So I can now honestly say I have experienced the best day of my life thus far. And unfortunately, although I think my husband would agree, it is not our wedding day, haha. We had the perfect wedding, but a wedding’s a wedding… you expect that to be an amazing day. It is the life experience that takes you by surprise that ends up being the best day of your life…so far. (I say so far because I’m pretty sure sometime in the next 3 weeks when my daughter is born, it will top last Saturday, but Saturday May 19th, 2012 will forever be my #2).
This past weekend was Bamboozle, a big music festival that happens every year and this year it just so happened to be in Asbury Park… which is pretty much my back yard. When my husband and I found out months ago that the Foo Fighters were going to be headlining one of the nights, 10 minutes away from our house, we were like oh we HAVE to go! Nevermind the fact that I will be over 8 months pregnant, I was not taking no for an answer. How could I miss that? And somehow, in the last few months before the show my Uncle (who is Senior VP at BMI… look it up) started working with the band very, very closely. The whole week leading up to the show he was actually in LA rubbing elbows with one of their managers. My Uncle knows how much Matt and I are both obsessed with the Foo Fighters and he put in a good word for us. So Friday night rolls around and I get a phone call and my uncle tells me, “when you go to pick up your tickets, use this name, they’ll be at the will call window waiting for you.” So we think we’re just getting regular one day passes for the concert… fast forward to Saturday afternoon, and let’s begin our little adventure…
We get to Asbury around 4 and wait on this god forsaken line that seemed to take about a year to move. Finally get up to the will call window and when the guy asks for my name & picture ID, he tells me “the Foo Fighters list isn’t here yet.” …. Insert starring contest here. “What does that mean?” “It means their list isn’t here yet.” Why thank you, so much, for clarifying. When I asked if he knew how long it would take for the list to “get there” he just looked at me and goes “I don’t know.” He then proceeds to tell me I can go “take a walk or stand off to the side” for an “unknown” period of time. I’m like….. eff this. So my husband and I decide to take a walk, we go to this nice restaurant right on the boardwalk, Stella Marina, and he grabs a drink and I grab a sprite. As we’re sitting there going over how unbelievably rude and unhelpful that man was, we realized something… he said we were on the Foo Fighters’ list! We weren’t sure what that even meant, but it sounded amazing. Music to my ears, if you will. The Foo Fighters had a list, and we were on it. #BOOM. So we finish our drinks, let a little while go by, and walk back to the will call section. Now, in the half hour – 45 minutes that had passed while we were in the restaurant, it was like an alternate universe came and took over the will call area. As soon as we walked up someone noticed my baby bump and immediately offered me a chair to sit in while Matt waited on line (we didn’t have to wait on the long line again, thank god!). Some guy walked past me and stops and goes “do you want a bottle of water?” and I was like no, I’m good thanks. And he goes “No… I’m going to get you a bottle of water” and disappears into the carousel house. When he came back with a giant bottle I seized the moment and asked him if he knew if the Foo Fighters list was up yet. This was a different man then the one I had dealt with before and he already seemed 100x nicer. He quickly ran off to check something on a computer and came back 20 seconds later to ask for my ID. What happened in the next 15 minutes we’re not really sure of. We watched my ID get passed around to about 6 different people and watched each person pull something up on a different computer. Finally someone comes through the gate holding my ID, and about 4 different wrist bands, he looks just as confused as we must have. He apologized a few times for taking so long and then said “there is a whole bunch of stuff here for you. I’m not really sure why, but you have regular wrist bands and these…” he holds out green wrist bands that say crew. What do these do? I asked him… “They get you back stage… anywhere in the festival really.” Matt and I exchanged a very excited look but tried to remain calm and cool, play it off like knew that’s what they were, duh. The guy hands over our bands then takes a long look at my stomach. “Do you want a ride?” he asks so genuinely it made my heart melt. I tried to play dumb, like I didn’t know the walk from the carousel house to the main wasn’t about 2 miles (we had made that walk to get our tickets from the car, it was torture). “I think I’ll be ok,” I said. “Are you sure? It’s a really far walk and it’s really hot out. You can hop right on the golf cart, it’ll only take a minute I don’t mind.” Well how can I say no to that? This golf cart ride, had I not accepted, would have changed the entire course of the rest of our night, and not for the better. This was some divine intervention right here. So my husband and I hopped on the golf cart and we let this amazingly nice man drive us right up to the stage. We thanked him 100 times, jumped off, walked through a giant crowd of people fighting over a good spot in front of the stage, and finally found the entrance to back stage. This is what we see:
Matt and I are let back stage and once we’re through the gate and behind the stage we come to a complete stop. There were tents set up in the back and off to the side along the beach and not a whole lot of people around. As we’re standing around in the middle of mountains of band equipment trying to figure out where to go and what to do, we both set our eyes on the same thing at the same exact time and my stomach dropped. Standing only 10 feet away from us was Dave Grohl, front man for The Foo Fighters, if you don’t know. I turn to Matt to ask him what we should do, should we stop him, go up to him, call his name, do anything, leave him alone? I had never been in this position before, I was about to panic. Dave started to walk away and before Matt could even make a suggestion I just went for it, fuck it, I’ll never get this opportunity again, and that’s why we’re back here right? Before I even knew what I was doing my mouth opened and the words, “um, excuse me” came pouring out. Dave looked over me, smiled to acknowledge he heard me, and turned to head my way.
Now… let me just tell you guys, meeting your idol can be a great experience, or it can be the worst of your life. You never know which way it’s going to go the first time. I don’t think there is anything worse than finally getting the chance to meet someone you’ve spent your whole life watching, or listening to, or following, whatever, and having them turn out to be a complete asshole, or just act like they don’t have the time to shake a couple hands, take a couple pictures. I really can’t imagine there is anything worse than that. So when Dave turned to walk over to me, I started to get a little nervous. What if he’s an asshole? What if he’s not the person you want him to be, you know?
Well… as he was walking over towards me he tripped a little bit on the floor mats that covered the back stage area. He stumbled right towards me and I laughed at him. So in this situation, I’m the asshole. “You aright there buddy?” was what I said to him, and what happened next made me the happiest person in the world, it proved that Dave Grohl is just as cool and amazing and awesome as you want him to be. He grabbed me by the shoulders, shook me, got so close to my face I literally had to bend backwards, and he screamed in my face “MY ANKLE, MY ANKLE! WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO CANCEL THE SHOW BECAUSE OF YOU!” All I could think was… I can smell Dave Grohl’s breath.. I know what his breath smells like. I was on cloud 9. I laughed as he did, and then said “easy there, you’re going to scare me into labor” and gestured down at my gigantic baby bump. “OH MY GOD!” he screamed as he took his hands off my shoulders and grabbed my stomach with both hands… apparently he did not seem to notice how pregnant I was.
I have tried so, SO hard to commit what happened next to memory but this is the thing… Dave ended up being such a cool and nice guy, that talking to him just felt normal and it’s hard to commit a normal conversation to memory. I do know that after he grabbed my baby bump it was the perfect segue into asking him if he would sign a Foo Fighters onesie for our daughter that my mother made. He asked if we had a name picked out, then he asked if Matt was the baby daddy, then he asked the baby daddy if he had a job (what a guy!), haha. Him and Matt talked tattoos for a little bit, then we took a picture. The best picture that has ever been taken.
And this is a close up, because I’m obsessed with it… and yes I cut my husband out, whateva.
I mean… we look like a couple. It’s perfection. This was literally the best moment of my life (so far). As we were talking to Dave, Taylor Hawkins was walking around we said hi to him, and Chris Shiflett was about 3 feet away from us as well, oh and every other act that performed at Bamboozle that day was back stage. So after we said bye to Dave Matt realized quickly that he needed some sort of drink to calm his nerves and we set off to find him a beer. That’s how we discovered the beautiful VIP tent back stage (I’m not sure if that’s what it’s called or what it was, but we didn’t know what to call it so that’s what it is to us). It was stocked with all the drinks you could drink and all the food you could eat. They even had corn hole set up on the beach, like come on, that’s awesome.
Here are a few pictures from before the show started…
The onesie! Sorry folks, Dave Grohl can know her name, but for everyone else it is still a surprise. haha
The “VIP” tent
Matt taking in the scenery.
So we hung out in the tent for a while and as 7:30 was approaching (the time the foo fighters were supposed to start their set) we realized we didn’t know where we were going to watch the show from. Neither of us wanted to go back in front of the stage because we’d be in that GIGANTIC crowd and I just knew something bad would happen. Under normal circumstances I’d be the first person fighting my way to the front of the crowd, but I’m 8 months pregnant… I figured that was not the safest place to be. So we walked back to the staging area and they were letting people on the stage… we thought, why not try it? And it was as easy as that. We got to enjoy an entire Foo Fighters concert from the stage… mingling with Foo Fighters family members including Dave’s mom, who is freaking adorable. And that was that, the best day and night of my life. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the show itself.
I am SO glad I decided to take my telephoto lens for this show. I debated because I didn’t want to carry everything around, but it ended up being the best decision ever because I got some amazing pictures.
The show itself was incredible. They played Hey, Johnny Park! Which I have never seen them play live, and a bunch of classics like Monkey Wrench and Breakout. They also played Arlandria off of their new album which is my favorite song from Wasting Light. They played a Tom Petty cover of Breakdown… they really just covered all the bases. And of course at the end of the night they were all whisked away on a helicopter to play the finale of Saturday Night Live. Badass.
I literally didn’t want to wake up Sunday morning because I knew nothing that happened from then on would in any way match the day and night I had on Saturday. But that was my night folks! I just wanted to fill you guys in because a lot of people were asking how we managed to pull that off. It was a combination of knowing the right people and having a baby bump, haha. So if you’re reading this Dave Grohl, you are an awesome person. Thank you for living up to my expectations and not being one of those super stars that doesn’t have enough time for his adoring little fans. You rock.