Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mars 300 Serenade!

Had another AMAZING 30 Seconds to Mars adventure!

Last week they celebrated the end of their 2 year world tour with a record-breaking show at an old opera house in NYC, the Hammerstein Ballroom. The moment tickets went on sale I got myself one of the “more expensive than opera” tickets to include early entry, a meet & greet with the band and a few bits and baubles of swag.

So rumor had it that they had sold about 200 of these early entry tickets.  I knew that there wouldn’t be space for 200 people on the barrier, so I got to the venue at about 1:30 pm. Did I mention it was pouring rain? It was pouring rain. And crowded with umbrellas. And while that may all sound miserable, it was actually ok. I mean, yeah, it was miserable to be standing out in the pouring rain, shivering. BUT it was great fun to be hanging out chatting with my friends and making new friends! And meeting people with whom I’ve only interacted with online. That was awesome. So anyway we are eventually let in, and then between dropping off our soaking wet stuff and so on, the line order from outside was completely lost. We lined up in a room that only vaguely resembled the order we were in outside. So when we went into the venue, the entire barrier was taken by the time I got up there. I ended up being 2nd from the barrier, which in theory is good. Here’s a picture of my view.

Here’s a video I took of the opening song.

However, once the concert started, the people on the barrier pushed back to hold their spots, while pretty much everyone else in the venue pushed forward to get closer. Like agitated molecules, the temperature rose very quickly. Now, I’m only 5 feet tall. I could see nothing except the elbows that were coming toward my face as my body was pushed simultaneously in several directions. I could barely hold the camera. I was terrified. I asked the woman in front of me to call the security guard over. He pulled me out at the end of the next song. He lifted me over the barrier like I was a feather. I went around the side and made my way to the  middle of the crowd, near the soundboard. Why the soundboard, you ask? Because during almost every 30 Seconds to Mars show, Jared does an acoustic set from there. Plus someone had tipped me off that he had done it from there the night before. So I was ready and waiting when he appeared. Here are the videos and pictures I took from there. I just love how you can hear everyone singing along.

Everyone in the back was just as into it and excited as the people up front, but it was much much SAFER back there. I had plenty of room to jump around and go nuts. I definitely had more fun back there than I would have if I had stayed up front. And the place wasn't that large... here's a pic I took from the back, of the stage:

And then you hear me, saying OHMYGOD over and over because they played this song:

So after the show we had the meet & greet. All 200 or so people jammed into this little curtained off area of a room. They had people line up all around the wall, then another row of people facing the wall people, with a path in between. We could have done a Virginia Reel dance. Then they had ANOTHER set of people facing each other, in the middle.

This time around I decided not to make bracelets for them. Instead, I would prepare a song. So I took a verse of Caro Nome (the melody that starts here) and changed the words, although the last part is sort of a real translation of the aria:

This is your 300th show
In support of This is War
The record keepers say it’s so
And you keep on playing more
Thirty Seconds to Mars
You will always have a part….. of my heart…
You will always have my heart.

The words sound hokey spoken but are fine when sung. I’ll eventually make of video of me singing it. So anyway I printed up two copies and glued them to a card. One the back of one I wrote, “Thank you for inspiring me to follow my dreams,” and the other was for them to autograph.

So Shannon got to me first. I showed him the card and told him I sing and that I … he cut me off. “Oh yeah I remember. You sang opera for me.” Uh… yeah! So I told him I have this short song, he said, sing it when we get the picture taken. Next, Jared came over. I said, “My gift for you is a song…” and he said, “Yeah, I remember, you sing opera.” ZOINKS went my brain, again. I showed him the card, which he tried to keep after he signed! I explained that Shannon has the original. Like Shannon, he said I should sing the song when we get the picture taken. A little bit later, here comes Tomo. Before I could say hello, he said, “HI OPERA SINGER!”  so inside I’m like HOLY xxxx THEY ALL REMEMBER ME and to him I said I have a song, etc. Sing it at the picture. Yep.

Eventually we lined up for the photos. Plenty of time for me to get nnneerrrvvvoouusss. The photo taking is really really quick, because they have so many to do. So you hand your stuff to one person who hands it to someone else behind the photog as you pose for the pic, then you collect your stuff from that other person and run out. Yeah anyway so I hand my stuff and they say “WAIT! Let’s hear the song!” So … I sang. I started way too low, to the point that I had to switch to chest voice for the bottom notes. And I was nervous at first, until one of my friends said SING LOUDER, which made me relax, because it made me smile. Meanwhile, Jared, Shannon and Tomo are looking at me with the most amazing expressions of wonder and delight. I looked from one to the next as I sang, right into their eyes. It was amazing. I don't think I'll ever forget how they were looking at me. Then when I was done everyone applauded and someone shouted “BRAVO!” Jared and Shannon put their arms out and Jared said in the sweetest voice, “Come ‘ere” so I trotted over to be squeezed for the photo. This photo. Where Jared is SMILING. Because I sang to him.

If you google “30 seconds to Mars meet & greet photo” you will see that he makes silly faces but he rarely smiles. He was all smiley and amazed while I was singing. I mean I could see it, they LOVED the words, I could see that it moved them. It.Was.Awesome.  Afterwards all these people were like, how did you have the nerve to sing for them? You’re so brave! And one of my friends said, “Of course they loved it! How many people serenade them?”  I hadn’t thought of it as a serenade but yeah I guess it was!

The next day I actually cried a little, walking around the streets of NYC with my friends. I couldn’t believe it… they inspire me so much, and have helped me get through some nasty experiences… and to be able to sing to them how I feel was just the most amazing experience.

That night I saw them play a small, acoustic show at a beautiful old church. There were probably more people at the meet & greet the night before than there were in the entire church.

When I stood up to leave, Shannon was on stage with the mic. I waved and he said, "Bye Opera Singer!"

Remember when I saw them in Feb and guessed that they'd remember me?

I was right.

Remember when I said I loved my life?

I still do.