I’m writing this post because a) I want to and b) I made a vlog, as you can tell, about my day with Simple Plan (well, not really. I hung out with them for about an hour, but you know what I mean) and if you can’t be bothered watching that, then you can just read about it. I’ll be including more details on here than the vlog because I’m still rather iffy on the whole vlogging business so I accidentally left out quite a few details. I haven’t done it in a while and it takes some getting used to. I’ll warn you, I get a bit personal at times in this post—though you can probably tell from reading the title.
Anyway, if you follow me on social media (excuse me while I casually plug my Twitter and Instagram), then you know that on Sunday, 4th September of 2016, I went to see one of my all-time favourite bands, Simple Plan!
I’ve been a fan of theirs since I was fourteen. I had really bad depression at the time, to the point where I just didn’t see the point of sticking around anymore because it felt like no one wanted me around. They (that being my ‘friends’ at the time) told me it to my face, as well, so, you know, it was a bad time. But I’m still here because of them. And I’m glad to say that my mental health as of now is a far departure from fourteen-year-old me’s.
Anyway, I never thought I’d get a chance to meet them in real life. Not because the opportunity never showed up—they’ve performed in Jakarta before, back in early 2013, I believe it was—but because I suffer from demophobia, or better known as the fear of crowds. I get extremely anxious and panicky around crowds, but it helps if I have someone with me. But none of my friends were as huge of a fan of the band as I was back then, so I still didn’t go.
This time around, I went with my sister.
She actually had plans with her friends that day but had lied to them about having a ‘family thing’ so she could join me. In all fairness, the plan was something about a dance routine and she’d really rather go to the concert than do that.
I wish I could’ve also taken one of my best friends, Valen, who’s also a fan of the band (and was also the friend who stuck around while I was busy being depressed, even during the times I was a massive dickhead to her. She da real MVP), but she’s in Germany and so she just settled for being incredibly happy for me. I guess she was also living vicariously through me to an extent, but mostly happy.
There’s not much to say about the pre-concert. There was a lot of sitting around and talking in the humidity prior to that because we arrived at the venue a good four, five hours before the show started. I didn’t plan for it to be that way, but Jakarta’s traffic is incredibly unpredictable so I wasn’t taking any chances. We were supposed to arrive before 6pm because we bought the VIP Post Game tickets, which means that we get to meet the band members after the concert and also get early access to the concert arena. That didn’t happen, so instead I played loads of Pokémon GO and my sister doodled a strange yet cutesy version of Slenderman, but with a face and teeth. At least, that was the impression I got.
That wasn’t the ‘best’ part, though. So we were told via email that were to be at the venue before six in order to pick up our tickets for the meet and greet. Being Indonesian, I didn’t expect anything to happen by then because we Indonesians have this terrible tendency to procrastinate (the official term for it is ngaret). As the hours dragged on and the clock hands neared six, my sister, who has anxiety, began to panic. She honestly thought that the tickets were never going to be distributed. Part of me feared that would happen, but I had faith that they were going to come through.
My sister had other plans. Me trying to calm her down did nothing. Her anxiety got so bad that it got to the point where a) she wandered around the venue asking about the meet and greet—the reply was a collective ¯\_(･_･)_/¯—until she finally rang up the promoters to find out what the heck was going on only for it to come to this (I’m quoting directly from the vlog at 00:02:56):
“I called the promoters. They hung up on me . . . They were like, ‘Oh, yeah. We don’t know anything about an early access. Are you sure? Where are you right now? People are already lining up in that venue.’ I’m already at the venue, I’m asking where we should meet for the VIP. The guy’s like, ”WTF there is no such thing.'”
We eventually got our tickets, of course, but damn if that wasn’t one hell of a procedure to go through. The promoters really need to get their sh*t together.
Then the concert happened! Never in my life did I think I would be stood at the front row, especially a first time concert goer, but I was and oh my god, it was amazing! I recorded pretty much every second of it starting at the 00:04:02 mark. And have some pictures as well!
Standing at the front row of my all-time favourite band was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life. Half the time I couldn’t even believe that the people whose music I’ve listened to on repeat for hours, days, weeks on end were actually performing in front of me. I shrieked every time they played the opening riffs for my favourite songs and sang—or, rather, screamed like a dying goose—myself hoarse. I was so happy when they played ‘Jet Lag’, which was the song that got me into the band in the first place, and I damn near cried when they played ‘This Song Saved My Life’, which was the song that meant the world to me. If they had played ‘Astronaut’ and/or ‘Save You’, actual tears would be leaking from my eyes.
I’m honestly surprised that I haven’t gone completely deaf since a) I was stood directly across one of the speakers and my bones were vibrating every time they played, and b) this one girl next to me would not stop hollering “David (the bassist) you sexy beast!!” throughout the duration of the show. Part of me can’t really blame her for being excited—outwardly, he seemed like the calmest. But on-stage he was pretty much flirting with everyone in the crowd. At one point, he straight up reached into his trousers and grabbed his balls. Yeah, don’t ask. He apparently does it in most of the shows—but at the same time, I wanted to tell the girl to calm her tits. She already has a drumstick and pick thrown at her by the guy. Cool it.
Anyway. Then came the (second) best part: the meet and greet!
I’ll start with the best one (01:13:38 on the vlog). In the picture above, I’m with the frontman, Pierre. The first few pictures made it look like I’m leaning against him like a lover. That’s not what’s happening. Basically what happened was Pierre would occasionally take people’s phones when they came up to him and would be the one taking the selfie. He took mine and I was still in the process of positioning myself around the guy (which is why I have my hand up there. Because I don’t know what to do with it. I never know what to do with my hands when I’m having my picture taken, so it looks like I’m clinging on to him there) when he took about five selfies just like bam-bam-bam! He must’ve taken about ten selfies in ten seconds, I did not see that coming. When I finally realised what was going on, well, the fourth and fifth picture explains it all. The sixth picture is when I finally have my sh*t together. Which I promptly lost again when I gave him my gift, which was the sign that I made (01:13:49 if you want to see that awkwardness. I’m pretty sure I was thinking something along the lines of ‘oh my god you’re actually real and this happening what the f***’.)
Then there was my mini-interview with one of the guitarists, Seb. I was planning on asking all the band members one question—’how do you deal with jet lag while you’re on a world tour?’—but I ran out of time. It’s on the 01:12:55 mark if you want to check it out and it went a little something like this:
Me: So how do you deal with jet lag?
Seb: We don’t. We just pretend we’re not tired.
He basically just described my life in two sentences, minus all the popularity and the travelling. I think of all the members that were present (David wasn’t there and I’m not entirely sure why. Someone asked and all we got was a jokey “he has diarrhoea”), I spent most of my time with Seb because he was so chill. Not saying that everyone else wasn’t, but he just went along with everything and was an all around babe. I complimented his t-shirt, which had Sailor Moon’s Usagi on it, and he went, “Haha, yeah I know right! Sailor Moon!” He and my sister share the same birthday and when she told him this, he went, “Oh my god! Best birthday ever!” He was the cutest.
Anyway, have some more pictures!
I also got some concert goodies, including a ‘Post Game VIP’ tag with their autographs on the back of it and a signed tour poster.
And after that I went home, filmed the closing bit for my vlog, cleaned myself up, and fell asleep. Well, not really. I watched my raw, unedited footage of the concert and felt this pang in my chest because I missed it so much, even though it’s only been a few hours. My sister told me the day after, as we were watching their music video for ‘The Rest of Us’, that she remembered me telling her how much fun they seemed to be around and how I wanted to meet them one day. I’m still processing the fact that it’s happened, that I can cross it off my bucket list now. It’s absolutely insane. There were some things I wished I could’ve done differently, like tell them how much they meant to me etc., but my nerves got in the way and so that didn’t happen. But I wouldn’t trade that moment for the world.
If you’ve made it this far into my post, then thank you for reading! Have you ever met your all-time favourite band before? If so, let me know in the comments how it went. And if you haven’t, then I’m sure you will one day. I’ll cross my fingers for you.
Until next time,