Yes, I know that this post is a little late (Like, a couple of weeks), but I've had trouble writing it as I'm not the writer of the family. But I am really excited about this and I want it to feel almost like a diary/journal entry.
Click on pictures to make them bigger. Please, if you want to save any pictures, don't crop off my watermark. Thanks.
Ok, where to begin...
Well, I guess at the beginning...the title. Which got deleted.
It all started when one little hobbit came to me... nah I'm just fooling with ya ;)
Newsboys, TFK, Manafest, Manic Drive, Greg Sczebel + more = ONE HECK OF AN AWESOME TIME!!!!
I shall start from the beginning... literally.
No, really, it actually started like this...
We arrived at the arena around 4:45pm. My dad pulled the van around to where the buses were parked, and we saw members from different bands playing hockey in the corner of the parking lot. We watched their skills for a moment, than found a parking spot. We got out, posed for our mom, who wanted a picture outside of the building, than Eldra and I went into the building to get information about our VIP tickets, while Mom, Dad and Goose went to go buy ear plugs for us, as we forgot ours at home.
As they left, Eldra and I acquired our VIP passes and headed directly for TFK's merchandise table. We debated which t-shirts we were going to get and both decided on this one.
After we bought our t-shirts, the guy who was managing TFK's table noticed that I had a large bag with me. He asked me what was in there. I told him it was artwork for some of the bands. He became quite interested and asked to see some of it. So I showed him the two TFK paintings that I did in 2010. He looked at them, laughed, than asked for a picture of me with the paintings. Eldra and I held the two drawings while he snapped a picture. He thanked us than helped the person at the TFK table.
I noticed that the person that was managing Manafest's merch table was his wife, Melanie. I went up to her, introduced myself as being the artist behind the Manafest drawing (she had commented on it prior to this). We talked for a few minutes and I dropped a few hints as to what the drawing might be.
Then Eldra and I got called to go with the rest of the VIP people to go to the locker room where we were to meet some of the bands. We walked with everyone into the locker room and found a place to sit and wait. Everyone in the room received a envelope with 2 CDs, a 9" x 11" poster of every band, plus more.
Everyone immediately opened the packages and rifled through them, Eldra and I included. I got talking with some people about art and music to fill the time. Suddenly we heard the person who was organizing the VIP area say, "And welcome, Bread of Stone!". Everyone clapped their hands and a few cheers broke out as the band entered the room. The band circled the room, talking to people, signing objects (mostly posters or CDs). Eldra and I got the band to sign their CD for us. Nice guys.
The excitement rose to a higher level when Greg Sczebel entered the room. He was really nice, and full of smiles as he made his way around. Eldra, Goose and I actually met him years ago when he came to our Grandma's church.As you can see in the background, Manafest came in just after Greg Sczebel (he got almost as loud a cheer). ->
It didn't occur to me until later that Manafest was wearing Greg Sczebel's (fake) glasses. LOL!!! Eldra and I were like 'why is he wearing those glasses??'.
Manafest entered the room and looked around as people were cheering. As he looked at me, I waved my hand slightly to show him where I was. He nodded briefly and waited for the introduction to end. He immediately came around the short way to where Eldra and I were standing. He talked with the two other couples before reaching us. He approached with a smile, so I gave him a hello-hug. We talked for a few minutes before I displayed the drawing that I did for him. It was of his wife Melanie. He gasped and gingerly held it. I laughed and told him he could keep it. He looked at me unbelieving, thanked me, than hugged me again. He said it was going on the wall next to the drawing that I did of him. ^_^. (Melanie actually did a post on my artwork on her blog. BLEW. MY. MIND.)
A few minutes after he left, Jodi King entered. She was only female artist on the entire tour! Unfortunately, she had to leave before she got halfway around the room because she was playing next. There's not really anything to tell about that.
But then came the the bad news. The organizer came in and announced that TFK was taking a nap because they left at 1 in the morning the day before so that they could make this concert. But that meant that the Newsboys could come in sooner.
"Welcome the Newsboys!!!" was what we heard as they exploded into the room! Haha, not really, but they did come in with lots of energy. Michael Tait, previously in the band Tait and dcTalk, was a whirlwind when he came around! It was basically a 'hi-bye' type of introduction that we got. Yeah, not that great, but the weird thing is that he isn't tall like he appears in photos. He's 5'6"...maybe! I'm taller than he is, with my height being 5' 9". Eldra is almost as tall as he is! It was quite weird. The drummer was interesting because he is quite short as well, but he also looks like Bono from U2. From the reflective glasses, clothing style, even the hair style, totally reminded me of Bono. It was weird! (in a good way). But he was bouncy, which Bono isn't.
So the Newsboys were in and out quite quickly as opposed to the other bands, who had made their way around the room at a leisurely pace.
We then left the room and headed up to the merchandise section to meet up with our family. We acquired our earplugs, water, and left to go to our second row seats. We get there and listed to Jodi Kings final song. Unfortunately, we missed Manic Drive who played first or second :(
Eldra and I talked in-between Jodi King and Bread of Stone with some of the people that were sitting around us. Bread of Stone was pretty good live. They had a good stage presence, their lead singer had an awesome voice so that made the experience enjoyable. (Lead singer and Drummer) >
Their guitarist <-.
The next performer wasn't very interesting; Johnny Diaz was more of a country singer -- cool -- but didn't hold much interest for me. But the next guitarist, Jay Calder, was interesting. He had an different way of playing, strumming all the way up the neck, swapping hand positions, tapping the wood. Very interesting!! But it's hard to describe with just words, so I found a video on YouTube that is exactly what he played.
I didn't get any pictures of Jay Calder.
Next was Manafest. AWESOME!!! The concert was exactly the same as the one that we went to in July as well as his live DVD (see video for the opening song on his DVD), with the exception of a few songs. He did Avalanche, Bounce, Impossible, Every time You Run, and Fire in the Kitchen. So it was a way smaller show than some of his others which was kind of sad. But hey, you can't always get everything you want. But man did they rock out!!
At one point I was taking pictures of Bodan, when Manafest came up to him and was singing on his shoulder as he played his guitar. Bodan looked up to my camera and did this huge smile/jaw extension thing but the only shot I got out of it was a blurry picture. As Mana was playing one song, I noticed that Melanie was about 10 feet away from me taking pictures of her husband. I swung my camera around and snapped a picture of her taking a picture of Manafest! LOL! We both lowered our lenses at the same time and looked at each other. We exchanged nods and smiles before going back to taking pictures. Here are some of my favorite shots of Manafest's show.
Manafest with his temporary bass player
One of my favorite shots. Mana's shoe next to his skateboard
Melanie taking a picture of Mana
I waited for Manafest's concert to be over for a few minutes before taking my leave to go and show the rest of his band the drawings.
I jetted up to the top level (merch area), leaving my art bag with Eldra, who stayed for Greg Sczebel, as Manafest had arrived to do signings. A huge crowd that had gathered around Chris (Manafest) and Bodan. While I waited, holding my binder which held the drawings, I struck up a conversation with a girl who was waiting for the crowds to disappear so she could have a picture with Chris and Bo. We both watched the mayhem that swirled around as people took pictures of them, or hurriedly snagged an autograph. We laughed at moments where Chris was looking lost, or when people took goofy photos with them.
About half way through, Melanie pushed her way through the crowd and dragged Chris back to the merchandise table to help her with a problem. On his way back, he went around the crowd and passed me and my new friend. He glanced up and a small smile appeared on his face. He high-fived me and my friend before bravely entering the chaos once again.
Soon after, the craziness dissipated and my 'friend' asked me to take a picture of her with the Chris and Bodan, which of course I did. Chris gave me a smile as I approached Bodan with a grin on my face. Bodan instantly recognized me, finished signing for someone, and moved off to the side so we could talk. I greeted him then brought out the two drawings that I had done of him. "OH MY WORD!" he exclaimed when he saw both of them.
He got a surprised look on his face when I told him he could choose which one he would take home. Bodan immediately hugged me, then took both of them in his hands and gushed over them, indecisive over which one to take. "I don't want to take your favorite one if there's one you like better," he said after some time of studying them. "I like both of them, you need to choose the one you want!"
He ended up taking the profile-ish drawing. I asked him to sign the other one, which he did happily. He exclaimed at how much it looked like him, then hugged me again, thanking me. He studied the drawing again as Manafest's bass player came over and motioned for Bodan to come and help with their equipment. He turned back to me and thanked me again. I quickly asked him if Travis was going to come out because I had two drawings to show him. Bodan assured me that Travis was going to come out later. "He's probably going to break down and cry when you show him them," he said half jokingly because I had shown Bodan the two drawings of Travis. I laughed and thanked Bo.
Jon Bauer with his drummer
I went back to my seat and listened to Jon Bauer, who was a worship kind of band/guy. Cool, but not my style.
After he was done I went back up top to see if Travis was out, which he was. And surrounded by fans. ^_^
I waited a few minutes until I could get near enough to him without being squished. He glanced up and recognized me, which was surprising since I didn't think any of them, minus Chris, would've remembered me from the July concert.
I talked with him for a few minutes while he signed stuff for kids, before showing him his drawings. As I was pulling them out, TFK started their show. I thought about running down but decided that I was already here with Travis so I might as well give him the drawing. So I pulled them out and showed them to him. He almost did break down and cry, like Bodan said, as he looked at the two drawings. He wow'd over them (much like Bodan did) and insisted that I choose which one for him to take. I insisted back that he should be the one to choose. He then chose the forward drawing to take, and signed the other drawing. My best friends' dad was passing by, stopped and shouted over the music, "That's my god-daughter!" which is one of the things he calls me (and Eldra; Goose is his god-son). Travis looked up at him, grinning like he won the lottery, finished signing my other drawing then thanked me by giving me a big bear hug. I excused myself after thanking him, rushed back to my seat, and sat down as Bring Me to Life swung into full gear.
TFK WAS AWESOME!!!!! They are nothing BUT awesome!!! I missed The Invitation-Welcome to the Masquerade because of meeting Travis, but arrived during Bring me to Life. I spazzed to Eldra about Travis's reaction, than grabbed my camera to start taking pictures. I didn't start going nuts until the next song, Move. We were rocking so hard!! Watch the video to see what I mean (from YC 2010). Definitely my second favorite song live!! E for Extinction came up next and everyone jumped around like crazy, then came my uncle's favorite song, Falls Apart. SICK!!! And can anyone throw up their Rawkfist??!! That song live is INCREDIBLE!!! Ty (their guitarist) rocked his dreadlocks off, while Trevor bounced his way through the song.
This time, Fire it Up didn't have any pyro, but it did have explosive guitar riffs and drum beats. But the best song was Puppet. One of their oldest, still performed, songs. It has to be my favorite song off of their live DVD, so I was really excited to see it live again!! This is the song that got me hooked on learning the guitar. Check out the video from the DVD.
EPIC!!! The bass in the song was so amazing that our hair was moving with the sound waves!! Joel rocked that bass to bits! But because Trevor had sung for almost 8 days straight, his voice was giving out slightly. That meant that his mic was turned down lower than usual. AH, it was TFK so what's not to love??... Something that I noticed is that Trevor has gone back to his 'Flame In All Of Us' hairstyle. His naturally dark hair color with the shock of blonde in front. Both Eldra and I loved the all blonde style, but I guess he was tired of dyeing it every 2 weeks or so just to cover up the roots. I think the blonde hair makes him look younger, while the older hairstyle makes the tour feel older...only with newer music O_o :)
Here are some of the pictures that I took.
One of my favorite shots of the night - Ty
LOVE THE DREADLOCKS!!!
WOOT! This is my computer's background :)
But this ^ is my favorite shot of the entire night!! I was taking rapid-speed pictures when Ty looked up at my camera, a serious 'rock' look on his face. He then got this adorable smile, than did a 'WAAH' face. That I missed because of the lack of light. It was PRICELESS!!! This was the one picture of the 4 that turned out. I'll do a montage picture on my photography blog.
I did get some pictures of Steve and Joel, but I still haven't finished them in Photoshop. I will post some more pictures on my photography blog as soon as I get everything done. They were Epically Epic!!
TFK left the stage, and it was stripped down and the Newsboys stuff was brought out. It took them only about 10 minutes, but it felt more like 30. But BOY! WHAT AN ENTRANCE!! The guitarist and electronic guy stepped on the two small discs (about 5 ft across each) that got lifted 10 feet in the air as they played the intro. The drummer made his way up to his drums. Then came out Michael Tait. The arena literally exploded with cheers as he danced his way on stage. He has one of the most demanding stage presence that I've ever experienced. I don't really remember this concert as much, even though I saw most of it with my own eyes (instead of through a camera). I do remember that the Newsboys did use the catwalk, unlike the rest of the bands, and the lighting was strobe-like. My seat was one of Tait's main stop points for singing (there was one at the end of the catwalk, as well as at the very beginning) so that meant that whenever he turned around...yeah you get the idea...:P It was quite hilarious, yet weird.
At one point in the show, this little girl, maybe 8 years old, was resting her arms on the catwalk watching Tait walk up and down the catwalk. He stopped during one song, knelt next to her, took one of her hands in his and gently kissed it. ^_^ SO CUTE!!!
Another point was when they got the entire arena to sing Mighty to Save. It was very loud and awe-some. They also played a song that they've only done live once before. Some of the crowd knew it, and some of it didn't. That's about all I remember from the Newsboys show. Eldra probably said more in her post.
...the best thing that happened??? Yeah, it gets better *waggles eyebrows*
. . .
. . .
. . .
And that is where I'm going to end this post, because it's already too long.