Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I'm Just a Fan

I just found out that No Doubt is coming to Denver...



The band that I have loved since I was 10.

The band that has taken a five year hiatus from playing together because Gwen, Brad love her, decided to tour with Harajuku girls rather than her ex-boyfriend, that quite guy, and the drummer who plays in a thong...

The band that has written songs that have been a staple in my life's soundtrack since my middle school years.

The first time I was going to go see them live was when I was 11. They were at Red Rocks touring for Tragic Kingdom.

(Best. Album. Ever.)


They were going to be there on the last day of sixth grade, and my parents surprised me with tickets.

It was going to be my first concert.

Mom and Dad were going to pick me and my brother up from school and we were going to get sandwiches from Subway and we were going to get there early because it was General Admission and I was going to see that crazy chick who sang about how she was just a girl.


Then a freak TORNADO (which NEVER HAPPENS HERE... EVER...) hit my school and the lake where my brother was having his end-of-the-year party for the fourth grade, thus turning us into screaming basket-cases who wanted to stay the hell away from any outdoor amphitheater.

Fail number one.

Second concert: back at Red Rocks promoting Return of Saturn. Gwen had pink hair now, and as a fourteen-year-old on the brink of being "angsty", she was my hero.

(I angry-danced to Ex-Girlfriend many a times in my bedroom.)

(Even though I'd never been an ex-anything... except an ex-Hebrew school student... but that's a different subject...)

Since I was at the age where I was "too cool" to think of going with JUST my parents, I would only go with a friend.

But ALL (two) of my friends were going to be out of town when the concert was.

Fail number two.

Finally, when I was fifteen, they opened for U2. I convinced my brother, my best friend, and my mom to go see U2 so that I could (finally) catch a glimpse of No Doubt.

(Don't get me wrong... I love U2, and they were amazing, but No Doubt was what sealed the deal.)

I got to see them play! But it only made me want to see a headlining show that much more.

And then, when Rock Steady came out, I was able to see a No Doubt concert! My brother and I got into line early and even got to meet Tom Dumont (aka that quiet guy)!

I cornered him and told him about my tornado fiasco, and got his autograph (but left the Sharpie in the car... and the only pen I could find was dying... so you can't really see his signature... half-fail)... and then I saw Gwen walking backstage before the show and I screamed "I LOVE YOU, GWEN" and she? Waved. At. Me. (Half-fail revoked.)

I proceeded to have an AMAZING time dancing my sixteen-year-old ass off to Don't Speak and Hey Baby.

(I was rocking out so hard that at one point I almost punched a guy with an out-of-control fist.)

I was able to see them one more time the following year with my brother and Mike. I had spent the whole night before the concert sick to my stomach (with nerves), but the minute I sat in my seat and the lights went down, my stomach ache was history.

See... my whole life I've been a very nervous person. I worry. But concerts were something that eased it.

And even so, I've been to several concerts where I still get distracted. I suddenly realize that there are thousands of people around me... blocking my exit.

I start to panic during a slow song because my mind wanders.

But No Doubt made ALL of my nerves - all of my THOUGHTS - go away. And for the sixty to ninety minutes that Gwen was running around and Tony was rocking the bass and Adrian was in his thong and Tom was being all mysterious... I was perfect. All of my inhibitions were gone and I was HAPPY.

So, even though I've seen them several times before, I have to see them again. If nothing else than to feel like that teenager without a care in the world.

Now, all I need is the money so that I can actually SEE them rather than have to settle for the cheap spots all the way in the back.

(Those tickets don't even come with SEATS... you have to stand on a lawn and share a blanket with breast-feeding moms and that guy trying to sell you pot brownies.)

PS: I was originally going to sit down and write about my new nickname for Bonnie (Lumpy McGee) before this turned into an extremely LONG sob story about my adventures with my favorite band... I'll be back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.