Friday, the 13th: An ironic date to meet my favorite band.
John and I were originally going to rent a car (it turned out to be about the same as it would have been to fix our car up) so we wouldn't have to worry about our car breaking down or something on the way to or from the convention.
That fell through.
So, Thursday night, John spent several hours changing the o2 sensor at his uncle Bob's after work. Friday morning, we got up and had to change the oil, the oil filter and the air filter.
I had originally hoped to leave at about 7AM, but we didn't finish with that until 12:00pm.
(We're going to get the rest of the work done on the car as soon as we have the chance.)
We needed to buy some snacks for the road, so we went to Kmart. By the time it was all said and done, we left at about 12:30pm. The drive was decent, but we didn't get to the convention center until about 4:30pm.
At the convention:Johnny's first panel was in progress and Maurice took forever to respond to my messages about getting our badges. Johnny's panel was finished by the time Maurice came down to bring our badges.
He asked to meet in the lobby.
We went to wait in the lobby for him, and a few minutes later, him and Polo showed up. Maurice waved to me and said, "hey!" and I waved back. I wasn't sure what to do as he approached, but he put his arms out for a hug, so I hugged him. Polo shook John's hand, and then I gave Polo a hug.
Maurice gave us the badges and told us they were about to do a skype call, so they couldn't hang with us right then. I'm assuming that was Lisa Hinton's call for winning the Christmas story contest.
We chatted for a minute, then John and I decided to head to the hotel to get checked in. Maurice had said the autograph signing was at 6:30pm, so we were sure we'd make it back! (Since it was only 5 o'clock.)
Traffic was crazy on the way to the hotel, so we ended up getting there at about 6.
We wanted to check out the pool really quick then head back. Turned out the pool was closed.
We headed back to the convention center and ended up getting there 10 minutes late. I was supposed to help with the signing, but Maurice messaged me and said they didn't need my help, but to stop by anyway.
The line was huge.We ran into Michael Moore on his way out of autographs, and he said they had already taken the people wearing Eyeshine shirts to the front. So, I wasn't sure what to do.
I didn't want to wait in that huge line. I sent Maurice a message asking if we should go to the front, but he didn't respond. So, John and I decided to eat dinner at the hotel restaurant instead.
We ate some pizza and I used the WI-FI to catch Heather up on what was going on. She kept insisting that I try to ask what they were doing after autographs. I did, finally, but again, Maurice took too long to answer.
We gave up and left for our hotel. By the time Maurice responded, we were already almost to our hotel, 20 minutes away.
We stopped to get gas and pick up a few things. While we were in the store, Maurice called and asked when we planned to get there Saturday. I said we’d be there in time for Johnny's panel at 11, then he asked if I would help with the merch table after the panel. Of course, I said yes.
We got back to the hotel and John decided to take a bath. It turns out the thing that changes it from shower to bath wasn't working, and the whirlpool didn't work either. This hotel looked really nice online, but it actually really sucked.
At Johnny’s panel, I was able to ask, "Out of all the songs you've written, which one means the most to you?" (Thanks Christian for suggesting that!)
And, after the panel, he called out to me, "Hey, Christie! Just come with me to the table." So, John and I went backstage; Johnny hugged me and said, “It’s nice to meet you.”
We went to the merch table and I got to help with that. John took a little bit of video of me helping. (Video footage is placed at the end of the post.)
Then the band went out for lunch while John and I stayed with the table and we managed to sell over $100 worth of stuff. One guy bought $70 worth of merch, himself. I played around and said, "Thanks for making us look good!"
When the band came back and packed up the table, John and I went to eat lunch, ourselves.
After we ate, we went to the dealer's room to check out all the stuff. John bought me a Doctor Who poster and I bought an ear cuff. Then Maurice messaged me to tell me it was time to set up for the concert, so, we went with them.
We got to hang out backstage during the sound check. After the sound check, I tried to give them their gifts. Ginny opened hers but Johnny said, "Let's wait until we have our camera and we can film it, so we can show everyone how awesome you are."
That made my day! I wish I had been filming right then, but I wasn't.
The concert was amazing!
Youtube videos don't do them justice!!! I thought I was gonna puke when I saw Polo put down his guitar and come over to me.
I was like, "THIS IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW! HE'S PULLING ME ON STAGE!!"
I know I was grinning like an idiot while I was strumming Polo's guitar; he was working the pedals to make me sound good and Johnny was right next to me playing!
I was so excited/disoriented that I forgot my camera when I went to get off stage. Polo had grabbed it from me and set it on an amp. Someone in the audience was like "Hey your camera!!"
After the concert:
We went over to the autograph room and helped them out with the merch again. It was a huge line and took a couple hours to get through. It actually felt like nothing, though!
After the signing, Johnny was telling John and myself to take a picture or whatever (merchandise-wise) we want for helping out. I said that I pretty much had everything. He said something like, "You act like you're our street team president or something!"
“No, really?” Haha!
After the merch was all packed up, we hung out some more and Johnny was like.. “Let's get some pizza.”
So, they ordered a pizza.. but, since the place didn't deliver, John and I went to pick it up. I needed some things from the store anyhow, so, I volunteered us.
We got lost on the way there…
I had to call them for help.
We ate pizza and hung out for a little while. I gave Johnny and Ginny their gifts; they got it on film. Maybe it'll be in an episode of the Eyeshine Experience!
We got up and they had to set up for ask an anime character, which Maurice managed to get the rest of the band into as well.
I missed most of it because I ended up having to go get our stuff from our hotel while John waited for AAA to come put the donut on our car so he could get to the ONE tire place open on Sundays. He literally called 40 places trying to find something open. We thought we were gonna be stuck until Monday.
So, anyways… Even though I missed out on a bit, I enjoyed everything that I didn’t miss!
After that, the band had to wait for the next panel to finish so they could set up for the musical Q&A. The other panel ran wayyyy long! It cut out like, 15 minutes of their Q&A and they ended up not having enough time to play Afterglow.
Ginny was like, "I'm sorry we couldn't play it for you!" So, I said, "That's okay, you guys owe me, now!"
After the Q&A, they did another autograph signing that John and I helped out with. They hardly had anyone at that one compared to the one after the live set. So, afterwards, we just hung out some more until it was time for them to go.
When I asked Johnny if I could have his badge, I ended up getting all of their badges and having them sign them.
Johnny ended up giving me this picture of Vash that someone gave him because he didn't have room for it in his bags.
When Johnny hugged me goodbye, he said, "Thanks for coming out to see us."
I said, "No, THANK YOU GUYS!"
I had the most amazing time! I can't wait to see them again in August.
I was really shocked when Maurice said they were going to be there. It really looked like they weren't going to be ANYWHERE near us next year. So, we'll be at Matsuricon 2014!
THANK YOU AGAIN TO EVERYONE WHO DONATED TO HELP ME GET THERE!!
I will be eternally grateful!