Thursday, June 23, 2011

Memory Lane

Listening to: Scarecrow by My Chemical Romance

Taking a trip down memory lane here and sharing one of my favorite memories ever. This only happened three weeks ago, but it is definitely one for the books. Also, I'm kind if in a creative frenzy, and the idea of writing as many stories as possible sounds absolutely amazing. Especially since my insomnia is really a killer today. 20 May 2011, me, my friend Gaby, and my friend Amanda made the long nine hour trip to Houston, Texas to see my favorite band, My Chemical Romance in concert. This was the weekend before I moved to the middle of nowhere Missouri. We left Florida entirely too late in the day. At around eight p.m., I think. We decided to stop off in Biloxi Mississippi where Gaby's friend was going to let us crash for the night. Biloxi was three hours from Fort Walton Beach, where I used to live in Florida. We'd decided that once we got to Biloxi, we were going to hit up the Beau Rivage Casino. Earlier this year, I'd taught Gaby how to play craps at Harrah's in New Orleans. She became addicted just like I had. By the time the three of us made it to Biloxi, we were exhausted. Still, we were set on the idea of winning thousands of dollars on the craps table to pay for our trip to Houston. Within an hour of arriving at Gaby's friend's house, we were back out the door and headed downtown to the casino. While walking through the lobby, I couldn't stop looking around. This casino wasn't nearly as nice as the ones I'd spent time in in Vegas for Christmas. Still, I was excited to drink for free and win some money. We withdrew $40 each from the ATM and began the long night. Immediately, we found a craps table with a ten dollar buy in. My tactics for playing craps is bet small, win small. But win a lot. Now, it's not hard to find a spot at a craps table...especially if you're a twenty-two year old woman with two other hot twenty-two year old women by your side. Almost as soon as we started playing, the chips started rolling in. Gaby was lady luck this night. I swear, every time she rolled it was a seven or eleven. Needless to say, we walked away with a couple hundred in our pockets. It was a successful night, and for Amanda, she was content with walking away. Gaby and I have played craps before though, and everyone who has played craps knows it's nearly impossible to leave the casino when you've been winning constantly. I don't know exactly how we convinced Amanda to stay, but after a few beers and a few vegas bombs, we were back on the craps table. Now, my friend Amanda has a gift. It's called the gift of manipulation. Particularly in the opposite sex. All I know is the three of us were close to cashing out, and then out of nowhere this old man Amanda had been chatting up threw a $100 BILL on the craps table. He gave the three of us all his chips to continue playing. So we did. We had a separate pile of chips we were going to keep and a pile to gamble with. Whenever the gambling pile would get low, the man would throw another hundred on the table for us to gamble with.

Shocking, right? I'm not making this shit up. I don't know what the man's intentions were. Surely he knew that none of us would sleep with him. Still, the hundreds kept coming, Gaby kept rolling sevens and elevens, and Amanda kept batting her eyes for more money. Me? Well, I just made moves and drank. By the time we decided to cash out, we'd made $1,000 between the three of us. Our trip had been won in one night. Epic, I know.

The next day we left Biloxi at around eleven in the morning. The rest of the trip to Houston was pretty hellacious. We'd stayed up till six in the morning gambling, and Gaby and myself had gotten pretty wasted. Not smart to get wasted the day before a long road trip. The good news is I knew I would be seeing my favorite band the very next day at The House Of Blues in Houston. Nothing could bring my mood down. We arrived in Houston later that evening and stayed the night at Gaby's sister's house. The next day was concert day. We left Gaby's sister's at around two p.m. and made it to our hotel in downtown Houston at around three. We do it big, by the way. Me and Gaby have very...expensive taste. I'm pretty sure we stayed at the Hilton, or maybe it was the Marriott. Whichever one, we had a skyline view of Houston overlooking the House of Blues and the tour buses for the bands. My excitement was undeniable. While Amanda started getting ready for the show, Gaby and I decided to go up to the top floor patio to smoke and admire the tour buses from afar. While doing so, a security guard came outside to bullshit with us. I don't know what it is about the three of us, but we have a tendency to make all the right friends. Maybe we're just friendly. The security guard had divulged some life-altering information. That My Chemical Romance was staying in the same hotel as us...excited yet? I was. Picture your favorite band, no...not band...musician, artist, biggest idol in the world, love of your life was staying in the same hotel as you. For the rest of the time getting ready in the hotel room, we couldn't contain our excitement.

Me and Amanda

 Me and Gaby

The time to leave the hotel and head to The House of Blues was approaching. We were putting the finishing touches on our outfits. We'd made our own shirts, had our own rocker styles. We classified it this way...Amanda was punk, I was grunge, and Gaby was...well Gaby was Gaby. While walking to the elevator, we were snapping pics, taking videos on the walk to the House of Blues. It was scorching outside, and it seemed that from every direction some new MCR fan was emerging from the corners and streets of Houston. We didn't care. We were too excited, and we'd recently found out that there was going to be a bar serving alcohol. That's enough to and Gaby excited at least. Now, if you've ever been to a really big show like MCR, then you already know you have to be there a few hours before the show starts. Yeah, we did that, and we were still pretty far down the line. It didn't matter. For some reason we were all in the best mood ever. It's weird for me. I usually get really stressed in situations like these, but...nothing could ruin my mood. When we found our place in line, the best thing that could have happened at that moment happened. We'd been standing by the corner of the hall. The security didn't want anyone standing beyond the corner. So the three of us took it upon ourselves to direct the rest of the fans to the back of the line. From what I hear it went pretty far back. At least we were under an overhang and not being crowded by a bunch of fucking teenagers. It seemed every time we told another set of fans to keep moving down the line though, they got mad at us. Oh well, you're not supposed to stand behind the three of us. The security guards loved us for doing their job so well. "End of the line!" we'd yell to everyone who walked up behind us. I guess we captured the attention of The House Of Blues manager because he came up and conversed with us for a bit. Remember how I said we're really good at making friends with all the right people? Keep on remembering that.

Me directing traffic in line

Me and Gaby with our game faces on

Gaby, Amanda, and me waiting in line

Me and Amanda

So after waiting in line for two and a half hours, the line finally started moving. I was so relieved because at that point I felt like I was going to pass out. For some reason on that trip, my food hadn't been sitting well in my stomach. To top it off we were parched and burning up in the Texas summer heat. I remember my first thought after walking through the threshold of The House of Blues. Thank God it's air conditioned in here! Immediately, we headed for the bar. Amanda needed a redbull, Gaby needed a vodka redbull, and I needed a beer. While leaning on the bar waiting for my drink, I took a peek around. It was a pretty awesome venue. Not too big. I also noticed that from the bar you could see the stage awesomely. Yep, I'd found my post. I remembered doing the same thing at The Used concert a year before, and I'd gotten wasted. While more fans piled in, Gaby, Amanda, and I talked and bullshitted with the bartenders. We asked them if they got to meet the bands that performed, if they enjoyed their jobs...lots of stuff, really. 

We sparked the interest of one bartender in particular. Before we knew it, he was giving us cups of olives to eat. That turned into giving Amanda free redbulls, giving Gaby free redbull vodkas, and me free beer! Again, I'm not making this up. Before the opening bands even started, Gaby was drunk, Amanda was wired, and I was burping like crazy. I was happy to know that even when the opening band started playing the venue wasn't too packed. I could still see the stage perfectly. The first band was this band called The Architects. I immediately fell in love with them. It's always fun when the opening bands are bands worth listening to. The next band to come up was Circa Survive. Eh, not so great. Perfect time to go smoke a few cigarettes. Throughout their entire set, Gaby, Amanda, and I were making some pretty cool but...strange...friends. I've always wondered if my group of friends are the only normal ones at concerts. Oh, and apparently you're not supposed to wear the band t-shirt of the band you're going to see in concert. Make sense to anyone? Not me. Fuck it. I'll wear what I want. By the end of Circa Survive, I was dying. My anticipation was killing me. I didn't want another beer for fear I'd get too drunk to remember the show. Apparently Gaby didn't care. She was already drunk as fuck. Perfectly fine with me. She's fun as hell when she's drunk. Suddenly, the lights went dim. The crowd started screaming. I was too excited to make noise, but when the beginning to Na Na Na came on, I went crazy.

You must remember, MCR is my ultimate favorite band and they have been for a really long time. I love all FOUR of their albums, especially the new one that they were on tour for. As excited as I was, I was still able to maintain my situational awareness. It was quite amazing how packed the venue got right when MCR started performing. I remember the show like it was yesterday. I was the only one out of the three of us who never left her spot. Amanda would go to the bathroom, Gaby would go smoke, and I would stand right exactly where I was,, not singing. I was screaming every song that they performed. I was jumping up and down, surrounded by a sea of screaming, adolescent MCR fans. I remember Gaby yelling in my ear "I'm sweating like a whore in church," and she was right. We all were. I didn't care. I was having too much fun. The band played for about two and half hours before disappearing off stage. Soon after, the crowd started to clear the venue. The three of us knew better. We took that opportunity to move forward in the crowd. Just as we'd suspected, MCR came out for an encore, and our spots were incredible. Thanks all you crazy fans who thought the show was over!