Ryan down! (Spencer to go.) ...but I could probably die happy as it is.
I'd pretty long winded, but I'd like to think it's worth it.
Recap of my experiences at TYV show, Atlanta, GA. March 24, 2010.
I’ve been courting down to the Atlanta Young Veins show for weeks now and even did the last ten days or so on my twitter to drive everyone else nuts as well.
My sister Kelsey (cardenlovah) who is more of a Panic fan than The Young Veins fan (And more of a TAI/Cobra fan than either) has kindly indulged me in my ecstatic race toward the date. She likes Ryan well enough anyway.
Let’s see. I made Ryan a gift basket. It had random “return to childhood” stuff in it: colouring books (one puppies and kitties, one animals, one Star Wars), twist pencil crayons, a stuffed animal fox, Mad Libs, a Tyrannosaurus Rex plastic toy, beaded and leather bracelets, Oreos, Pez candies & dispenser, packs of ketchup (cardenlovah figured he might need them in order for survival on tour), and some other completely random things. Then we took the whole band glow in the dark bracelets, beaded bracelets with their names (we do this for every tour we go to for every band we know), threaded bracelets, plastic dinosaurs, and silly string. Don’t ask why. It was a completely out of character thing for us too. (Oh, and we took Andy Play-Doh, but whatever. He wanted to eat Ryan‘s blanket, okay? Jeez.)
(Gift Basket and Dinos)
Anyway, got all of our shit together and went to the show. I was running off of three hours sleep and had already been up all day when I got there around 5:30ish and met up with some other LJers. I didn’t even feel tired I was so excited.
My main goal for the evening was simply to meet one Ryan Ross. (We interrupt this “review?” to bring you a brief bit of Ryan fan history. I have been trying to meet Ryan for a couple years now because I originally got into hardcore Panic fandom when I wanted to know who wrote the brilliant lyrics and looked them up. I got pretty close to meeting him at HCT, but when he was just a few feet away, Zack made him go back in the bus because it was raining and he said Ryan would get sick. Also, I bought tickets in May(?) of last year to go see them with Blink even though the closest show was 13 hours away. People said Zack was cool and if I told him we came that far, he’d let us meet them. I just wanted to meet Ryan really because he was the one that got me into the band in the first place. Then the band split in July and in August, Kelsey and I went 13 hours to see just Brendon and Spencer. Zack didn’t let us meet them and it rained cold, pouring rain for five hours straight and we stood out in it the entire show. Needless to say, I met no one and I was miserable because of the weather.) This time, the show was inside at the Masquerade in Atlanta, a venue I know as well as its builders probably. I was determined I would not leave till I had met that lyricist that made me fall in love with Panic years before.
We stood up close to the barricade- I guess second or third row if someone put it in a row perspective and it mattered. What mattered is it was ridiculously close and the venue is already tiny. Before the show started, I went over to see if they had merch even though I fully suspected that they probably did not. Turns out they had three shirts ($15 each) and I bought two of them because how could I not? Stuffed them in my bag and went back to the crowd.
(Here's what they have if you're interested.)
First was a band that wasn’t on the fliers and I had never heard of. They had no stage presence, no enthusiasm, and a Jonas Brothers look-a-like on piano. I was bored and no joke, cardenlovah was trying to sleep on my shoulder during their set. She tweeted at one point, “You know it has to suck when you're a band playing on stage and the whole audience is giving you blank stares.” I think the only time this wasn’t going on was when Ryan walked passed the side of the stage and toward the back of the venue so nearly everyone’s gaze followed him and now all of the crowd was facing the back of the venue instead of the stage. Those guys really had absolutely no one’s attention at all.
While the next band was setting up, Ryan picked up an amp and carried it over to help. Everyone was mostly like, “He can carry that thing?” or “Show off” or “It‘s really hollow inside.” Then came Bad Rabbits and those guys are incredible. They blew me away. They had a live act that just kept everyone on their toes and ready to dance. In fact, at one time, we all did dance -even Nick Murray! Andy even grabbed a random guy that I think he knew and they danced too. I suggest getting to the show in time to see those guys. You will not regret it at all!
Next was The Young Veins. They come out, Ryan wearing what he’d been wearing the whole tour so far and Nick Murray in a fresh shirt today, and start setting up the stage. I don’t think they got a sound check because it took a good fifteen or twenty minutes to get everything to sound okay -Ryan and Jon telling the sound guy what to turn up and down and so on. Most of us were just mesmerized enough to be cool with that.
Honestly, Ryan has more stage presence as a front man than I would have predicted (or probably given him credit for before this show). At one point Jon started talking about the album and then he told Ryan that he got the information off of their Wikipedia. Ryan obviously wasn’t expecting that answer because he cracked up. After listening to all the songs, I really think this album is going to be better than I was expecting. “Cape Town” is my favourite, possibly, but really, it seems like a solid, well-made bunch of songs. And Ryan has quite the lung capacity. I never saw it coming. There’s hope for our boys yet!
After the show, they were tearing down their equipment and some girls called him over to the side of the stage and Kelsey assumed they were going to ask for the set list. They didn’t though so she called out to Ryan and asked for it. He went over and got his for her and she handed it to me. He took Jon and Andy’s set lists and tossed them into the crowd where Andy’s was instantly ripped into pieces by vicious fangirls. It was a bit scary. When they were finished packing things up, Ryan went to head off the stage and tripped, but caught himself. FailRoss. Then, we left the crowd and went to where I had set Ryan’s gift basket behind the merch tables. The Bad Rabbits dudes were there so I bought their EP (it has Travie on it!) and got them to sign it. Also, when we got the gift baskets Salim (guitarist) said they couldn’t wait till they had fans that would bring them gifts so we pulled out the thread bracelets and let them pick some.
Since the Masquerade is the coolest venue ever, I waited a few minutes, then walked right out back where the band had assembled. A few other fans went out back too and I walked out with Ryan’s gift basket.
“Ryan,” Kelsey called, then looked at me. “You wanna give it to him?”
“This is for you,” is all I said and held it out. I was mentally flipping out because I’ve only been trying and failing when it comes to meeting this guy for years and now all of a sudden there he was. Ryan just smiled and said, “What did I do to deserve this?”
I told him I had just been trying to meet him forever so it was kind of like a gift to him because I had finally gotten to meet him and was celebrating. He’s a hard guy to get close to! I pointed to the fox in the basket and said, “That‘s your pet fox until you get a real one. This one will tour better.” He smiled and said, “I might feed it to my real fox when I get one. How‘s that?” I was pretty much like, “Fine with me!” because really, anything he wanted would probably be fine with me. He thanked me, all shy and sweet, and said he was going to set the basket out of the way. Some other girls called him over and Jon, Andy, and Nick Murray were all standing around so I pulled out my bag and started handing out silly string. Of course the first thing Mr. Jon Walker does is shake it up and spray silly string all over Nick. Nick looked down at his shirt and got this very kicked puppy look about him. So I handed one to Nick and told him to retaliate. Jon ran off with his can and to some other fans, but he kept spraying people. In a few minutes, he had sprayed Nick, Will (tour manager), Andy, me, Kelsey, Ryan, and some people I didn’t know. Ryan saw his shoulder covered in silly string and proceeded to try to decorate his shoulder with it. I gave Ryan his silly string to retaliate and he forgot to shake it so when he sprayed it on Will it mostly just came out this watery liquid and soaked the guy’s shirt in a spot. FailRoss strikes again. We got pictures in which I made what has become known in my family as my stupid-happy-face. It’s that one I make when I’m not only happy to see said person, but I’m so happy that I’m practically delirious. Remember, I have been trying to meet this kid for years. Afterward I asked if I could hug him and I’ve been anticipating hugging that boney kid for quite some time, but you know what? It was like the softest hug I’ve ever gotten. It wasn’t at all like I expected. It was delicate and fragile and soft. It was better than I thought though. Way better.
Will ran us off for a few minutes and we all had to go inside. We saw Nick White and gave him his silly string. We told him the others had some so it was best to be ready to defend himself. He laughed and took it before running off with it in hand. A few minutes later, Ryan and Jon end up by the merch booth and a decent amount of fans gathered to meet them. We gave Jon his choice of the thread bracelets and he chose three of them and then said, “I can braid them together. Want to see me braid them?” He looked around for a moment then held the ends of the three bracelets up to me. “Here, hold these.” he said, so I did and he started braiding them really quickly. “Have you ever had braiding competitions to see who could braid the fastest?” he asked me, but honestly, I’d never even thought of having braid competitions. Apparently, Mr. Walker does this in his spare time or something. We then tied them around his wrist and got him to sign mini_jizzle and take a picture with him. We gave him this green glow in the dark bracelet that he was excited about and instantly snapped it so it would glow and put it on. We got pictures with him and left him to the other waiting fans. One of the fans had a Foxy Shazam poster from the venue that had been up advertising the show and Jon drew himself into the picture as a stick figure. Pretty awesome.
We talked to Nick Murray and let him do the “Dinosaur Grab-bag.” He got a triceratops and I don’t have a clue what he’s going to do with it, but whatever. Now he has one. Everyone needs a plastic dinosaur in their life anyway. He did the mini_jizzle thing too and we took pictures with him. He also took three bracelets, but he didn’t braid his. At one point I asked him about other bands and he said he had been in bands for the past fourteen years. When I asked him how old he was, he said, “I‘m only a year older than Ryan.” I guess I gave off that I-sadly-know-every-detail-of-Ryan-Ross‘s-l
We stopped Nick White before his family (who were at the show considering it was a home show for the Georgia boy) got to steal him away. He was awesome enough to sign three of my Bright Eyes liner notes that I had brought with me. I told him my mother was from Georgia and that her maiden name was White and he laughed and said, “Do we have the same mother?!” Pretty sure Nick White and I are unofficially family now. (Edited: Since then, we've found out we're distant cousins for real, but we fondly refer to each other as siblings. He knows us his sisters when he come to a show and we call him our brother so that's cool enough for us.) I asked him how they differentiate between the Nicks usually and he said Nick Murray commonly goes by Nicholas with the band. However, Andy and Will had also said earlier they call Nick Murray “Wildcard” and Will said he called Nick White “Peaches.” Take any of those as you’d like. We gave a glow bracelet to him too and he said, “Oowh, I want a pink one!” Dinosaur Grab-bag result: pterodactyl. It fit nicely into his pocket too with it‘s orangey-yellow head sticking out to confuse people.
Andy was busy talking to some dude he knew (same someone he had danced with to Bad Rabbits earlier, in fact.) so we went back to Jon. Jon was now finished talking to the crowd he had had earlier and so we let him play Dino Grab-bag and he got a stegosaurus that he was quite happy with actually. (I don‘t even know what these guys are going to do with them, but they were too epic not to get them.) Kelsey mentioned his lack of flip flops and he said it had started when they were moving equipment because he has a tendency to tumble over his own feet a bit. He even volunteered to take his shoes off if Kelsey preferred, but the ground was wet a bit where people was tracked things inside so we let him keep them on. He said also something about how they didn’t get to shower as much since they were in a van. I said, “Yeah, and they only have one shower here.” Jon nodded and cringed and said, “And I don‘t want to use it after those dudes have been in there.” He said it like he was a pretty clean little girl and boys were yucky. It was fabulous. Dillinger Escape Plan were upstairs playing so those were “those dudes” in which he spoke of.
When we spoke to Andy after that, he was very cool. He picked out bracelets and got the last dinosaur- a green hypacrosaurus. He was okay with that. It was the only green dinosaur in the lot of them anyway. He then helped with the mini_jizzle project and we mostly talked about that and the Bad Rabbits dudes trying to sell their EP so they could buy tacos. They even asked Jon if he wanted to buy one, to which he replied, “Well, how much?” (Jon had already said on stage that everyone should buy merch because they were pretty broke.) I asked Andy what part of Chicago he was from and he said that he lived in the city now, but that he had grown up in the suburbs. I should have asked how he met the other guys, but I didn’t. *shrug* He‘s super nice and he thanked us like ten times for coming and for the gifts. And he direct messaged me on Twitter the day after and thanked me again (He actually publicly tweeted it first so you may have saw it).
When Ryan resurfaced, we asked him to sign mini_jizzle and I gave him a beaded bracelet. “Owh, it has my name on it,” he remarked, but almost instantly Jon appeared and held out his and said, “I‘ve got one too. Don‘t feel too special.” Ryan deflated a bit, but it was all playful as Jon wondered off again. I asked if it would be okay if he signed my Panic liner notes and he said, “As long as it‘s not their new album.” (I think he meant the single, because I said they didn’t have a new one yet and he agreed then said jokingly that he wanted to sign that one.) Now, Kelsey has this little book that she takes to every show and gets band guys to sign random pages that say random happy things (Jon‘s page, I remember said, “Try new things” which he thought was fitting.). Ryan flipped open to a page and read what it said, “Buy yourself flowers.”
Kelsey immediately goes, “Are you going to ask him?” I’d forgotten my question so she had to remind me. “Birthday…”
“Oh yeah,” I remember, “Did you get the flowers I sent you for your birthday?”
Ryan smiled a little. “Yeah, I did. That was you?” he asked, “They came to the studio.” (It was the only address I had found that would reach him and it actually took some stalking in itself.) I told him my mom owned a florist so I got them wired out to California for him. He shrugged a little and looked down and said, “It was nice to get them. Made me feel like someone still cared.” My little Ryan Ross loving heart just broke. How could he think someone didn’t?! And if I remember correctly, all the card with them said was, “Hope your have a great birthday, Ryan! Can‘t wait to hear the new music! -Lindsey”
We let Ryan pick a thread bracelet and he looked over them and picked one that Kelsey had actually made on the way to the show with Ryan specifically in mind. It was turquoise, tan, and dark green and she thought it was so ugly that no one would want it. Ryan held it up to his pale yellow shirt and said, "It matches, see?" Who knew Ryan Ross was concerned with matching clothes?
After that Jon returned and asked Ryan what he wanted for dinner. Ryan said he was thinking of going with Bad Rabbits (who were getting tacos, I guess). They said where they were going, but I didn’t know the place. Ryan placed his hand on my shoulder and thanked me and Kelsey again for coming and for everything and I was just thinking, “Kid, I should be thanking you. You have no idea.”
When we left, our oh-so-awesome mother had parked next to their bus in the back alley (she always parks in that alley at shows so it wasn‘t like she was stalking them for us). We passed the bus and saw Ryan’s gift basket in the front seat and Ryan’s fort thing in the back seat (yeah, it‘s still there..ha!). Anyway, she had parked next to the bus and it was dark enough that they couldn’t see us so we sat there when they came out and packed everything in. My mom was all like, “That‘s Ryan, right? And that‘s Jon? Who is that?” and funnily, “That little guy is 24?!” and she seriously thought Nick Murray was like 14. Will and Nick both went and peed in the trees because they obviously wanted to be hippie and naturey like that. We joked that it made them feel like “real dudes.” Some of the band guys crowded around the front seat a few minutes before they climbed in, but we couldn’t see if they were looking at the basket or not. Then they all piled in the van and drove off.
Over all, the entire band is humble and sweet and anything but self-absorbed like some people want to make them out to be. Each one thanked us multiple times for coming and for the gifts and for being so nice and everything. Really, they’re great guys. Go see them. Talk to them afterward. You’ll thank yourself. Seriously. Worth every minute.
(Also, the tweets about bracelets, plastic dinosaurs, glow sticks, play-doh, Ryan‘s puppy&kitty coloring book page, and the “vixen” were all gifts we gave them. Seriously, I don‘t ever want to hear about these guys being anything but amazing to fans. THEY.RULE.)
Meetings with my stupid-happy-face.
Nick "Peaches" White
Nick "Wildcard" Murray (Aww, so cute.)
This is the part where you save them and crop me out. (I would.)
Some other half-way decent pictures are in my Photobucket if you're interested. I may upload some videos later as well.