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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.