“You are NEVER going to believe what just happened” I squealed into the phone to my best friend. I didn’t even believe that it had just happened but it did! As I was driving home, I had called into the radio for a contest on a whim. I, to this day, have no idea why I did it but I did and they actually picked up!
“Caller 9, you’re on the air. Are you ready for your question?” The voice was coming THROUGH MY PHONE. The question was too easy. I didn’t believe the words that came out of his mouth.
“You just won yourself a pair of tickets to go see MATCHBOX 20” I parked the car. My voice turned into a squeak. Everything became a blur until I got home. Without even saying hi to my mom, I dialed my best friend’s number.
Four months later, the big night came. Because I was still 17, our parents didn’t want us to be out in the streets of DC by ourselves so my aunt and her boyfriend bought tickets to the concert so they could take us. My best friend and I were ecstatic. I’d never been to a concert before so I could barely breathe. AND IT WAS MATCHBOX 20. Sugar Ray was going to open. Mark McGrath, the man that I’d drooled over every morning as I watched videos on MTV while getting ready for school. I was going to be breathing the same air as him. Needless to say, I was freaking out. I was still in my awkward stage so I don’t even remember what I looked like. Messy pony tail I’m sure but I was about to get worse…
The radio station was running a promotion. They were going to give front row seats to the people who showed their love the most for the station. As soon as we got to the stadium, my friend and I went out to find the booth. After all, there was some unknown band on the stage. I mean, who cared about a band called Maroon 5? We wanted those front row tickets!! The DJ at the booth was a jackass. Even though there was NO ONE ELSE there trying to get the tix, he made us jump through hoops. A ruined jacket, and stupid little tattoos on our hands (And my forehead) with the station logo FINALLY got us the tickets. We RAN all the way down to front row just as Sugar Ray was taking the stage. I wasn’t the girl that screamed…until that night. Surrounded by 40-odd year old women and overweight men, my friend and I were a bunch of hyperactive odd balls. I screamed with my hands reaching out as they hit the security guards.
When Mark McGrath shoved the microphone down his tight leather pants, 6 feet away from my face, all I wanted to do was touch him. Grab him. SOMETHING. During his last song, he ran down the aisle into the audience. I ran to the side and GRABBED HIS HAND. I nearly passed out.
Then. Then it was time. The lights dimmed. I held my breath. Rob Thomas appeared on stage. I don’t think, to this day, I’ve screamed as loud as I did when I saw him.
The night was unforgettable. They sang and I screamed louder. I made eye contact with Rob Thomas and he blew me a kiss. Adam winked at me. I sang along to EVERY SONG. When they did “If You’re Gone” acapella, I nearly fainted. There was Rob Thomas…6 feet away from me…eyes closed…singing MY song.
Life couldn’t have been any better until they began playing “Unwell”. After the song was over, Paul threw his drum stick into the audience and he pointed at me, winking. The Security guard missed the wink so he took the stick and just looked at it. I was screaming “It’s mine. He threw it for ME! GO ASK HIM” so he went backstage and he asked. He came back out…and handed me the stick. I screamed “Thank you! I love you Paul” and he winked at me again.
The rest of the show was a blur. I would’ve LOVED to go backstage and meet the guys but we had to be at the metro before midnight & drop of my friend at her house. It WAS a school night after all. On the ride home, I kept twirling the stick, almost not believing that I really had it. One of my aunt’s boyfriend’s friends asked me why I only had one stick…almost making fun of me. His face dropped when I said that I was front row and Paul had given it to me.
Then Matt turned to me and said “Why’s there something on your forehead?” I’d forgotten about the logo that I’d tattooed on my forehead to get the front row tickets. It was there as Mark McGrath was looking down at front row. It was there when Rob Thomas threw me a kiss. It was there when Adam and Paul winked at me. If I was easily embarrassed, that would’ve done it.
It was ABSOLUTELY the best night of my life. That was the first and only concert I’d ever been to and like any of my other “firsts”, it was a rockin experience, PQ style
What was your first concert? How old were you? What was your best/worst concert experience?