So I was going to do a Pre-Concert Post but lost track of time and so here I will be attempting the impossible, putting into words what I feel, felt and am thinking since I met the band Travis November 21, 2007.
I hope I can do My experience justice for all you TRAVIS fans out there. Oh and just to give a little background on the title it's lyrics to one of there songs and it would have been the Perfect line to say as we walked away. I'll get to that!
So I woke up early 4ish to get ready,pack etc. Debbie, Russ, Connie and I were planning on leaving at 6am to beat traffic here in Phoenix and to avoid traffic in L.A. With only 5 hours of sleep I was strangely alert and revving for the concert experience of my life. I have only ever heard great things about Travis's performances and that they were a euphoric experience that left one wanting more. We drove and the time passed quickly with good company, good music and good snacks.
Aside from the slight detore we quickly found our way back on course and arrived at the Venue. It was about noon and so we headed to Roscoes for some chicken and waffles!
D-licious! Deb and Russ had family to visit and so they dropped me and Connie off at the Wiltern, the concert venue. We took some pictures and then decided to check out the situation, possible back door entrances etc... Well we were circling the building when we happened upon a tour bus or three. Our breath caught in our throats and we stoped dead in our tracks. We scanned the surrounding area with hope and anxiety that our eyes would find what they had only ever dreamed they would someday behold . And within seconds they found a fraction of what they were searching for, the drummer Neil Primrose. Was crossing the street not 20 feet in front of us. We were panicking as if we had reverted in that split second into 15 year old crazed teenie boppers. We started across the sreet our feet moving as if independent from our bodies and found ourselves face to face with Neil. His eyes were piercing a most beautiful blue against his dark features. We managed to say that we were fans and that we were here to see the band, and I believe we apologized for being so flustered. He was very kind and told us we would get used to it because the band would be wandering about all day. This was more then we could take. He shook our hands and went to his bus. We were fools we didn't ask for an autograph, picture nothing. He wandered around and we waited on a wall that was located a few feet from the bus. I will mention that he gave me a wink and a cheers later on that sent my head a spinning. Why do Rock stars have such an effect on us mere humans, such a powerful pull on our hearts? I shall blog about it someday!
The minutes passed slowly and Connie had to go to the bathroom and so she left to a drug store across the street. Not 2 minutes later Dougie Payne comes strolling across the street in all his glory, dimples and all. I didn't know what to do but I was coherent enough to call Connie and tell her to get over here ASAP. It was a whisphered conversation because Dimples was standing not 6 feet away. Connie got there and we chickened out. We failed to make eye contact and our voices were lost to the thunderings of our hearts. No worries not 5 minutes later he left his bus and I managed to wave at him in a very silly way but it got his attention and there we were standing face to face with "sex on legs" a nickname of his that floats around in british news papers i am certain. After meeting him in person and seeing him perform in concert it all made more sense. We hopped off of the wall which was our current post and he came over. He introduced himself and we managed to ask for a picture which we got. We told him how much his music meant to us, and that we loved them. He was so kind and asked us if we had any requests. I managed to ask for "more then us" and I can't remember what Connie asked for but we were more on our game and were able to say a few things. He walked away and we were exploding inside. It was one of those moments me and Connie would have held eachother whilst jumping up and down in excitement. But for prides sake we refrained.
Andy Dunlop came out a few minutes later but he didn't cross the street in fact he left in a cab which was disappointing but we survived, obviously. We saw him from afar and with all that had already occured didn't have much to complain about.
We hung out there for a bit longer and decided to walk around and enjoy the day. We found a Library where we had a seat and after a bit realized we were fools. We had traveled far and long to see Travis, to meet them and here we were sitting and possibly missing another opportunity to meet our beloved Fran Healy. That a mere man can evoke such power, conviction and truth in his music is beyond my comprehension. But through the good and hard times those words have been there to inspire, empower and lift up my soul. Comparable i think to the scriptures that i too treasure as priceless. I feel a bond with Fran as if he were "writing to reach me" and in so many instances he had.
We got up and walked back to the bus, it was close we subconsciously didn't dare wander to far from a place that for the past few hours had gained a home-like feeling. Warmth surrounded our beings as if we were portable heaters of sorts. I believe the following events were true blessings from heaven for choosing to travel far to see this band instead of seeing them on a Sunday in the Valley. We sat on the wall again and were approached by a bum. We tried to be nice and not flee his presence but after 10 mintutes of his crazy talk we slid off the wall and walked to the corner. Connie found herself distracted by a pair of shoes that were the possible shoes we had seen earlier that day with another band or roadie member. I looked at her in confusion and that is when things got crazy. Time just took off. Fran Healey was standing not 2 feet from where we were barely breathing. Our paths were so close to crossing our existence was in these last few hours measured in excited breaths pounding heartbeats and huge grins that even the strongest of winds couldn't wipe off our faces. He was on the street corner as if he had just appeared out of thin air. I tried to tell Connie who was still trying to explain the shoe thing to me but there was no time, NO TIME! Fran was there, she finally turned around to look at the bus still unsure to what I was trying to explain to her in whisper's and discrete points. In the moment she turned around he passed her line of vision, unaware to her. Finally she looked forward and the message hit the sinapses of her brain, traveling in what seemed like slow motion from her eyes to her head and out of every part of her body. We again began to be incoherent and unable to decide what course to pursue. He was moving fast and so we picked up our pace and i attempted to call out his name. I only managed a sqeeak of his name audible to only dogs and street mice. Connie cleared her throat and said his name like she meant it. It was a MAGICAL moment as he turned around to face us with a grin on his face, flashing that famous dimple.
Connie put up her arms in surrender and we explained we didn't want to be a bother. He was more than willing to give us a moment of his time. He explained that he had just woken up is his scottish inflection and somehow she managed to express how much his music has meant to her and us. His willing ears and humble responses made us feel at ease and in good company. HE thanked Connie for her musings and then asked if we had anything for him to sign. We said we had our cameras and so i nuzzled into his arm that he put around me tight. (sigh:)) I am still grinning thinking back on this moment and it has been a few weeks. He told us they had made some improvements to the show and that we would really enjoy it. After connie got her picture and arm rub from Fran to help calm her nerves we let him go and fought the urge to follow him to his destination. Oh wait he asked if he could sign our tickets. He pulled out his sharpie and as he signed he said i'll een give you the marker. Connie and I ran to the near-by corner and acted like the 14 year old girls. We couldn't believe that a dream we had been dreaming for so long had come true. Our friendship seems so much more alove now that we have met. I wish i had the perfect words to describe the type of person his music expresses him and his mates to be but i am more lost for words now then ever before.
Something happened to this picture while uploading for a clearer view please refer to Connie's blog.
Who could resist that face?
All he wants to do is rock. Andy rocked that guitar!
Is that a come hither stare or what?
Fills my soul to the brim! The passion and love that flows from his fingers to his guitar strings touch and pull at my own heart strings!
Waiting! Russ this picture makes me giggle, thanks for taking it!
The Show, the long awaited moment is finally here. Oh I guess i should mention that they tried to take me and Connie's ticket from us as a way to limit and meter the people in the pit area. I wasn't giving up my signed ticket without a fight. I started explaining the situation, that Fran Healy had signed my ticket and he didn't seem to get it, Connie looked as if she were going to cry I like to believe our feminine wiles did the trick, but i'm sure in the dark of the theatre security wasn't looking for a fight especially not with 2 girls. It may have been a good opener though. Ha ha
The opening band was very energetic but not my cup o tea.
Then all of a sudden the lights went out and the theme from Rocky started playing, you know the one it gets you all pumped up. And from the back of the venue in boxing robes came Travis. A sight these eyes have longed to behold for years and with our pesonal encounters earlier that day I felt like I was with friends, there to support them and cheer them on and to Rock my heart out with them. They opened with "Selfish Jean" and songs I never imagined touching me more then they already had touched the deepest confines of my heart and soul. I felt there truth ringing clearer then ever and I
The Show, the long awaited moment