where the tour manager informed us that Ingrid wouldn’t be coming out, because she wasn’t feeling well. She took some things on the bus and ingrid signed them. She even took selfies of her with our phones. It was a sweet gesture. I wish I could have met her, but I am not a super fan or anything so I wasn’t heartbroken.

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This is easily the worst blog I have ever written. I guess it is better than rambling. It was a great show and I am so thankful that I went. There just wasn’t much to it. The crowd was relaxed. The opener and headliner were good. There wasn’t anything fancy or overly memorable. Plus I am writing this two weeks after the show so it is a little hard to recall details. When I was talking about the shows I have went to this year I actually forgot to count this one. Oops. She was great, I will see her again is she is in my area, but I probably won’t road trip to see her again.

You can see all my pictures from the show here.

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Pre- Burn It Up Tour

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I go through phases with music. I will find an album and listen to it non stop for weeks then not touch it for a year. I will still enjoy the artist and their music, but it won’t be fresh on my mind getting stuck in my head. My friends have seen these trends for the last seven years that we have been together. That is why they is a little shocked that I am still as in love with SomeKindaWonderful as I was when I first started listening to them. I have said it countless times, there is something different about SomeKindaWonderful.

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There is something special about these guys and their music. Maybe I just discovered them at the right point in my life. Whatever the reason is, I connect with them. I care about them and want their success more than I thought was possible for me to want for a group of almost strangers.

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I am fortunate to have gotten close to a few of them over the last few months, since I last saw them. The rest I am sure I will get to know soon enough… BECAUSE they finally announced their Spring tour! I was fortunate to get a few dates leaked to me before the big reveal which helped with some pre planning, but now with all the dates posted I am ready to map everything out!

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If you remember a few months ago I started my great campaign to be a SomeKindaMerchGirl. I know it is kind of ridiculous for me to drop everything and go on the road with some band. Really though, I don’t give a shit. It would be one of those once in a lifetime things to travel the country with them. (Well, twice in a lifetime. I did that whole travel the US by bus back in 2007) I don’t know how much longer I will be able to jump on an opportunity like this since we will probably start having kids within the next few years. Well, last week I got up the nerve to ask the SKW Manager, Nima, for the chance to join them. His first response was just a flat out “you’re crazy, no.” After about four hours of texting I ended up with the most vague “probably not now but maybe one day” response. A big step up from him calling me crazy, but still not the “yes” I was hoping for. At least I have the idea in his head for him to consider down the road. I’m not giving up all hope. Too bad I don’t remember how to work a lighting board from my days in high school theater, that would be my next pitch…

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So since I won’t be joining the crew this round I am planning another solo road trip to see them as many times as possible. My hope was to take about two weeks off, but they will be too deep in to the US at that point for me to drive. Plus, driving myself that far for such a long time would be pretty dangerous since I don’t sleep (or eat) much on these adventures. So right now my plan is to start on either the first or second night of tour in Rhode Island or New York. I haven’t really decided if I will make the trip all the way to RI yet, but I am tempted since it is a place I haven’t visited yet. That is the fun thing about all this road tripping. I m fueled by wanderlust the whole time. After that first show I will be able to follow them to the other NY show, Philly, DC, Atlanta, then my last stop will be North Carolina. I should actually know people at each show since I have been to all of these locations before. I love the concert community so so much! I am hoping to get some of my friends from back home to make plans to go to the Atlanta show.

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Seven shows doesn’t seem like enough for these guys, but the closest they will be coming is the last two tour dates when they come to Ohio. I’m not ruling it out, but I am not counting on it either.

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This tour announcement has been so exciting for me, because I helped come up with the concept. When I pitched it to Nima at first I wasn’t sure if he would take it seriously. But he did and for the last few weeks he has kept me in the loop on it. It has been a lot of fun. I am a huge dork when it comes to marketing and social media and an even bigger dork when it comes to SomeKindaWonderful. I am so thankful that he let me in on this experience. They executed it really well too. I’m a little bummed it will only be up for 24 hours, that’s the whole point of snapchat though. You can read about the announcement in a blog I wrote for promotion reasons here.

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Today I took the job of “SomeKindaWonderful/Nima’s bitch” Haha! I had the day off and I spent several hours promoting this tour. There isn’t anything I would rather have been doing though, don’t get me wrong. I was e-mailing, tweeting, and making youtube videos. Pretty much anything that I could do to help spread the word. There is very little I wouldn’t do for these guy’s success.

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I had a few people ask if I was upset that I wasn’t getting any credit for my idea. So I will answer that right now, no. I am just so thankful to have been involved on this journey and to get the inside information that I have gotten. I am not helping them for my benefit, it is all for the Butterfly Militia and making sure these guys are successful in the US so I don’t lose them to Europe forever. A tweet mentioning me isn’t going to do anything for them and really it isn’t going to do anything for me in the long run. So no, yall are silly. I am not in the slightest bit upset that they haven’t publicly announced. Haha!

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I am having a blast with SomeKindaWonderful though and I cannot express to you how excited I am to be a part of the tour and their overall success in any way that I can. There is still about 12 days until I will need to get my March/April schedule request to my boss so if anyone wants to campaign to Nima to let me at least ride with them for the first half of tour (Or just shut up and hire me for the whole tour) please be my guest! It would be way safer if they can find room for me in their van even if it isn’t for the whole tour. Whether Nima somehow changes his mind and hires me, I can convince them to let me tag along in the van, or I just end up driving solo I am so excited for this tour!

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(PS This is Nima, the man you need to campaign haha)

I can’t freakin wait for March!! Is it too early to start a countdown??

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UPDATE Feb 7, 2015: Passion and persistence paid off. I will be doing their merch for the first 8 shows of the tour. I am so excited!

OH SNAP! SomeKindaWonderful announced a new tour!! ON SNAPCHAT!

Back in December SomeKindaWonderful announced that they were going to be doing a Spring Tour. They first announced their upcoming tour in an e-mail following their Fall 2014 tour supporting Bad Suns and New Politics.

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All over social media their fans were dying to see more of their fun performance and to hear more of their genre-defying setlist…

2014 ended with the guys visiting Germany to prepare a few teasers for their upcoming world wide album release. Meanwhile fans from across the US were waiting with increasing anticipation. Finally in January everyone’s prayers were answered…sorta…

That was enough to keep up hope! Then they even started playing games to guess the tour schedule getting everyone hyped up for their upcoming tour…

It wasn’t before long that people started questioning SomeKindaWonderful’s definition of “soon”

They insisted that dates were coming… soon….

But how soon is soon when you are SomeKindaWonderful…

At this point I think they were just messing with us. Finally last night they gave us what they have been teasing for months. They made it well worth the wait too.

SomeKindaWonderful is known for having a unique connection with their fans. They have gone above and beyond connecting with their “Butterfly Militia” by sending hand written letters, video chatting, tweeting and retweeting, and one of the easiest ways they have connected is through SnapChat. So it makes perfect sense that they use social media to announce their upcoming tour!

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Last night Jordy Towers took to SnapChat and announced each city in a video. Viewers were encouraged to screen shot their city and tag SnapChat, the venue, and of course SomeKindaWonderful to get the word out! Immediately the tweets started pouring in for what has to be one of the coolest tour announcements in social media. The videos were posted around 8pm EST so there are still a few more hours for you to go check it out and screen shot your city! I know I’ll be at an obnoxious amount of East Coast Dates so say hey if you see me there!!

Hover over this next image with the snapchat icon to add them or just search somekindawonder

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Keep up with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram too! Who knows what they will do next…

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Strip To This Tour

Yall, music is freakin amazing. Just a few short weeks ago I had no clue who Cherub and ForteBowie were, now they will always have a special place in my heart.

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If you know me you know I am always down for a show. A few weeks ago I posted an image on instagram with all my 2015 concert plans so far. I had mentioned that on January 23 I was either going to drive to see Moon Taxi in NC or I was going to stay local and go to a Cherub concert. Between all my social media profiles I received several people adamant that I check out Cherub. People talked about what a blast their show is and how nice Jason and Jordan are. I hadn’t really heard of them before and I wasn’t familiar with the opening acts. Enough people convinced me that it would be well worth my time though. I looked at Cherub’s tour schedule and saw they were actually playing in Richmond the week before. I decided to buy a ticket and check them out. Then if I loved them I would get to see them again in Norfolk instead of driving to NC. It seemed like a win win!

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I listened to their music and as soon as I heard the song ❤ (Heart) I fell in love. They are a little more electronic than my usual style, but their songs make me want to dance. I knew it would be a good show based on that alone.

I am addicted to crafting right now. When I am home for a night I am usually making things with no real end game. I have so many random magnets, stickers, and apparel I could almost open a shop. I went to target one day after work the week of the show in Richmond. In the dollar section they had these baskets that were PERFECT for the booze arrangements I love to make. I don’t make every band booze arrangements, but I was feeling crafty and those baskets were so cheap! So I sent Cherub a snapchat asking what their drink of choice is and their favorite candy. If they responded great! If not, no big deal I just wouldn’t make an arrangement. I didn’t even get out of the dollar section and I had a response. It was on.

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Once I start crafting I can’t stop. I made them an arrangement with gummy bears, chocolate, whisky, and some coke for a chaser/mixer. Then I decided to also make a t-shirt for the show. I had just gotten some new vinyl in and hey why not. Go big or go home right? So I was looking at lyrics and 90% of their songs are either about sex, drugs, or a break up. Sometimes they just combine all elements. This made making a t-shirt tricky. I am a young professional. I see my tenants all over the place. Plus I am a military wife. I really don’t need to be walking all over the place with a shirt that says “Champagne and Cocaine”, ” Let me find out if pussy pay your bills”, ” I’m gonna take a sledge-hammer to your car and Break everything apart”, ” Teach me things I never knew I like it when you work it harder Freaky me, Freaky you”, exc. So I went with “Chocolate Strawberries with a, vanilla smoothies.” Yeah, not a typeo, the song says “smoothies”. I posted a pic of it on instagram and added a caption that Cherub doesn’t give a shit about grammar. (That will come in to play later)

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It was finally the day of the show. It was pretty chilly outside, it is January after all. I made a reservation for the restaurant next to The National so that I could get early entry. That way I would be one of the first people in and I could get some food and a drink before the show. Always important since it is a two hour drive for me to get up there.

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The last time I went to the National it was for MOBS 2014 Night 1. The early admission line was crazy long. For this show I was actually the only one who did early entry. That was a little odd, but whatever. I had a few minutes to myself in the venue to get another drink so heyyy!! Really, the early admission wasn’t necessary, because when the doors opened there were barely enough people to fill up the barricade. Time went by and I started talking to the few people around me. None of us had ever been to such an empty show. It was so weird.

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ForteBowie was the opening act. He is pretty active on social media, a quality I value as a fan. I checked out his tweets in the days leading up to the show. He seemed pretty chill. I found what I could of his music, before the show too, but I spent most of my time focusing on learning Cherub’s music. I got good vibes from Forte though. I loved his set! Then when he introduced himself to the crowd he said he was from Atlanta. My chill was gone in that moment. Always gotta get excited for a hometown act on the road.  He had a great set! It was fun, he was very interactive with the crowd, highly impressed with ForteBowie.

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Next up was Mystery Skulls. I have only seen one other DJ set, about a year and a half ago when DJ Pauly D opened for Backstreet Boys. I had a lot of fun during this set though! I danced the whole time. The girl next to me was REALLY in to their music which got me in to it more. I do love the concert community. These girls behind me kept whining that they wanted Cherub to come out, not gonna lie it made me dance just that much harder and I might have “accidently” stepped on a few toes. Don’t heckle the opening act, especially when they are doing such a great job! I loved his set!

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When the stage was being set for Cherub shit got real. I suddenly understood why there was no one there in the beginning, everyone was pregaming! People were so obnoxious trying to get to the front. I was able to hold my own on the barricade. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for the girls I was talking to before the show. The ones who were jamming out to Mystery Skulls were solid though! Cherub had a fucking incredible set. They were energetic, interactive, and just so much fun! Even the songs I didn’t know well I was able to rock out to. At one point Jordan came over to me on the barricade and told me he liked my shirt! Then when he went back to his place he quoted my “Cherub doesn’t give a shit about grammar.” comment from instagram. OH SNAP, they do pay attention! That was pretty freakin sweet. After the show Jason got my attention and I met him on the side of the stage. I was able to talk to them a little after the show. Some of the nicest guys I have had the opportunity to meet. I was pretty crushed that I had to dip out early to get back on the road. They hooked me up with some free merch, selfies, and told me they would put me on the guest list for the next show in Norfolk.

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Throughout that next week I thought of and created another gift idea for the guys. I also reached out to ForteBowie and his manager Ty to get lunch before the show Friday. I was shocked, but they actually responded and plans were made! I met up with them before the show and grabbed some juice from The Juice Bar across the street from the venue. Then they let me come back with them to chill before the show. Backstage at the Norva is one of the coolest places I have seen! I went back stage with SomeKindaWonderful for a few venues, but they didn’t compare to this penthouse! This place had pool table, pingpong, basketball court, sauna, hot tub, and probably a bunch more I didn’t see. They had a ton of cool signed memorabilia everywhere too. So I was there for a few hours before the show just chillin.

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My friend Katrina got to the venue around doors, I had Forte put her on the guest list when I realized we may not be entering the venue together. The pre show in Norfolk was just as odd as the Richmond show. Total ghost town before the show started. I am used to shows where if I don’t get there 2-3+ hours early I will be a few rows back. It was trippy.

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The show was incredible from start to finish (again)! ForteBowie had some fans in the audience requesting songs. Mystery Skulls again had a few fans (with face paint even) who were there just for him. Then Cherub is always a blast to watch. Jordan hurt his wrist the night before so he couldn’t play guitar. He was so upset about it when we were talking backstage. But the show must go on! They pulled it off and it is kind of a fun fan trivia thing to say you were at a show where he DIDN’T play guitar. If I hadn’t seen the show before I wouldn’t have known something was off. He had some really funky dance moves for sure!

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After the show we again exchanged gifts and this time I had my friend with me backstage. There were some other girls this time who were all pretty cool. I exchanged instagram names and snapchat with them. I would totally hang with them again! It was an awesome day and evening and hopefully not a one time experience. That backstage area is too cool not to see again!

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Just a quick minute for a personal note. I am was exhausted and completely burned out. I have been going nonstop for weeks. I volunteered for overtime. I have been frustrated with my job performance and other job related issues. Just burned out. I previously signed up for overtime the Friday after the Norfolk show. After talking to a few of my managers I decided not to take that day as overtime.

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When we were hanging out at the Norfolk show everyone kept talking about how sick the New York City show was going to be. It was their biggest headlining venue and they were expecting to sell it out. Everyone was stoked for it. I decided to take my day off and take a road trip to NYC. During my discussions with my managers I decided to devote February to work more than music. This would be my last hurrah. Plus I would get to visit a girl I met at a show last November who I have kind of adopted as my little sister!

So after work on Thursday I made the six and a half hour drive to NYC. Caught up with a few friends on the phone, drove through some funky snow, but arrived safely.

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Not getting the overtime pay and the long drive was totally worth it! My time in New York was a BLAST! I got all caught up with the little sis. She showed me parts of the city. It is always cool seeing things through a local’s prospective instead of a tourist’s. We got some great Greek food, spent some time at starbucks, and froze our asses off! I wasn’t able to meet up with the guys before the show, because they were doing press around the city. Totally made sense, but kinds sucked.

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The show was the best I saw! The energy on stage and in the crowd was so intense! I loved the people around me too! I met these two great guys from New Jersey. So bummed they left after Mystery Skulls, I would have loved to dance with them more! I will be a little heartbroken if our paths never cross again. The crowd was a bit instese, but everyone was having a great time. Forte fucking crushed it. It was by far the best I have seen him. The crowd loved his energy and it was such a great way to start out the show. During Mystery Skulls I gave up my spot on the barricade to one of his dedicated fangirls. I had so much fun dancing with everyone around me it didn’t matter if I was barricade or not. Concerts are such a cool experience when you can be surrounded by strangers but feel so comfortable. At one point one of the guys grabbed my hand and held it above our heads as we jumped and danced together. It was just a fucking blast. (I shouldn’t have to point this out, but since I just mentioned the hand holding I will… the guys were gay. I promise I am not going to all these shows hooking up with strange men lol). Cherub was just beyond words. I wish I could relive that concert 100x. You could feel how pumped they were to be on that stage. They changed their set list a little and added a cover song at one point which was so great. Jordan was back on his guitar. I really can’t imagine a more perfect show from them. It was just WOW! After their set there was an afterparty DJ set at a local club. Unfortunately, the little sister wasn’t able to participate since it was 21+. It was pretty cool going in with the tour manager and crew and being included with the headcount for that group. It’s the little things. I didn’t stay long, but we did give Ty a ride to his friend’s place in exchange for stoping by the bus to drop off more gifts for the guys and their crew. I wish I had gotten to know the tour manager (didn’t even get his name) and their merch girl Maria more. I could totally hang with them! I’m SURE the rest of the crew was just as fantastic, I didn’t have much opportunity to hang out with them though.

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I am so heartbroken that my time following the Strip To This Tour has come to an end. There is SO much more that I can write about my experience, but I think I covered the important parts pretty well. I am so long-winded when it comes to these blogs. This whole experience following the tour was so amazing from start to finish. I am so thankful for ForteBowie, Ty, and the guys from Cherub, Jordan and Jason, and their kindness. Like I said before I had no clue who ANY of them were just a few weeks ago now I will be a lifelong fan. I DEFINITELY hope I will see them again in the future. If you get the opportunity to see them, just do it! Even if it isn’t your genre, their show is good enough where I am confident you will have an amazing time!

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