Jen - I apologize that this is waaaaaaaaaaay late but better late than never right?
We got home from the Orlando show on a total high. Everyone set out to get their pictures and video off their cameras and on to computers. We just sat with rapt attention watching what we had shot. And boy did we get some awesome footage. We made our plan to be in the car and heading to Fort Lauderdale by 9am.
Cue 9am. We have everything ready and are in the car roaring down the driveway. Given the right motivation we can mobilize with military precision. Banners? Check. Cameras? Check. Bail money? Check. Okay - kidding about the bail money. Maybe.
It took us about three and a half hours to drive there. We stopped to gas up more than half way there and get some snacks. We got to the venue about 12:45 or so I guess. There was one girl already there waiting with a sign. She said she'd been there since 8am. The security guy could've cared less about us being there but his boss was not happy so he had to tell us to move on. We stood at a corner down from the gate for a bit then Lori and I decided to go to will call to just check and make sure the tickets were there. As we walked around and through a tunnel we realized we were walking right next to the fenced in area where all the roadie buses and trucks were. We could see what catering was cooking for dinner - a big pot of chili!
So we go to will call where they have NO RECORD of our tickets. Lori is about to go fucking kung foo on someone.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Be careful of using ticketsnow.com people. Lori's information said the tickets would be at will call. After a few phone calls to ticketsnow it was clear that they were not. We were instructed to meet some random guy at a bar in the mall across the street to get our tickets!!! WTF??????????? They also said it would be sometime between 6 and 8. HELLO??? The show starts at 7:30. We were all fucking pissed off at this point. Lori talked to the guy who was supposed to have the tickets and he said he would be there at 6. So we drove over there at 6 and Lori and Angie went in together to get the tickets. The guy was there as promised and the tickets were legit, but damn. What words can I use? DODGY. UNPROFESSIONAL. And this is a site that is a branch of ticketmaster. BE VERY CAUTIOUS ABOUT THIS SITE EVERYONE.
OK, back to the story. So we go back to waiting but the security people are shooing us away. I go to put something in the car and just mosey up the hill to see if I can see anything. I find a spot up on a balcony that overlooks the entire fenced in area!!! I text down to Lori to come up to check it out with me. We have a perfect and clear view of the entrance - when the boys drive in they'd be coming right at us. So we gather up at the top...but security is seeing us and shooing us away. We are not in a restricted area so we stay but just sit so we can't be seen. This is REAL stalking!!!
We waited for a while and then we heard some yelling. A few other people had gathered down at the corner and so we figured the boys were driving by. Lori and I popped up and ran with our sign and Union Jack waving and hanging over the balcony. They drove in so fast we weren't sure they even saw us up there...but probably. Hard to miss people running at full speed with a flag and a banner!! Then we saw Jasmine go out to the people waiting down at the gate - they all got tickets. But no worries (sort of - we didn't have our tickets in hand yet) - we weren't there for tickets. We wanted to see the boys!!! But alas, they drove in and that was that.
We went and picked up our tickets from the shady ticket guy and headed back to the venue. We had to stand and wait for the doors to open and then pray that our tickets were legit and would scan at the door. They did and we were in. We hit the bathrooms first and then headed to get something to eat. We were too excited to see our seats so we took our pizzas and nachos into the venue. When we got to our seats we nearly lost it. Mere feet from the Ramp of Love. We were in heaven. We were so stoked to all be sitting together in these awesome seats...and no sign of the people in front of us either - SCORE!
(they did show up but SAT for most of the show - again SCORE!)
I can't remember if we flashed the Roadies banner or not - help me out Lori....but it was sitting folded in my lap when I realized I wanted to give it to them. We had seen Marta and said hi to her and she said she was so glad to see us and she walked on. Next time she came around I yelled out and held the banner out to her and told her we wanted them to have it. She hugged it to herself and said SHE was going to keep it! I told her not to let anyone take it from her. She thanked us and then we saw her walk down to the sidestage and whip the banner out and point in our direction. They waved at us and we waved back. A few minutes later Marta comes back with the banner and a sharpie and says she wants Lori and I to sign the banner!! So we do and she promises she will find the perfect place to hang that banner for the rest of the tour!! LOVE YOU MARTA!!! YOU ROCK!!
Sleepercar comes on and this is the third time I am hearing them and I am recognizing the songs and loving the sound. They finish and the roadies descend on the stage to get everything ready for the boys.
There is a security guy in front of us who is already being a douche so we are very concerned about being allowed to film. Angie suggests that we only take pics for the first few songs and then film during IMP and that maybe by then they won't be paying attention. Turns out no one gave a crap!! LIT, Violet Hill, and Clocks go by in a blur. We have our banner unfurled and at our feet ready to pop it up during IMP. I am standing next to Mich in the middle and I am filming so am not really holding the banner. My job is to film from beginning to end and to absolutely never leave Jonny. Jonny hops down from Guy's ramp to head our way and the girls throw the banner up - but wait - its too high and I can't see a damn thing!! So they bring it down a notch and as Jonny gets to the top of his ramp he looks our way and smiles. Not sure if he saw us or if he could just see a banner and didn't know what it said. So we hold it up and I nearly have a heart attack as cool boy Jonny who has perfected his "I-see-that-banner-about-me-but-I'm-not-smiling-at-you" look, turns his whole body as he gets to us. He reads the banner and then scans all of us holding it, all the while giving us the most KILLER SMILE I have ever seen!! THUD! We watched the Ramp Love from just feet away and it felt like Jonny was rocking out a little extra hard just for us - at least that's what I choose to believe.
To be honest, the rest of the show after that could have been pure shit and it wouldn't have mattered. But it wasn't - it was great. VLV and LIJ were spectacular and Chris dancing around 5 feet from us didn't hurt either!!
The C stage section was good but we had to rely on the big screens to see anything. Jonny was doing this crazy over the head tambourine shaking during DWNC! It was awesome and still haven't seen a great video of that...
The show ended way too fast and before we knew it the lights were up and it was over. We had to yell down to Marta to get just a few butterflies as none landed in our section. It was great on the way up the stairs and in the concourse to hear strains of "Wooaahhooo Wooooaaahhooo" being belted out by groups of concert goers.
We had not stopped by the Oxfam table yet so we headed that way to say hi to Pete, who kindly informed us that we had almost gotten Glass of Water - say what??? He pulled a setlist out of his pocket and gave it to us and sure enough it was a maybe on the setlist! DAMN! We showed Pete our huge Jonnyfest banner - I think he was impressed and possibly a little scared!
And then we had to get in the car for the heinous drive home. I was so glad to see my house and at about 3:30am we all got home and fell into bed...well I did...I think others were too busy watching porn they'd shot!
We all hung out for most of the morning and then went to have a nice farewell lunch before getting to the airport. The airport scene was excruciating and I don't wish to relive it.
However, I do want to say that I had the most fun with Mich, Lori, and Angie. They are all wonderful and going to the shows with them was ALMOST as good as the shows themselves!