Well, that was a hell of a show.
Due to the generosity of bosk1 and band management, my girls and I received VIP preshow treatment, as well as after show passes. Of course, that was a complete surprise for my girls. I didn't tell them about any extras until we got to the show lol
Lining up for the preshow stuff was supposed to take place from 4:30-5. So of course, as soon as I exited off the highway into downtown Durham, we hit a traffic jam. It put me a few minutes behind my personal timeline, but even though I was a little pissed, that's why we had left a little earlier than we needed to.
Then, when we got to the venue area, right around 4:30, we were unable to park at the venue's parking deck, because it doesn't open for venue events until 5pm; during the day, it is used for area downtown business parking. Also, no other parking right at the venue. Shit.
We go a couple of streets up to another parking deck, and finally find a spot on the third level. So, we aren't parking where I wanted, and due to traffic and parking, we aren't LATE, but just behind my personal schedule.
The delays were worth it, because as soon as we walked out of the ground floor of the parking deck, we run into Jordan Rudess. He had just met his wife for a cup of tea and was walking back to the venue. We struck up a conversation, and he asked me if I was going to the preshow events. When I said "yes" he said, "OK, let's just walk over together." Totally the nicest guy, and that's an experience you can't pay for.
So, we get into the venue, and meet Zippy, who works for the band. She gives my girls and I swag bags and badges and puts us in line with the other VIP peeps.
Then came the preshow VIP photo ops and meet & greet. No pics from that (not allowed to take any), but Zippy took all of the pics, and they will be made available later.
So, the minds of my daughters are completely blown, even before the start of the show. Nice.
We get into the venue and get our seats. Not too bad. I got a quick pic before the phone police made me cut it out.
So, we have Act 1 of the show. It was awesome, and loud as hell. My girls are thunderstruck. At intermission, I meet up with fellow forum member TheOutlawXanadu really quickly, and I gave him one of the extra after show passes I had received.
OK, so Act 2 of the show happens, and it is just as awesome as Act 1 (maybe even a little better - I am one of the few who like Act 2 better). Then we have the three song encore, and that shit was off the hook. You should have seen my girls and I totally headbanging during As I Am and Pull Me Under. My girls were extremely exhausted after the show, and that's OK.
So, the aftershow. I text another friend who had come to the show (and who, incidentally, had gone to the only other DT show I had ever attended with me - the SCORE show in NYC) to come down to my seat, and I would give him and his buddy some other goodies. Of course, he was already outside by that time, and texted back that he was locked out. I told him I was sorry, and we would hook up again some other time.
So, we get to the after show. At first, JP was the only one out there, and he was very gracious and entertaining to the crowd. The other members eventually came out, (one by one, they came), and were all, again, very gracious and pleasant, even though they were obviously tired.
Lo and behold, my friend who had been locked out shows up. I said "How the hell did you get down here?" He said he was able to talk a security guard into letting him back into the venue, and then, once inside, he told whomever he talked to MY NAME and they brought him to the aftershow. No shit. So I gave him the passes as a souvenir, and he got a really nice experience as well.
So, some pics:
And here is a pic of my daughters smelling Mike Mangin's hair. His idea, and I don't get it, but he's an eccentric dude. Also, his hair smells like trees.
All in all, an incredible evening that my daughters and I will remember forever. Thanks again to bosky, and to the band and their management for setting up this, well, ASTONISHING experience.