This is long. My apologies. I was in the moment all day yesterday!
First, if anyone from management or crew is reading this, THANK YOU for the amazing experience and all of the hard work put that everyone put in to making this happened. A rock show at noon on a gorgeous Spring morning from a store front in a local strip mall in Middle America. Just so f’ing cool.
Three of us arrived at the Record Connection in Ohio Wednesday morning around 8:00 am BEFORE the details were announced on ticketing. For me, it was about a 1.5 hour drive so it was super close. Amy had the longest drive from Columbus which was 2.5 hours but still so close! At 10:00 am, we were setup at the Dunkin Donuts in the plaza waiting for the announcement. It came out. When we saw that the tickets/album pre-order was for Thursday we literally took 30 minutes to figure out what each of us were going to do.
I had a hall pass so I immediately was like “I’m staying.” Soon, the others (Amy and Emily C.) were staying as well. Amy literally chased the owner of the store down in his mini-van as he was pulling out. You know, we had questions!! The mental picture of Amy chasing the mini-van is forever burnt in my brain.
We loaded up on supplies for camping out since no one had even considered that option. Awesome reclining lounge chair from Walgreens, check. Fleece blanket that looked like a Christmas tree skirt, check. Food, check. Now let’s get the party started.
We positioned ourselves in front the Record Connection. Soon, enough other’s started to line up as well. We were taking bets on how quickly the 150 spots would be taken. Very surprisingly, it was around 11:00 or 11:30 pm that night before all the spots were taken. Jeff, the store owner, had us make a list – a numbered list – to capture the order and people in line (we had Morgan’s name on the list so she was set as she made her way from Boston and she got there in time!). Jeff instructed us to stay on the plaza property over night or we’d lose our spot (he encouraged us to sleep in our cars). The crowd was limited to the 150 people in line, so it was safe and well controlled.
The vibe was so, so cool. The local community was stoked to have this happening (the press coverage was insane). Jeff rented porta potties for us. The Foo’s sent enough KFC chicken and the fixings to feed everyone in line. Who does that?? God bless, small town America! And for so many people, this was going to be the FIRST Foo show. I mean, really. 150 person show for their first show? Wow. How cool.
Thursday at 10:00 am we pre-ordered Record Day Store release and got our credentials (a sales slip) for Saturday. We dispersed and went our separate ways until Saturday morning…
Saturday we arrived at 6:45 but we knew they was no line until 9:00. But ya know. We were committed at that point. Several people were already there some of which were in line for RSD purchases. They lined us up at the far end of the plaza to check in at 9:00 am. Then we waited for doors. Again, we were blessed to be at the front of the line so we were first in (that took a little strategy.
Doors opened and wow, we made it to the front. It was surreal for me. Standing there in a former sewing machine store in Niles, Ohio. At noon. Waiting for my favorite band. We knew it was going to be a short set but whatever, right?!?
Everyone was so freaking happy!! The excitement in the room was palpable. You could just feel the good vibes everywhere! For a large part of the people, this was their FIRST Foo show. First. 150 people. Just so amazing. That made me as happy as anything knowing that their minds were about to be blown. At noon. In a strip mall. In Ohio. Damn.
Then it happened. Dave and the guys came out full on. We’d seen the setlist since it was in front of us and saw some exciting things on the list.
Remember, no barrier and maybe an 8” riser. Maybe. We couldn’t be any closer. Bebe told us to be cool since there was no barrier…the possibility of one of us falling over an amp and onto the stage was real. People were cool. I can’t say how much people got into it from behind me but I know that the four of us danced (and sweated profusely).
We were treated to Alone + Easy as well as Kids in America plus solos by everyone including Dave on drums. Yeah, that happened. Taylor was so cute as he came out from behind the kit and plopped on the florr to watch Dave. Then, Dave was like “You need to sing! “Taylor did a freestyle solo that was so much fun. I only hope that they had as much fun as we did.
The hour went by fast as it always does. Once again, Everlong wrapped the set. I looked at my friends, we hugged, we danced and we said “until we met again”.
Sorry that this is long. I’m sure that I’m missing all sorts of detail. It was such a blessing to see this little show. Some of you have had seen them in smaller venues but for me, I’m not sure much can top this experience.
Feel free to add in! Lots of cool things happened to some great people. A bunch of folks met the band in various places around Warren!