Shepherds Bush tonight, not just a favourite venue for me but many many more, because they just won “Best Live Venue” at the Music Awards, and they certainly deserve it!
Tonight it is Angels and Airwaves for us, it’s is a special treat for a special young girl in my life. My god daughter Jade is turning 13, and into quite a little rock chick!
Angels & Airwaves do of course consist of members of different Bands: Tom DeLonge from Blink-182,  Matt Wachter from 30 Seconds to Mars, David Kennedy from Box Car Racer and Ilan Rubin from The Lostprophets.
This promises to be an interesting evening.

As far as Jade was concerned we were going shopping to Westfield shopping center, she was ok with it but I guess not overly excited. The next challenge was to get her to wear the Angels & Airwaves t-shirt she was given at Christmas.
Neil brought along the same T-shirt in my size; he borrowed it of his son’s friend, so I should be able to lure Jade into wearing hers. When she arrived at my house I told her that we need to get some photos done for our friend in New York who had sent the t-shirt for her …..”so why don’t we both wear them and get some silly pictures while we out?” Yes, she went for it, good girl!
In the car, we had planned to drive as close to Shepherds Bush as possible as we may want to hang around a little afterwards, Neil put on the appropriate CD, and Jade found that quite cool as we are wearing the t-shirts! We parked the car, jumped on the next bus, got off at Shepherds Bush Market. We crossed the road, round the corner and I could see a lot of people queuing already, let’s hope the priority will get us in quickly. Jade was still blissfully unaware, we walked past the Empire, she looked up and laughed: “what a coincidence, we are wearing the t-shirts” she said and carried on walking. I called her back, to check how much money she had with her for shopping, “not much” she says, I pulled her ticket out of my bag and gave it to her “you could sell this, it would get you a bit more money”…….she looked at it, eyes wide open….couldn’t quite understand! She just kept saying “you lied to me, you lied to me…….”, ” can I call mother? She lied to me too”! While Jade was calling her Mum to give her grief we stood in the priority queue, it was very busy, but we were only about 10 people behind, a good chance to get to the front. I think Jade is quite excited even though you can’t quite tell, I guess she is practising to be a teenager…hehehehe
I got chatting to the two girls next to us, one of them had great hair, the colours of the rainbow, I love it! They both have a VIP pass around their necks, I ask them about it and apparently they will be let in first through the priority door, oh dear, there are quite a few of them. Still, I’m confident I can make it to the barriers; we don’t want to be in the centre anyway, I’m sure it will get wild!

At last, there is movement, you can see the security guards having their briefing, than the doors get opened, I can spot John, a familiar security guard, I have seen him at many gigs and he always looks after us, and he always has a smile for you!
Once all the people with VIP passes are in I’m more or less at the door! I told Jade to keep close to Neil as I will make a run for it. I’m in, ticket scanned, bag open for checking …..down the stairs, quick scan of the barriers, stage left looks emptier! I’m down there and secured spaces, Neil and Jade follow not far behind. Now we can relax!! It is a fairly young crowd, to be expected really, Jade and I are off to the Loo, I tell the young man behind her that we will be back so please don’t take her space. Hmm, not one of the nice youngsters then, when we got back he more or less moved in her space, even when I ask him to shift he only moved a little, not nice…..Jade might as well get some training on ” how to keep my space at the barriers”… :-), and she is doing me proud! No need for elbowing (like at the Example gig) I hope.
We got talking to another couple behind us, they seem really lovely, the young man tells us that he has built some of the pedals they are using tonight and is looking forward to seeing them in action. I still get a great joy out of meeting such a variety of people at gigs, you just never know who you talking too!

Tonight’s support band was Le Blorr, They are different and may seem a surprising choice to support Angels & Airwaves, but I really enjoy them, I think they are brilliant!  Chris Hess (Cookie) and Adam Winn are doing a great job. His voice is strong and captivating, their music is different, and it made me want to dance! I was really surprised at the crowd, I thought I was at Madam Tussauds, most people were standing still and talked talked talked (especially the **** behind us, showing off to the girlies big time, as seen in photo right behind us…yeah, funny!!!), I find that excessive talking is really disrespectful. But Jade and I really enjoyed these guys, you were great! Hopefully you’ll come round again soon for me to get a second look at you. 🙂

Yay, time for the main act, a lot more people have arrived now and the pushing from behind has started. We are still fine at the front, Jade is taking it all in her stride and Neil is right in the corner now. John the security guard has arrived with a smile on his face and when I’m trying to ask him about the set list, he just nods and says: “I know what you after”…..so hopefully he will get his hands on one for me. The stage is set, anticipation is growing, and the air is filled with voices, a few screams and shouts, finally, the lights are going down.
A haunting intro started off the set, putting the fans into a frenzy of  excitement, Tom, Matt, Ilan and David burst on the stage starting with “Saturday Love”….The fans didn’t need any prompting to join in, from the word go they were involved, singing and dancing. If the little boy “oh I’m so cool and can show off” behind us could manage to shut up for a few minutes.
All the band members seem to really enjoy themselves, especially Tom DeLonge, He was interacting with the crowd, moving around the stage to make sure everybody got a good view of him, Matt Wachter, who was right in front of us had no problems finding moments to smile and make eye contact with people in the crowd while skilfully playing the bass and keyboards. He chucks one of his plectrums right at us, it lands on my handbag that is by my feet, as Jade says: “this one is meant for you”….if we can’t catch another one I will give it to her…..! A little while later as luck will have it another plectrum comes our way, it falls down between the barriers and the stage, a security guard picks it up and just as he was going to give it to the person with the longest arms John tapped him on the shoulder and points at Jade, yes, she now has her very own!
We don’t see much of David Kennedy the guitarist, he stays on his side, stage right most of the time, I think I remember him venturing over to our side once.
Ilan Rubin played the drums most of the time, but we were treated to an amazing piano solo in the encore!
Tom told us various tales, one about how he wrote the song “there is” for his wife and a funny bit how he lost his virginity, so now we know…lol!! Tom is in good form today, I have never seen him live before so I can’t comment if that is the way he usually is or an exception. Either way, we are enjoying it greatly, Jade is mesmerised, hopefully it’s a birthday treat to remember.
At the end of the show, when the lights have gone up and the magic is over, John comes over to pass me the set list, thank you soooo much, I do so appreciate this!
A quick look at the merchandise, visit to the Loo and off we go to hang around and see if the band will make an appearance. Oh and on the way we bump into Adam Winn from Le Boor, he is nursing a pint chatting to people. A young man next to him is proudly telling us who he is, obviously a fan, good for him! We take some photos, Jade and Adam, Adam and I and Adam with both of us! Love it!!
We go to the the stage door, a barrier is up and loads of people are already waiting. Neil goes off to get us a bag of chips…yes that is just what we need, as we never went for dinner! After waiting for about 45 minutes, there seem to be some commotion, people are saying they will be coming out the other side where they do the get out…..ok, so all of us change over to the other side.
Sure enough, we don’t have to wait too long, a white van with blacked out windows has been reversed close to the back exit, and soon after Matt Wachter appears. Someone in the crowd calls out to him, and we are sure that this was the reason he took some time to come and speak to us fans. I get Jade in front of me as close to him as possible, at last I get a chance to grab Matt’s attention, he poses for a photo with Jade, and he signs my set list and poses for a photo with me. What an absolute charming young man, it must be so hard to keep on smiling after an exhausting set and so many people wanting a piece of you. I’m happy to report that Jade and I managed to get a piece …:-). Tom, Davis and Ilan come walking up the ramp, but disappear straight into the van, Tom DeLonge manages to give us a quick wave though. The van drives off and a final glance at Ilan who sits in the passenger seat….and that is it!
The magic is well and truly over….but it was one awesome gig!!!

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About FrontRowStef

Following months of putting in the necessary hours of research, I have been bullied into writing a blog about my gig experiences! I can’t claim in-depth technical musical knowledge, or a massive CD collection, but, I know what I like and what doesn’t sound good in a live setting. I’m not intending to write great reviews about bands, but more of stuff that happen to me while out and about. Like when a dear friend of mine pointed out that it looks like I’m putting my towel down when I hit the barriers at the front and claim my spot with my jacket draped over the railings. What does he mean? Is it because I’m German? Enough introductions, you will get to know me sooner or later! Oh and apparently I’m going to be referred to as Front Row Stef, simply because that is my rightful place!

One response »

  1. Martina Weidmann says:

    Good but it’s not the same as you were there at the gig ! But please continue !

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