Thursday, June 23, 2011

Memory Lane Cont.

View from near the bar

All good things must come to an end, and the show did shortly after we moved forward in the crowd. As sad as it was to leave The House of Blues, we were all smiles and talking about how amazing the show was. Outside was pure chaos. Everyone was shoving each other out of the way to clear the walkway as soon as possible. Police officers were blocking off all other exits but one. We were losing track of each other. Gaby tried to break through the barricade the cops had set up. Her drunk ass. "Gaby!" I yelled to her, "I am not going to jail for you!" I turned around as soon as I yelled it to find Amanda. Not exactly sure what happened, but I remember some big girl shoving little Amanda out of the way and saying something along the lines of "That means move, bitch!" Now, she might be small, but Amanda's got a bite on her. As soon as it happened, Amanda turned and punched the girl in the back, yelling something back to her. Before the two looked like they were going to fight, the crowd of people kept pushing us along. We grabbed Gaby and made our way to the lower level of the walkway, thinking that would be it. Our moods were heightened once again. While the crowd of fans were taking their time going down the escalator, I thought it would be a good idea to try and run down the UP escalator. Yeah, not happening. I was a little tipsy, and that fucker was moving fast. Also because of my "ingenious" idea, I had to wait until someone would let me back in line. Finally, we made it back down to the streets of Houston. We weren't exactly sure where we were going, but we were following the crowd. Surely one of those people had the inside scoop of where we could see the band. Someone had mentioned that if we go wait by the tour buses, the band members usually sign autographs. I was down. So we made a b-line toward the tour buses. Gaby was on the phone with her boyfriend, so was Amanda, and I was following behind with a huge smirk on my face. The tour buses were in sight and so was a big group of screaming fans.

Of course at this moment you would expect something to go horribly wrong. Yep, you're right. It seemed like everything was in slow motion. Voices were low, people were moving slow, and so was I. "Hey...there's that bitch that punched me in line..."
Immediately, me and Amanda locked eyes. We turned to see the big girl coming straight for us with two of her friends following behind. Shit, I thought. Here it goes. Amanda, still holding her phone to her ear whipped around, and I followed her lead. I forget exactly what was said. Something along the lines of "You hit me first," and I'm pretty sure "fat bitch" was thrown in there somewhere. The big girl was gaining on Amanda, and I was worried for my friend. So what did I do? I yelled for Gaby of course. Now, you might think it's petty for me to call my other friend in for backup, but get this. The girl who was preparing for attack was a lot bigger than all three of us, especially Amanda. Gaby so happens to be a third degree black belt. I don't care if she's drunk as fuck. Gaby fighting drunk is like anyone else fighting sober. "Gaby!" I yelled, catching her attention immediately. Before the two of us turned to look at Amanda and the big girl, Amanda was being shoved into the wall of the building. Before Gaby could close in, Amanda landed one good hit in the girl's face before the girl backed away. It was an all out street fight now. A rumble, a brawl! I silently cheered in my head, then Gaby took control. One hit to Gaby, one hit and a high kick to the girl. I'm pretty sure that it was after that kick, her and her friends realized that we weren't ones to be messed with. And by we, I mean Gaby.

The big girl started backing away. "Oh, three against one?! That's real fair!" she yelled, and my aggressive side stepped up. "You started it, you stupid bitch!" or was it "you stupid, fat bitch?" I'm not exactly sure. All I knew is she threw something at me, and I panicked. "Ah! Attack of the...fliers? What is this, death by paper cut?" Really, who throws fliers during a fight? Her friends started grabbing her as the three of us closed in on her. They started backing away, and we started yelling after them. Now, I'm not typically one to make fun of someone's personal appearance like if someone is overweight, underweight, whatever. But...if you attack me or my friends, I lose all control. I go straight for the throat, verbally. I think I get that from my sister. Thanks to Gaby's karate skills, Amanda's good punch, and my mouth, the big girl retreated. We'd gathered up quite a crowd during the whole spectacle. I immediately looked to the tour buses. Hopefully we hadn't missed the band through all that. The short wait for the heros of the night began. We stood in line, basking in the ambiance of our victory. Soon enough the band's equipment was being brought out of The House of Blues. Security kept yelling that no one from the band would be coming out before 2 a.m., and it was only midnight. I didn't care. I was willing to wait all night. Now, once again, remember how I said we make friends with all the right people? Well it just so happens the manager of The House of Blues saw us waiting. He pulled Gaby aside and gave her a bit of very, very important information. His words? "Gerard Way has already been escorted to the tour bus in disguise. The best way of meeting the bands is to head across the street to The Dirt Bar. They have tables reserved there."
He spoke quietly so no one else could hear. Not like it would have mattered. You have to be twenty-one to get into that bar, and sadly enough, most MCR's demographic is teenagers. Awesome, we thought. This is perfect. We can chill inside a nice, cool bar, order drinks, and wait for the bands. It sounded like a bullet proof plan. So off to The Dirt Bar we went.

MCR's gear

Gaby and the manager of The House Of Blues

Amanda and the manager

The Dirt Bar is this badass little hole in the wall bar located right across the street from The House Of Blues. It's like partying in a miniature warehouse. We immediately saw two tables that had reserved signs on them. Right next to those tables were three barstools calling out to the three of us. We ran for them before anyone could steal them away. Any moment, a band member would be walking through the door. We knew it. We started drinking some more, and slowly The Dirt Bar started filling up with more and more people. People we'd made friends with during the concert kept coming up to us, telling us that MCR and The Architects would be making their way to the bar soon. We were so excited. I was so excited I started feeling sick. So I started drinking more. Gaby got her drunk back pretty quick. I was slowly working my way to mine. I didn't want to be shit-faced the first time I met MCR. We all kind of started doing our own thing. Amanda stayed at the bar and talked to a bunch of different people. Gaby stayed in the smoking room and talked to a bunch of people, and I went back and forth. After about an hour, I started getting discouraged. I'd heard from one of Mikey Way's (bassist for MCR) guitar techs that they were leaving for Dallas that night. My mood dropped. I walked back inside to greet Amanda and tell her the news. Before I could say anything, Amanda tells me that the guy she'd been talking to was the guitarist for The Architects. I was pretty excited. The band was awesome. I talked to him for a bit. He was cool. I bought him and myself a shot. We got to talking. I realized while talking to him that even though not meeting MCR was a disappointment, I was meeting a member of a badass band anyway. On top of that, the bar was filled with guitar techs and sound people for My Chemical Romance. I'd decided to turn this situation around. Instead of reserving my t-shirt for MCR autographs, I started asking the band members of The Architects for their autographs. The lead singer was first, followed by the guitarist, the bassist, and then the drummer. They were all really cool, and we took pictures with all of them. I started getting excited. 

In the midst of my high, I started conversing with Frank Iero's (rhythm guitarist for MCR) guitar tech. I started asking him about Frank Iero's side project, Leathermouth, who I'm a huge fan of. I saw them live in Orlando in 2008, and I've loved them ever since. They hadn't released a new album in a while though. Upon inquiring about Leathermouth to the guitar tech, I was given the most exciting news of the night. The guitar tech who'd bought me a beer and who had given me MCR's setlist and Mikey Way's guitar pick was also the LEAD GUITARIST OF LEATHERMOUTH!!!! I almost died. I started gushing. I started screaming. He signed my t-shirt for me. Afterward, I noticed his hat was the same one I owned by this company Frank Iero started called Skeleton Crew. It was a record label, clothing line, and publishing house. I pointed to his hat and said, "Hey, I have that same hat. Along with tons of other Skeleton Crew stuff." He replied with..."You know Skeleton Crew?" Of course I did. I loved it. He seemed stunned. Well soon after it was my turn. "I own Skeleton Crew now," he said so cavalier. I started gushing once more. Screw not getting to meet MCR, I had just meet the lead guitarist of Leathermouth and the owner of Skeleton Crew. Yeah, my mood was definitely much, much better.

The rest of the night played out with us hanging out with the Architects at The Dirt Bar and chit chatting with the music techs for MCR. Despite the fact that MCR never showed, I had the time of my life. We also had the honor of meeting the tour manager, but he left before I could get his autograph. Two a.m. rolled around, and the bar started closing. We said goodbye to our new friends. They had to get back to their tour buses and make their way to Dallas, and we had a long day of driving ahead of us. The trip to Houston was one of the best times of my life and definitely the best trip to take as a going away trip. The next weekend my apartment was packed up, and I made the torturous 15 hour drive to Columbia, Missouri. Even though nothing really exciting has happened since that trip, I'm still grinning about it. I'm hoping that my next MCR concert will lead to actually meeting the band. If not, oh well. It'll be hard to top Houston.

Amanda getting her shirt signed by the lead singer of The Architects

Me and the lead singer of The Architects

Me and the bassist of The Architects

Me and the guitarist of Leathermouth/owner of Skeleton Crew

Me and the drummer of The Architects

Gaby, drunk as fuck at The Dirt Bar

Gaby getting her shirt signed by the lead singer of The Architects

MCR's setlist given to me by Mikey Way's guitar tech

Mikey Way's guitar pick