Together, We Are Human.

We Are Drugs

Suh Dude, You Were Screaming. Second Show. Boston.

©Liseli Thiele

June 21, 2017 (Show 2)

Its been almost two months to the date, since this experience, and I purposely wanted to wait to write it in order to be able to form full sentences.


Check-out is never an easy thing to do when you have only slept a few hours, but Susan's soft, gentle voice saying, "Cody... Liseli... Time to wake up," was better than coffee; It made getting up a pleasant experience.

We had to be in Boston for sound check at 1:30 pm. The day was perfect, Summer was everywhere, and what better way to capture it than with a selfie.  Once again, through this entire trip I felt like I was just transported in a time capsule. There was no feeling of heavy traffic, no need to eat, no sense of boredom, and actually getting to Boston felt like it only took seconds. I'm sure if we ask Cody that he might tell you different, but he didn't let it be known. To me, there was no stress nor any sense of worry; I felt safe. Susan let me ride shotgun and I entertained myself with memories from the night before, fanny pack notifications (which were still rolling in), and the music that we all sang along to.  I kept seeing the call for road trip updates on Twitter as I scrolled through Stephan's tweets, and I wanted to make sure that he got what he requested. I was somehow convinced that the band was interested in laughing with us fans, from their tour bus, so why not assist in making that possible for them?

Holding the 3EBLifestyle Twitter for the experts is really not all that simple. Over tweeting, under tweeting, cheesy tweeting or not meeting the required retweets or hearts are things that often invade my mind. I wanted to let loose on this trip, though. We had signed up for this six months ago. Day in and day out, we had counted down the days. The time was finally here and I wanted the fans and the band to experience this "Weightless" Summer Gods Road Trip as if they were right there with us. 

We arrived to Boston and Cody dropped us off at the venue while he went to check in at the hotel and park the car. Such a gentlemen, I tell you.  As soon as my feet hit the concrete, I turned on my Periscope. I wanted to share every moment with everyone out there - The line up, the vibe, the fans. (soundcheck). 

This would be my first sound check ever! Can you believe it? 20 years loving this band and this was my first time!  I can now say this and really mean it: If you are contemplating the thought of purchasing a sound check ticket, just do it. It's such an intimate moment.  It sets up the entire build up of the show experience.  I had the amazing blessing of being gifted with sound check from Stephan Jenkins' amazing manager, Missi.  3EB Lifestyle is a labor of love and, as I mentioned in my first article, there were things that I didn't expect to happen when I started this community and blog-based website; This would be one of them.

Boston was a city that was associated with painful memories for me. 18 years ago, I wanted to end my life in Boston, at the good old Copley Hotel. Somehow, this Summer, God had arranged that this tour would bring me into this city a day before my late husband's birthday.  He would have been 43. There is no other full circle explanation to this other than the one I am about to tell.  I was in the company of strangers, really.  These individuals only knew me from what my social media could reveal. For the most part, the status updates and the photos only go back 10 years. The darker times can't be found on my Facebook, though; They dwell in my heart. So, while I was trying to focus on the actual sound check and take the moment in, what I really focused on was Stephan's voice giving direction to the way he wanted the lights to shine on him.  He kept opening up his arms, dictating where the light should go.  That moment was all Summer Gods for me.  It was a voice - I could hear it screaming from within.  It was the voice of 18 years of captivity within myself, of wanting that light to shine perfectly upon me. It was a light to break through this blind journey that had been mine. You are not allowed to have a camera out during sound check, however, I captured that moment within myself and it is forever in my DNA.
Beside me, there were four experts who had been part of 3EB Lifestyle from the beginning, and I wanted to extend the invite for the meet and greet. Missi was generous enough to allow that. She understood. Everyone got their album, unwrapped it, and we took our place in the back of the line.  I watched each person as they were waiting for their turn.

Then our moment arrived.  I wanted to capture each expert's moment with Stephan and Brad on video. I was so excited that I had no idea what setting my camera was on. Cody eagerly walked to Stephan and Brad. I witnessed Stephan break out of his professional Meet and Greet voice and into one of friendly relief. He was happy to see Cody. The first thing Stephan said to him was, "I want road trip updates," and that very moment was when Stephan asked if we all traveled together. Have a look.

Cody was posing for his selfie. I was capturing the moment, not knowing what would come next. I could see Stephan thinking; He wanted to do something special. His urge was authentic. He wanted us all to take a group photo. Cody, of course, was still smiling for his individual shot, frozen. These are tiny clips. It's obvious that I was excited AF and had no idea what buttons to push on the camera.

©Ericca Smith

I was seeing stars - and I don't mean celebrities, more like the kind you see when you hit your head on concrete and black out. I could hear Stephan reminding us all that, "first we take this picture and then we take individual ones." These instructions brought this walking-blackout state I was in to the next level. I wouldn't have believed you if you'd told me that this was going to happen but, then again, I was still living in April when Stephan had pulled me up on stage at The Chapel to help him with the Self-Titled cake.  I felt like I was on the Truman Show or even Punk'd with Ashton Kutcher. I had no idea Susan was capturing this moment on her phone. I can't even tell you how this ever came up but, all of sudden, as we are walking back to the original meet and greet photo spot, I hear the words "3EB Lifestyle" and "bitch" coming out of Stephan's mouth while waving his hands and coming closer to me. Then, I heard (I still can't even form sentences) everyone calling me a bitch and staring at me. I wanted to cry.  If you were inside my mind, this is what it sounded like.

©Liseli Thiele

I suffered through many years of abuse, many years of being called a bitch. This wasn't the same. In this very moment, I had someone who had written words from heaven in the course of twenty years giving me the greatest compliment ever while using the "B" word. Susan captured this moment with her camera and, while Stephan does have a point about trying to fit moments like this on Instagram, I am forever grateful that it was captured.

Was it really Stephan giving me those words? Did he actually say that he liked what 53 of his die-hard fans signed up for and worked hard to achieve? This project that was born in shadow and had no real direction; I only knew that one day, I would want to write the story of my life, and perhaps along side the lives of others, all scored to the music of Third Eye Blind. This was my vision. Both Brad and Stephan made us feel like we were all a part of Third Eye Blind.

They took their time; Stephan shared a short story with us; He gave us a voucher so we could each pick an item from the merch. booth. Brad kept reminding us to pick the most expensive thing. They were both beyond humbled, not just by the 53 experts but each and every person that has tweeted and lifted up their music and writing.

Cheers to everyone who truly lives a Third Eye Blind lifestyle. I was able to make a 50 second video from the footage that Susan captured. This was another step closer to being "Weightless". I ran into the bathroom and cried my eyes out. My heart was on the mend. I am forever grateful for this. Thank you, guys. 

I floated to the hotel. Cody and Susan went to grab a bite to eat. I remember Cody telling me that the robe was for me. I had no idea what that meant, but it was definitely a gesture of love. There I sat, alone in the room with the most amazing view of Boston and completely overwhelmed with excitement. I felt great. I felt peace.  I showered and by the time I was almost ready for the show Susan and Cody were back. I went on Facebook Live a few times to share the joy. Then, finally, I was ready to head to the venue. It was time.

Susan and I ran to the merch booth again and decided we should pick up more fannies. The price had escalated and there were only seven left. Susan grabbed them and we made our way to our seats.

Courtesy of Susan Z - Seely

Courtesy of Susan Z - Seely

Courtesy of Susan Z - Seely

The show was fascinating. The energy of the audience was fascinating. People were great; Everyone was friendly and it was just perfect. The venue was also recording this show so those at home could sign up to watch. The band was absolutely on fire.  Stephan was in his element and I felt like I was watching Shakespeare. Each word was enunciated and the audience knew every word. 

Courtesy of Susan Z - Seely

When the show was over, all us experts met up back at the hotel and then made our way to a local pub.  We were capturing the moments. Then, at the stroke of midnight on the 22nd, Nicole started singing "Happy Birthday" to my late husband,Christian. I felt at home, I was among people that understood, people whose fabric was woven from the lyrics to Third Eye Blind's music, the music that was the soundtrack to our lives.

So line 'em up boys, here's to your youth. Sing loud enough to tell the truth: I lost myself that's why I lost you. Oh, let go of that whipping post...
I'm always a ghost.

Courtesy of Susan Z - Seely