Journey to VegasPart 1
(skip to Part 2 if you just want to head straight for FOTC stuff)
I woke up that morning with a funny feeling in my stomach. I felt anxious, excited, nervous. Is that what you would callâ€¦how do you sayâ€¦butterflies in the stomach? I arrived at the Greyhound station in Claremont an hour before departure. My bus was scheduled to leave at 11:15 AM. I had been looking forward to Saturday all week. I was seriously sleep deprived because I returned home really late the previous night after seeing Chain and the Gang play at The Smell. I also just finished up with finals on Wednesday night and had long workdays on Thursday and Friday to help my college prepare for graduation night. The thought of the approaching weekend was what kept me going. The bus was scheduled to arrive in Las Vegas at 4:00 PM and then I would have to catch another bus to the hotel. 4 hours and 45 minutes on a bus? No biggie, I thought. I brought a book to read and the plan was to sleep for most of the travel time. I tried shutting my eyes but I couldnâ€™t sleep. I was way too excited to sleep. The first half of the bus ride wasnâ€™t so bad. We stopped in Barstow for 30 minutes along the way so I ventured out and checked out all the weird little trinkets they had in the gift shops there. Monkey statues, trucker t-shirts, shot glasses, neon colored visors. Oh, yes, the treasures they had there were endless.
The second half of the bus ride was torture. The first half, I sat alone but after we re-boarded some guy asked if could sit next to me and I said â€œAlright.â€ I think he had Chinese food for lunch-maybe some sort of stir fry because for the next 3 hours, all I could smell was a bad combination of garlicky breath and body odor. And he kept asking me questions about where I was from and what hotel I was staying at in Vegas. Stuff I really didnâ€™t want to share with him. I should have cut him off and offered him a breath mint. Also, some women sitting in front of me started freaking out after she lost her box of Popeyeâ€™s chicken. She kept looking at me and starred at my bag suspiciously and then yelled, â€œOpen up your bag!â€ What the h-e-double hockey sticks lady?! Did you seriously just accuse me of swiping your chicken? I just shook my head and turned to the guy next to me and we both started laughing. She found it near her seat like, 2 seconds later. The rest of the trip was uncomfortable. My experience was a slightly more understated version of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAfolyD0SbIPart 2
I stepped through the doors of The Hard Rock Hotel around 5:30 PM. I was the first WTF member to get there so I killed some time by walking down a long hallway of ritz and glitz that lead straight to the casino. It was my first time in Vegas and it was interesting to see how busy everything was. I had the impression that I was going to show up and see showgirls and Elvis impersonators but the ambience at The Hard Rock Hotel was more swanky and high end. I immediately wanted to find The Joint so I could see if anyone else had showed up yet. The merch table was being set up and no one was there yet. So, I walked out back toward the casino and guess who came walking past? Jemaine, Nigel and a few other people I didnâ€™t recognize. Holy mother of god! And I just stood there in the corner and fumbled around with my camera like and idiot, pretending not to look. So I took a deep breath, told myself to play it cool and just walk back in the venue lobby to say hi. One couple saw him walk in so they had the same idea and got to him first. I stood off to the side to wait, while they chatted with him and took pictures. I didnâ€™t hear what they said to him but he let out that cute, little laugh of his. They began walking away and Jemaine started to head inside the venue and I thought to myself, "Here's my chance." But I just stood there motionless as I watched him leave. Stupid me. That was the perfect opportunity to talk to him and I just blew it. I should note that Iâ€™m not the type of person who will approach people. I wait for people to approach me. So trying to talk to him proved to be harder than I thought it would be. This is definitely not how I rehearsed the meeting in my head.
Shortly after this, I met up with Alysa (aka alysanne) for a drink and Laura (aka eorious) showed up a little while later. We still had a few hours before show time so we hung out at the bar in the meantime. We had to pick up our tickets at will call. I originally was going to sit next to Laura in ORCH, Row JJ but Alysaâ€™s brother couldnâ€™t make the trip as planned so Alysa offered her spare ticket (ORCH, Row BB) to me. I guess Laura and Alysa discussed it before and Laura was okay with this. I didnâ€™t check out the seating chart for The Joint before the show so I was under the impression that there would be a pit section and the Orchestra level would be behind it. When I walked in, I showed my ticket to one of the ushers and much to my amazement, he lead me to the 2ND ROW FROM THE STAGE! Thank you so much Alysa! When WTF members hook you up, they hook you up good!
They started on time around 8-ish. Jemaine introduced Arj. I cheated a little bit before the show and watched some of Arjâ€™s stand-up on MySpace. I stopped myself from watching all of it because I wanted the material to be fresh and funny when I heard it. Luckily, his set consisted of jokes I havenâ€™t heard yet. I loved the bits about the pirates, Michael Phelps, Alzheimerâ€™s disease. I wonâ€™t spoil it for those of you who havenâ€™t seen his act yet.
His act lasted for maybe 20 minutes before Bret and Jemaine came on. I love that there was no break. They came on stage directly after Arj left. I cannot remember the order of the set list for the life of me but they opened with Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor and ended with Bowie. Their set also included:
Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros
The Most Beautiful Girl
Iâ€™m not crying
Leggy Blonde (partial version)
Bus Driverâ€™s Song
A Kiss is not a Contract
Jemaine made a joke about The Hard Rock Hotel being so rock and roll and referred to Jewelâ€™s tank top being on display. Early in the show, this women sitting to the left of Alysa and I got up, screamed out, â€œBRET!â€ and threw a pair of menâ€™s underpants on stage. Jemaine went over to pick them up and held them out for the audience to see. He threw them back on the floor and Bret started inching over, trying to pick them up with his foot and Jemaine caught him and said, â€œDonâ€™t touch it, donâ€™t touch it!â€ Hahaha! I wish I could remember more of the banter but my mind is all fuzzy. They started playing Leggy Blonde but then some dork had to yell, â€œJust do the rap part!â€ So they stopped the song and Jemaine did it. Bret seemed disappointed because he wanted to play the whole song and I was hoping they would start over but they didnâ€™t. Thanks a lot, dude in the audience! They also had a Freebird request and Jemaine and Bret both looked annoyed but they went into the song anyway. That nightâ€™s version of Sugalumps was not as raunchy as some of the videos Iâ€™ve seen. The Epileptic Dog remix was hilarious! Thank goodness there were no epileptic dogs in attendance. Oh, and because I was in the second row, you know what that meansâ€¦Iâ€™m fully expecting a baby hiphopopotamus in 9 months.
I tried taking a ton of photos but my camera is crap. 98% of my photos are blurry. Iâ€™m in the market for a new point and shoot. Something small for concerts with a fast shutter speed. Any suggestions?
Here are the few that didnâ€™t come out as bad.Part 3
Warning: If youâ€™re not big on the swooning, you might want to skip this last section.
Post-show, Alysa, Laura, and I all waited outside near the tour buses along with about 20-30 other fans. The group was much smaller than I anticipated. At the bar earlier, we were wondering if anyone had contacted 4everconchordsfan about meeting up but no one had her number or knew what she looked like. So after fifteen minutes of waiting, a women walks up and stands next to us and I had this weird feeling it was her. After her friend Nikki showed up, she played some video from her camera so I turned to her and asked if she had videos from the show? She asked me which song I wanted to hear and I asked if she was going to upload them to youtube. She said she was and that she was going to post them on online fan communities. So, I asked her what her username was on WTF! Mystery solved!
We waited for 2 hours. Arj came out first. Jemaine didnâ€™t come out until around 2 AM. First off, let me ask: How can one man transform a group of smart, grown women into a slew of bumbling, teenage girls? As soon as he came out, 4everconchordsfan got super excited and started getting ready and popped a mint and offered us one. It was so cute. But I think we were all thinking the same thing. She compiled a collection of tour photos and made the coolest photo album, which she gave to Jemaine. I wish I had something that cool to give! It was awesome. I wish you guys could have seen it. Alysa was up front and gestured for me to come over. After she got a photo with Jemaine, he turned to me and said, â€œDid you want anything?â€ Instead, I invited Laura and 4everconchordsfan to come up and meet him. He is so gorgeous in person and completely devoid of any hint of geekiness. And he has the sexiest smile. Ten or so minutes later, Laura and 4everconchordsfan pushed me a little bit because they knew I had to be at the Greyhound station by 3 AM. I seriously think if it werenâ€™t for them I would have just stood there awkwardly until he left again. He turned to me and said, â€œOh, I remember youâ€¦from before,â€ pointing to the spot where we were last standing. I about died. So when I finally did speak to Jemaine, all I could manage to say was...â€Hi, Iâ€™m Vanessa. I wanted to say hi earlier today in the lobby but I didnâ€™t have a chance to. Could I get a hug photo?â€ Damn, do I have game or what? I could hear the nervousness in my voice as I spoke. He wrapped his arms around me and no joke, his handsome face was (--------------) about that close to mine. We looked at the photo after and 4everconchordsfan asked if I wanted another one but I said that I liked it. Jemaine looked too and said, â€œWell, I like it,â€ and then looked at me and gave a shy smile. At that point, I pretty much became weak in the knees. 4everconchordsfan has the copy of that picture so Iâ€™ll have to wait until she sends it to me.
Alysa and I had to leave after that because we had a bus to catch to LA. We headed back to the Hard Rock Hotel entrance to hail a cab and the line was bonkers! I saw Mindy Kaling from The Office waiting, I was afraid we wouldnâ€™t get to the station in time but we found a nice cab driver a bit farther away from the entrance who offered to take us. Looking back on it, I regret not saying what I wanted to say. I would have liked to make a more memorable impression but they meet so many people, it wouldnâ€™t matter anyway. He was sweet enough to stick around to talk to everyone. Because of all the fans that have stayed afterwards for a meet and greet and never got one, I feel quite lucky that I did get to meet him.
It was a completely amazing night! It was such a pleasure to meet all of you wonderful ladies (Alysa, Laura, 4everconchordsfan (I donâ€™t think I caught your name, btw), Nikki)! Iâ€™m on such a Conchords high right now that I donâ€™t even want to think about this post-tour depression that everyoneâ€™s talking about. For the next tour (whenever that will be), Iâ€™m going to plan it out a little better so I could see more shows and will hopefully get to meet more of you lovely WTFers. But next time, I will be flying. Iâ€™m sooo over busses.
PS: I will post my review of the Los Angeles show in the appropriate section soon!