I’ve always been obsessed with music. From a young age I’ve always followed certain bands and artists and had a strong knowledge of music. By strong I mean, I know a lot of weird and useless facts about a variety of music. All of which will never come in handy. I can credit this music obsession to my parents and older brother Lawrence, who all had good taste and shared it with me. This love of music came in to full swing at the age of 15 when I discovered Fall Out Boy. Before Fall Out Boy I only listened to music that was easily accessible to me by radio or TV so this meant the likes of Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Destiny’s Child and The Black Eyed Peas. So ya know, all that cheesy pop stuff. Fall Out Boy introduced me to a whole new side of music, a dedication to music. Not only did I fall in love with Patrick, Joe, Andy and Pete, I fell in love with all these other bands that I discovered through them. I would scour local record stores for CDs by new bands I had discovered, spending every last cent of my limited money. I loved the feeling of coming home putting my new purchase on repeat while reading the sleeve cover to cover. Then late at night I would relentlessly search the internet on MySpace and Last FM to find new music. This was back when it was dial up too so that’s what I mean by a dedication to music. But the fact that I had to wait overnight for an album or a song to download didn’t bother me. I was so excited to get up in the morning and listen to it.
Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Say Anything, Panic! At The Disco, Coheed and Cambria, The Academy Is and The Used were all such a huge part of my teenage life and my teenage relationships. Some of my fondest memories are driving in my car with my best friends screaming the lyrics to our favourite songs. These bands shaped who I am today and my love of music. So when it was announced that Fall Out Boy and Paramore would be touring North America together this summer as part of Monumentour it was a no brainer – I had to go. Never mind the fact that it was in Long Island and I had to hire a car to get there. The 15 year old that lives quietly but still very apparent in me got an extra special treat when she saw you could purchase meet and greet packages with your concert ticket. Again, it was a no brainer – I owed it to the girl who used to listen to Fall Out Boy daily, and chat on Fall Out Boy chat rooms (embarrassingly so) daily. The ticket was purchased and off I went. Alone may I point out, I went to this show alone. There’s that dedication to music again.
I wasn’t really nervous because in the email it explained it would just be a quick thing where you walk round once and get something signed then you walk around again and get a photo. Willem dropped me off at Nikon Theatre at Jones Beach which is the most incredible outdoor venue I have ever seen. Absolutely incredible.
I picked up my tickets and meet and greet pass then I hopped in line. Straight away I noticed I was in a strange minority. The minority being my age. The first people I spoke to were Mums who I got on really well with btw. Probably because I felt I could relate more with them than the other alternative – 14 year old girls. My first question to my new 14 year old BFF that I made waiting in line was – How do you even know Fall Out Boy?! I mean it was 2006 when they were really huge and the world went nuts over Pete Wentz. I filled her in on the whole Pete Wentz era when she was confused why we weren’t allowed to give the band hugs. But anyways she said she got introduced to them through another band that she listens to. I loved hearing her say that because it gave me a smidgen of hope in young people and their music choices these days. I totally thought they were all listening to One Direction, Austin Mahone and whatever other tweens are putting out music at the moment. However, this was my only moment of respect for the 14 year old population at this concert.
Waiting in line for the meet and greet these girls were playing it cool like it was any other day, but when they came out from getting something signed they were completely different. Some were in tears, others were skipping and jumping with joy. I just couldn’t stop thinking what a weird fucking thing this whole ordeal is. I have paid MONEY to meet these PEOPLE. That is all they are – PEOPLE. Fame is the most bizarre thing in the world. Some how because these people are in front us constantly that makes them better than everyone else and they deserve special treatment. It blows my mind. Don’t get wrong the guys were absolutely lovely and so patient and understanding with the hysteria happening around them. I think the reactions of everyone else made me really calm coz I was thinking “Wow these girls are going to be freaking these poor guys out”. But then again, they will be used to it. My new 14 year old BFF went in before me and broke out in hysterical laughter. This blew my mind even more. Why do we get reactions like this over famous people who are no different to us other than the fact they are way rich and well known. If I had the chance to meet Fall Out Boy when I was younger and my love for them was in it’s prime, sure, I definitely would have had the same reaction of hysterical laughter. However, now that my mind functions properly and I can see that this is the strangest thing I have ever done, it’s completely different. I just kind of walked on through, smiled at the guys, asked them how they were and then I was on my way. They must have thought I was sedated compared to the other company in the room. But that wasn’t even the weirdest part of the whole experience, that came at the show itself. After the meet and greet I lined up to get into The Pit which is right at the front of the stage. Quick side note: I have decided I am too old and completely over getting General Admission tickets to live shows. This show made it clear to me. I got my space about 4 rows back from the front surrounded by 14 – 16 year olds causing a whole lot of ruckus. I finally found some kindred souls when I overheard two girls talking about all the 12 year olds pushing them. We became instant friends. After opening band New Politics finished their set, Paramore came on stage. They put on an amazing live show. Personally I prefer them as a three piece and feel they just keep getting better. They had multiple confetti bombs go off and giant balloons bounce on the heads of the crowd. My favourite part of their show was then they got a crowd member on stage to sing part of Misery Business with them. This girl did great. But what impressed me more was how much love Paramore show to their fans. They looked like they had so much fun up on stage with the fan and constantly thanked the crowd showing gratitude. It was second time seeing them live and they are just a great band to see live.
Now when Fall Out Boy came on, that’s when things got weird. Seeing the girls around me and listening to them talk made me feel so strange. For one, most of them cried when the band came on stage. I kept turning around during certain songs and just saw a sea of mascara stained faces.
The relationship fans have with bands is an odd one. I don’t know why we put them up on a pedestal or why we see them with such authority. I mean, I think music is incredibly important and understand a strong love of songs and lyrics. But the way bands are treated and seen is phenomenal. Perhaps it’s the mystery behind them, the lives they lead that we want to and can only dream of. Fans can probably tell you more about a member of their favourite band than one of their own family members. Which is crazy, sad and true. The show was closure for me. I met a new generation of fans who hopefully find a love of music through their love of Fall Out Boy but lose the obsession with the members of Fall Out Boy. I said goodbye to that 15 year old fan girl with teased hair that was once lived inside of me and left her at the show with no ride home.