Summer, Your Ripped Jeans Are Torn. First Show. New Hampshire
Summer Gods Road Trip. Day 1. June 19, 2017
"It's so strange, It doesn't seem so strange, It's been seven months"
Back in December, I was encouraged to start a project group on Facebook but I had no idea where it would lead me. And I had no idea that I would be spending most of my days in front of my MacBook, getting to know some of the most amazing people, who truly live a life built on the foundation of Third Eye Blind's music. I had no idea that I would ever be sharing a summer traveling with those same people celebrating twenty years in the blind, on the Summer Gods Tour. This would be the beginning of a journey of discovering what the true meaning of being Weightless really was.
"Isn't it pretty to think so."
Leading up to the week that I was suppose to travel on what I had been counting down since the beginning of the year, my 24 year old son, Garvin, tells me that he has decided to move to Nebraska with his girlfriend, Abby. As much as my life has been linked with unexpected chaos, this news came at me like a canon right to my gut. I was happy for him, as this meant he was ready to fly, after being in a program to help him recover from two near death experiences. It was just the lack of planning and the timing that really took my insides and crushed me putting me out for a week, with depression and my face swollen from crying. But hell, who am I to preach, I wrote the book on "doing whatever the hell I want, when I want it" and so there is not much ground I can hold on this, when it came to lecturing. The one thing though that was a concern of mine was that I would go on this road trip with a broken heart.
Those bags aren't mine. Those are the bags I packed for my son as we listened to Dopamine and said our goodbyes. He made sure that I was in peace with him going, and he also took some time to read my articles that are often difficult to publish because they contain truths about me that I wouldn't necessarily want the world to know.
I think if I showed up wounded with bags like this for this Summer Gods road trip, I would have been in big trouble. I was told to pack lite as there was a cooler in the trunk, which apparently is more important to bring then clothes if you are traveling with Third Eye Blind Misfits. So packing lite was a must on this adventure, besides you have to have room in your bag in order to fit new items that you purchase at the Merch booth, as that is one of the biggest highlights of going to the show.
PACK LIGHT. Just black on black and nothing else.
I had decided that I couldn't bring too much color cause it is Third Eye Blind, but that I could get away with a few pieces as it was summer. And because part of my lifestyle is running last minute on everything, so that plans don't get dismantled, I left packing and laundry for the last minute.
This is not RECOMMENDED.
I caught one big panic attack. And my friend who did a nice act of driving me to the airport had to witness me in tears, hyperventilating and throwing my clothes, including half damp ones into a small luggage. I underestimated this bag, and was ready to bet my life it would not be able to hold everything and still pass off as a carry one. But it did manage to fit all my clothes. Thank you Chris for being patient.
So I was dropped off at the terminal and had to go directly to the Virgin counter, to fix my ticket since my last name was missing the "e" in Thiele. The agent starts asking me questions like, "so who booked your ticket?" After making a quick call, the agent begins to tell me, this ticket change would cost something like $200, but she was going to waive it. Thank you Virgin America. Besides your cool pink branding, you really are a great airline. I do believe this was just a moment for me to pause and take in the fact that I was actually on my way to the Summer God's tour.
My dear friend Susan was the one who booked my travel.
She is one of the most generous people I have ever come across. And there is no shame in stating this, this trip would not have been possible if it weren't for Susan. She is the one that reassured me daily that this trip would happen for me. I never in my life had thought about ever, road tripping following around a band, especially Third Eye Blind. Through the years I even had to fight off the voice inside my head which would say "don't even let Stephan know you are at the show, he might think you're stalking him." So being part of a road trip that would be going to five consecutive shows, was just really part one of facing that stupid little voice and embarking on the journey of Weightless. Besides, Stephan was twittering for two months about how he wanted to see people doing this, and well this community listens to his twitter requests and somehow I became part of documenting all of this.
As I ran to the terminal, and found my seat, row 11, I glance over to the person sitting next to me, who begins to share her story about how her Lyft driver gave her these Cracker Jacks. Right then and there I knew that I was where I was suppose to be. I mentioned, I am big on signs. And for weeks the experts, had been chatting about these fanny packs that had ran out and wondering if there were going to be restocked. I sat back and listened to my mind humming, "Can't Get Away" and Stephan's voice on tape loop saying "Its like Cracker Jacks."
"Put on your life vest only if told to do so, Well I'm telling you now..."
There was no need for any type of sleep or an oxygen mask. This flight was 6 hours but felt like one. We landed and there was Susan. I felt like I had arrived, in more ways than one. Just seeing her and giving her a hug and taking a 1001 selfies, calmed whatever anxiety was trying to creep in.
We were waiting for Cody, who was a part of this road trip adventure and was also the master of the wheel. I was also very excited to see Cody, as I had met him at The Chapel SF and had shared many late nights chatting via text about 3EB and life. Cody's blood runs 3EB for sure, and he has a long history with the band, and I love hearing his stories. I often remind Cody, he will need to write a book one day, since he has seen these guys in more shows than they even have performed. I was glad to be traveling with these experts.
We made our way to New Hampshire, and I had no idea where I was going. I was just overwhelmed with the fact that I was in the back seat taking in all the scenery, hours away from the show where I would hear Self Titled front to back. Once again this drive was a few hours but it went by in minutes. I remember laughing, singing, the green trees and twitter.
When we arrived to the hotel in New Hampshire, Stephan's twitter chirps on my phone, with an image of his New Hampshire view, which looked like the one that we had just arrived at, minus the houses.
We were all giggling as we unpacked the car and went in to make ourselves comfy and unwind before the show. Susan napped while Cody and I hung at the pool and relaxed. We met two other people that were there for Third Eye Blind and decided that it would be a good idea if we all took one big Uber to the show which was only a few miles from the venue.
Cody and I went back to the room, and we all started to get ready. We were excited and it felt like I knew them for years. Its amazing what being in the company of die hards does to you. Once we were ready, we had just enough time to take 100 selfies till we nailed the perfect ones. Here are just a few of my selects. When I look at these photos, I am quickly transported back to that moment, and I can still taste it.
We were all feeling fierce, and show ready. We smelled good and we were excited and every step we took closer to getting there had so much meaning. I will truly never be able to capture this with words, you guys are just gonna have to trust me. The Uber dropped us off and we had a golf cart finish our ride to get us to the gates. I remember taking this selfie of the three of us, and thinking I better not drop my cellular. I would be screwed. It might be blurry for the world, but to me its got the perfect focus. I love the beam of light in the photo. It was the perfect day.
You know you have a bestie when she photographs your joy while checking into the venue. If anyone out there has a photo of themselves in this moment, thank the person who capture it. Thank you Susan.
I was in heaven. Disneyland for adults. And the first stop would be to the merch. Now I will share how this went down because its pretty freaking amazing to see how a whole community was able to get their fannies after the scare of them running out. We spotted the Fannies, and the first question was "how many do you have left". We were complete savages. I was also on Facebook Live with the community sharing this excitement with die hard fans. We met up with Warren, which was exciting since I had know him from social media groups for months. It was nice to finally meet him. We also noticed the orange banner that was one of the projects that had been birth in the 3EB Lifestyle project group and worked on by a few of our experts, Ericca, Nicole, and myself collaborated together on it and seeing it in person truly took my breath away. I quickly sent that shot to Missi, to thank her for working with us experts. Susan convinced the merch people to hold the 27 fannies, and all the other merch she bought and that we would be back after the show. We grabbed our fannies and strapped them to our waist and headed to our seats.
Even though, I heard Stephan over and over speak about putting our phones away at the other shows, my heart was with the people at home knowing that they would be waiting for an update. I felt the need to report the excitement. I needed to share every step of the way. I am very glad I did, since now I have something to include in this review. Susan and I went to our seats, she went to grab cocktails as I responded to my notifications that were blowing up my phone regarding the fanny packs. I felt good, I was in a state of perfect bliss. Cody was front row, rocking out to Silversuns and everything was perfect. Susan and I kept giggling at the fact that she bought every freaking fannie New Hampshire had. We were glowing.
Susan joined Cody. He had an extra ticket for rails, and she wanted to share it with me by taking turns. I insisted she just go and enjoy. She planned this entire trip, and she is always thinking of others. I had to keep reminding her know that it was ok for her to just remain at the rails. And I had the perfect seat, and it was exactly where I needed to be. I took it all in. I embraced the people around me. The place was packed, there were a few seats closer to the stage but the Security did their job and that was ok too. Stephan, as always, makes every single person feel like he is singing just to them. Kryz always finds the die hards in the crowds and gives his classic head nod. And there I stood listening to this beautiful record FRONT TO BACK.
I put the phone away for the entire show, and I took it all in. "Shipboard Cook" and "I Want You" are the two songs that speak volumes to me. I can't tell you how healing it is to be in the room with these guys. Brad and his drums, Kopp with the light shining on him as "Narcolepsy" started playing, Kryz killing it on the guitar and LeCav with his epic Matrix moves. So healing that my heart felt at peace. There also was this couple in the aisle that were about to get told by Security to go back to their seats, so I quickly signaled to them to come squeeze by me, and although they kept talking, it was all perfection.
Then the final song, God of Wine, was about to begin, so I decided to take a chance at asking the guard if it would be ok to move, and she thought about it for a second, and then nodded yes. And what do you know... Dead center was a spot for me, literally right in front of Stephan's microphone. This does not happen at a Third Eye Blind show. But there it was and my camera captured the entire move. It also captured Brad with his eye contact drum throw that almost knocked my camera out of my hand. I let the other person behind me grab it although I knew it was directed at me. This is what you do at a Third Eye Blind show; you share the moments. It all comes back around. And it did. Danny Nolan gave Susan the setlist, and she handed it to me. These setlists are super important for experts and to give one away is a total act of love. I was just in awe. We ran to merch to get the big ass box that Cody volunteered to carry. He is a gentleman. And we headed out. We got lost. But that is another story I might one day share.
The show's a smashing great success, thank you darling.
After discovering that there was only one taxi in the area, we managed to make it back home. Susan bee lined for the the bed to count and sort the merch and I had to quickly devour some salad and some pizza from earlier and quenched my thirst. After a few hours of talking, we finally went to bed. I believe it was 4am.
I was gonna give it a star rating but anything involving Third Eye Blind is a 5 Star experience.
Next Stop. Boston.