I went to Atlantic City Saturday night to see Thirty Seconds to Mars!!!! I was there!!!!!!!!!! My cupola man (click the link and read to see what I'm talking about) was right in front of me!!!!!!
Ok, calming down to write now. Just remember, I may be 43 but I feel like I'm 14.
So you know from my last post how important Thirty Seconds to Mars has become for me. Their songs helped me fight all that anger and horror of the pedophiles linking to Alex's video and commenting about him. And after watching one live clip of the band after another on YouTube I realized that I had to see them live. I could not pass up on the opportunity to see them in Atlantic City, about 2 hours from here. Easy to say that now. At the time I waffled and waffled... no one I know wanted to come... I had no ticket... although I kept checking the website all day Friday and there were still tickets. Husband finally got tired of me saying, "Should I go? Should I go alone? How can I NOT go? But can I go alone?" and so on, which is stupid considering I go alone to operas, including flying halfway across the country, without a second thought. Finally he told me to cut it out and just GO already. Great!!! It was Friday night prob around 9. So I went online... all sold out. NOOOOOO!!!!!! I had finally decided to go!!!!! Then, serendipity. I look at Twitter... and lo and behold someone is offering an extra ticket to AC!!!! Another twitter user helped connect us and there it was!! Not only was I going, I suddenly had people to meet! Someone else offered to drive me, but they were staying over and it just seemed easier to drive myself. But... that meant more people to meet!!!
So... Fashion!! Just like with going to the opera, I had to decide what to wear. Decided that with the amount jumping I was seeing on these videos I should wear a top with a little extra support to help keep the "girls" in line. The only one I have with that extra panel in it is bright pink. Yes, I wore a bright pink top to a 30 Seconds to Mars show. Please don't tell anyone!! I'm so not a pink person! I wore black capri-ish pants and what I call my zoo shoes, because the first time I wore them was to the Philadelphia Zoo. They are blue plaid wool sneakers and I love them so shut up. And of course I wore earrings, a pair that I've worn to the opera, just because. Just because I wanted to wear something shiny and rhinestoney. And the socks... well, I took them from Alex's drawer. Yes, he's 6 and I'm wearing his socks. With all that I brought this horribly bright orange string bag. I was fashion in motion.
Saturday morning I was so excited I could barely contain myself. I went down in the afternoon and got there at about 3. I hooked up with the woman who had the extra ticket, then we wandered around and made our way to the line for the theater. Or whatever you call it. Venue. It was in a casino. Talk about sensory overload: I spend two hours in the car, yeah with music playing, but still... then wander through a quiet parking deck, stand in a quiet elevator and suddenly burst out onto a casino floor with loud music, flashing lights, bells and people everywhere going in every direction. I wanted to just shut down. It made me wonder if that's what things are like for Alex when he just collapses to the floor sometimes. But anyway we got into the line and I did get a chance to sort of shut down as I snoozed on my ugly bright orange bag. Before long some of the other people from twitter found me and it was like one big party waiting on line to go in. I met so many wonderful people and had to keep trying to remember real names with twitter names to keep track of who was who. I was scared about being near the front of the crowd and everyone assured me that it'll be fine, it's the best place to be, sure it's a little squishy but it's worth it. Well... they were right!! But I'm getting ahead of myself. We got on line at about 3. Doors opened at 7. We went to the front toward the left side of the stage and were about 3 rows from the very front. And there we stood. The opening act came on at 8. They were loads of fun, long hair swinging around and fun, clever songs. They finished at about 8:40 or so. Then we kept standing... and waiting... the anticipation building... and building. I thought I would explode. I was ready to burst. Seriously. I was. I kept telling anyone who would listen. Finally, at about 10 after 9, the lights dimmed and the show began!! (NSFW Warning: Jared Leto curses like a sailor. And that's how we like him.) And as usual, the blogger format cuts off the video, so click through to YouTube to see it all.
Yes, I go to operas. And I go to 30 Seconds to Mars shows and jam myself into the front to see my cupola man right there. Four feet away from me. And he's not 2 inches tall. He's REAL!!! The singer in me can't help but notice he didn't sing the high notes, but let the audience do it for him. I didn't realize it at the time. Now I totally want to give him some private voice lessons - get that voice on top of the air Jared, and drop your jaw, and use your breath, let those high notes ring out! Do you think he'd let me? I believe that he can actually reach the notes, but not while jumping around like the maniac he is. We all jumped. I jumped and jumped and made a few very jumpy videos, most of which I'll link to here.
Now I just have to post a small aside here, because I realized as I wrote that we got there at 3 and the show started soon after 9... when I went into labor with Alex I got to the hospital at 3 and gave birth at about 10 minutes after 9. The same amount of time, and while of course you can't really compare the two experiences, I will because it's my blog and I can do what I want. There was back pain, there was anticipation, there was nervousness, there was back pain. There was no baby on Saturday night - instead there was the most adrenaline-pumping, exciting evening of my life!!! As opposed to the "thank God THAT'S over" feeling of giving birth and not being in labor anymore... The excitement and energy in that room was palpable. It really was. And the guys in the band radiate charisma. Jared Leto is amazing. I'm not talking about his physical beauty (ok, maybe a little) but his presence. It's electrifying. And he's funny. And at the same time he's just normal. Like he goes from being this huge presence to just a regular guy, joking and talking, and then suddenly it's like he's preaching and everyone is worshipping. That's not exactly it... I'm having trouble finding the words. It's almost like the entire show was a religious experience. You can't not look, you can't not participate - the energy and excitement just sweeps you along and it's the most awesome feeling in the world. And the man can sing!!! No, it's not opera. It's all in a lower register. In fact I noticed that they transposed many of the songs into lower keys for the live performance. I sing along an octave above in the car all the time - my muscles know where to go to hit the right notes - so I was a bit messed up when I lapsed into singing along during the show. So I gave it up and just sang down low. And trilled, and whooped, and cheered, and yelled along with everyone else. And jumped!!! It's not like I even had a choice. I was fine in the Very Crowded front until about the 5th song or so when he told everyone to take 3 giant steps forward. Did I mention that it was already Very Crowded? Suddenly I was a sardine, a short sardine in a can of long tall sardines with elbows in my face and people packed all around. The guy in front of me was hugely tall and as excited as everyone else. I thought for sure I was going to be crushed. After about a minute of this wild press of jumping people I had to get out - I was starting to panic! So I made my way to the side and stayed just at the edge of where the crowd started to get rowdy. I was in a good position to help pull out other people who stumbled out to escape the press of people, plus I could dance and jump and go wild without fear of bodily harm.
So here's another video I made before I escaped. Another video I made while jumping... Dude knows how to work the crowd with that insane pause in the middle.
Here's another jumping jumpy video:
And here's another. I had to stop filming because the jumping was so jumpity jump jump that I needed both hands to protect my face from the elbows around me.Not fun being only 5 feet tall in a crowd like this.
For the rest, go to my YouTube page.
So I hung out at the edge of the rowdiness and slowly eased my way back in, and ended up very close to where I started out. My camera card was full and the videos I took with my phone sound AWFUL. The speaker couldn't handle the volume. In fact, one of the videos I took came out with no sound. Looks pretty good, though. I was sad/bummed/disappointed that I wasn't up in the press (yet still relieved) when Jared came down into the crowd. Wanted so badly to be there and was so very glad not to be in there. Can I arrange a private show for just me and my twitter friends? So we can all be wild without the claustrophobia? Husband's theory is that they like to see how far they can push the crowd to do stuff - like they're a little masochistic. Could be. Don't really care. They make it so you WANT to do what they say. It's scary, sort of. But it's not just that. It's the music. It's so full. It surrounds you. You just give yourself up to it and let it wash over you. The lyrics are great, if at times a little teenagery-earnest. But I eat it all up. I love it. And obviously I'm not the only one.
One of the best aspects of it, for me, was hearing and singing along with all the songs that I listened to after those pedophile bastards wrote about Alex on their message boards. It was such a great release to just scream RUN AWAY I'LL ATTACK and all the others, at the top of my lungs, with hundreds of others. It was truly cathartic. So intense. I actually feel a lot better.
After the show we milled about being silly. Jammed ourselves into a photo booth for a picture:
(see the hot pink top?)
Then we hung out on the boardwalk where I met more people that I "knew" from Twitter, even called a tattoo place to check on their hours for someone who had gotten the band to autograph her arm with a Sharpie, but she was eating greasy cheese fries and couldn't touch her phone. That was pretty funny b/c I put on my mom/teacher voice, "Hi, could you please tell me what time you're open til? And what time do you open tomorrow?" and the guy was like Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times, "Uh... 12. Maybe one." Duuuude thanks. I hope you're not the one holding the needle tonight. Not that I'd ever get a tattoo for so many reasons, the main one being not liking pain, and next being I'd never be able to decide what I want on me forever. So I'm happy looking at other people's tattoos.
Then Braxton Olita, who plays keyboards in the band, came out with his guitar and played a few songs on the beach. He was on a live chat last night where I was able to tell him I sing opera and was at the show. He commented on it so now he knows, there was an opera singer at the show Saturday night! But I digress... Meanwhile, a few of us ran over to where the tour buses were b/c the guys usually come out to chat with people. Well me missed Jared by like a minute. We were actually running (did I mention yet that I'm 43 going on 14?) and could see the bus and the crowd and hear the screaming. Then chunks of people were leaving as we got there. Grrr. I heard that he was really nice, telling people to follow their dreams and so on. Very inspirational. He talked about some of that during the show too. But then Shannon, the drummer, came out. He signed autographs and was super sweet. And small!! I mean, really muscular, but much tinier than I imagined. I guess he just looks larger on stage. They all loom large but appear petite in person. While he was signing Jared came out again carrying a cup with his hand over it. He ran over to Shannon and threw the contents of the cup at him. I heard later it was a bug. Ah brothers. I'm not the only 14 year old adult in the world.
We all hung out for a while longer and someone suggested we make a human triad. A little background: The band has these glyph symbols and the triad is a triangle with an extra line part way up. People make the triad out of candles and other things. We made this one out of ... people. See me in there? Near the point, hot pink shirt, long red hair? The other pictures in that flikr set are from that night. You must all go look even though they have absolutely nothing to do with opera.
Then we all chatted a little more before I decided a little before 1 that seeing as how I had a 2 hour drive ahead of me I should probably hit the road. During the goodbyes I found out that someone else likes opera, I sang a few bars of Lascia ch'io pianga, made some ghosty spooky operatic trills and off I went, back through the labyrinthine casino to find my way to the elevator to the parking deck. Then of course I got lost in Atlantic City and while, sure, it's cute to be on all the streets from Monopoly, it's not so cute to be lost in Atlantic City. Miraculously I had gotten onto a street that lead directly to the highway I needed, so all was good, and two hours later I stumbled out of the car and up my front steps.
This weekend was so intense, intense the way Rape of Lucretia was intense. I am so glad I went. I can't believe I went. But I did. I went. It was insane, it was, as everyone kept saying, epic. Epic was the word of the day. I want more, more, more... in spite of the pain I still feel in my back from all that standing, and the sleep deprivation and the sheer terror of being trapped in the crowd. I want to do it again!!! I met so many awesome people. I had a blast.
So today I had a voice lesson. I told my teacher all about the weekend. She's 71, by the way, and she gets a huge kick out of me. She loves that I just go out and live life rather than sit home and wonder and regret. She is the same type of person. She told me about being Debbie Harry's voice teacher and going to a few Blondie shows in New York and understanding how crazy it can be up front by the stage. She also told me about the time David Bowie asked her to dance and she didn't know who he was. Also she sang a duet with some guy from Foreigner. I showed her this picture (yes, yes I did!!) and of course she thought it was hilarious. She knows he's the man I sing to in the cupola in her painting. She said I should write him a letter and tell him he has inspired me to be a better opera singer. She was serious. I have no idea how to do that, so I twittered it to him. My "letter," in under 140 characters, including spaces:
@jaredleto Atl City was my first Mars show - I'M HOOKED! My opera singing is improving in part thanks 2 yr inspiration. Thx 4 that! ~Susan
Do you think I'll get a RT? I doubt it... but there you go. (RT = Retweet, a form of reply on twitter.) I don't think there are any characters left in my message for a RT unless he cuts some of it out. And that is way too much trouble for someone with over 250,000 followers. Do you think I'm the only opera singer in the Mars Army?
There is so much more to tell about the weekend. I'm sure I'll remember it all after I publish the post. But I think this is enough to give you all an idea of the sheer...EPICNESS of the adventure!!!