(Andye, Carri & Kai’s experience – narrated by Andye)
It has taken longer than I personally would have liked to publish these experiences. I learned that many others were also suffering from post Tears For Fears tour syndrome which is a real illness that leaves fans incapable of remaining focused on reality. Fiascos occur, people break things, drop the purse dog…a number of things seem to collapse and go ignored in the outside world… and in my case I was just sleepless and a ball of depression because my “happy place” is always with that band. Eventhough my experiences were logged and typed I couldn’t bear to re-read/edit them without whimpering and wishing to repeat it all over again…even the crazy stuff.
I know we’re beating a dead horse here. But how we made it to the tour was nothing short of a miracle. I’ll leave it at that. You talk about going into war ration mode…smh. How people’s children were fed is beyond me, cause mum & dad were determined to make it to at least two shows and that’s how it was for members in each region.
As mentioned in previous entries, this tour caught us off guard. The band (particularly Curt) is really good about letting us know well in advance the schedules and shows. So the announcement in May/June sent us into turbo mode and we just got crazy working two jobs, selling art and cutting back on luxuries so we could have the resources to follow the band for a few days.
Ahoy Mates, Captain J is coming!
When Captain Julian (Roland’s brother) came onboard we wanted to make sure it was a really memorable fun week and a half on the fanship. When we finally got word on what Henderson/Vegas venue we were going to be in I booked rooms, flights, etc using reward miles and our fan club funds that miraculously had been pooled to a level of promise. (Alhmdl)
I was scheduled for the first and third show as I wanted to get in town to salute the Captain on Thursday which would mean I’d have to miss San Fran show (supposedly the best show of the entire US leg of the tour). I made my checklist and packed on Sunday night, sat in the sauna, chanted and did other pre-tour rituals including cleaning my flat from top to end.
Tuesday I finished up at the network on time to be whisked off to LAX. As customary I was whisked away to the airport by one of our AABCE team members who owns a car service company. Mind you a week away for me in Atlanta where I’m running a number of media projects for network TV and global social circles doesn’t stop, television and the daily goings on of community life have to keep going. So there I am in the airport looking for a quiet place in the Delta terminal to pop in my tunes and start pecking away responding to some friends who were hosting a holiday show (the Tour was smack in the middle of one of the most important days on the international calendar…Me pecking away on a device was a common scene…
Kids from Montreal were rolling around me. The sound from the TV seemed to penetrate through my headphones but I kept going; determined to try and sleep on that plane so I’d be extra alert for the meetup planned for that night at the Hilton, which was the official hotel for the Orange County Fair.
Not sure what sort of nervous energy I’m sending from deep inside of my conscious but I always seem to be on planes where someone has a heart attack. It happened again mid air. I was fearful we’d have to land and I’d be late meeting my new driver friends from Russia. The man was taken care of by doctors on the plane and Delta staff. He was so well afterwards he rushed off the plane. The guy beside me, also a Tears For Fears fan, and I looked at each other in awe. “Did he just run off the plane? Was that him?” I asked. The fellow fan whose chin was practically on the floor looked at me and nodded ::yes:: eyes as wide as the grand canyon.
Walking this now familiar route through LAX, I got my bags on my own because the driver was late. This is an issue for me. I pay extra for inside pick up not b/c I’m a stuck up snob who can’t carry her own suitcase but I’m so nervous from excitement I can barely focus. I become shaky and weak.
Driver came, crazy apologetic with his Russian accent still in place after 17years…as an expat’s kid it was comforting. Arriving just after 7pm to the Hilton, I changed clothes with a fellow fan who came upstairs (people were staying everywhere in the area not just the Hilton). We met the bar manager who explained how the seating and billing would work the next day for our meetup. I met our hostess and sent a note to everyone I could think of to have them come over before the show then we’d all carpool over and march in like fan club soldiers to the venue.
Dinner at the Hilton is under-rated
Linda Lulu had a Sirloin something and fries I had Mushroom stuffed Ravioli w/Spinach and goat cheese puree. It was unreal….We had 5 types of sorbet and ice cream for dessert. Again, dinner there is pretty darn good…
Morning came so fast. I got up and began exercising, running around, enjoying the healing California air. Breakfast and all…I lived like a healthy normal human being vs the stressed rat I can turn into when I addictively take on too much in Atlanta. I’m a member of overcommitters anonymous, Hi My name is Andye and I like to do too much. Hi Andye!!
…and fans came in and picked up their tickets from my room and headed over to the fair early. I stayed behind, got dressed and then met up with Eileen (Duranie: Duran Duran’s fan club is the sister Fan Club to ours) for the meetup. One by one people text regarding the awful traffic and told me that they couldn’t get to the Hotel…even Carri and Kai were stuck in the LA usual. Eileen and I left and went to get settled in what people term “our fanclub seats.”
Meetup 2 was for a group shot at the front of the fair. But everyone was lost and scattered. Eileen and I waited, me on two phones looking like an agent trying to figure out where everyone was. Just before going in we headed to merch, stocked up, rolled our eyes ultra hard at the gentleman who not only held up the line but seemed to not know the names of the band and tried to correct the merch dude who looked shocked as we did…I scooped up my boat load of branded items including the incredible blue Tears for Fears water bottle…thing of beauty and skidaddled off. Inside we found lots of fans, Carina Round was just getting to the stage. It’s funny Carri and I bought our tickets 5 hours apart and ended up in the same section right next to each other. Mixed emotions and grunts were in the crowd. Carina apparently felt we should already know her music. I sadly hadn’t had a moment with all that pre-tour prepping and travel back and forth to LA to listen to it all.. So I didn’t sing along but paid attention respectfully. Her song, “Pick up the phone,” was an eye opener and touched heavily on what sounded like the results of unexpected pregnancy?? It was so painful to hear and a few men squirmed in their chairs which is perhaps what was supposed to happen. I’m glad she wrote it. Makes a great gift to those who need to hear it. Lesson given. Lesson learned. Don’t fuck around. Carina didn’t stop there she kept it going, calling out to the audience to sing with her. Again, all I could do was hum along. When she said it would be the first time an audience hadn’t sang along a man yelled very loud and clear, “We don’t know the song!!” I can’t remember what happened after that…I don’t know if I want to.
When she left the stage “Stand or Fall” came on and Carri, Kai and I went nuts. Especially me…singing loudly to the dismay of the woman on the front row of the circle. She stared, I sang at her…hoping she would join in. She seemed stiff, uncomfy and alone…not sure why she chose a seat next to the stage and didn’t expect superfans to be near. I gave up on her and we continued singing. Then the lights went out and superfan Andye (my alter ego) came out of nowhere, stood in the aisle and just went into Tears For Fears mega-fan mode. It was unreal..
The show…could have gone on for four hours and it would not have been enough for me or the hundreds of others who flew in. I was elated with every moment of it. Those two hours are what I wait for all year round. Knowing this was just two of several that I’d experience over the coming days just thrilled me to bits. I didn’t bother trying to stay still I just went nuts.
Curt and Roland come to the stage moments after this phenomenal musical intro (Romeo and Juliet’s Dance of the Knights ::thanks Lady Arlene:: Curt told us what it was back in 2011 but I kept forgetting b/c I didn’t write down the exact name. It’s a strong heavy piece of classical music that is slightly haunting…and I LOVE IT!!
Anticipation grows as it continues. I begin to lose it. I just start freakin out screaming… (like a person watching a football game, it was …scary in hindsight). I can barely listen to it without kinda freakin’ out again. If you hear it (in the link above)…I kind of just go into French, and then I make one of our cultural tribal calls… Funny, when I’m standing next to them at random, I’m quiet as a mouse. Then the lights go up and EWTRTW begins with those first chords and my soul soars to sky like a helium balloon…I’m high above myself as if it’s G-d holding me above the stage…and the sing-a-long of all sing-a-longs begins with everyone up, dancing and belting it out word for word. I’m like first chair in a band, loyal like a career soldier soaking it up like a sponge… Our happy place is LIVE! This is a dream come to life …our reality, hard work and months of waiting have come to fruition. I’m in total bliss. They sound crisp, are looking alive, well rested, refreshed and very strong.
Roland is well dressed (no plaid shirts– Plaid isn’t worthy of Roland. Only solid button downs, jackets are smart enough for his handsome build and angelic slightly tanned skin tone…he is so fine he is too hot to hold). That saying Clothes make the man, well, honey ::He makes the clothes:: They looked so good it was hard to look at them without shouting like a sinner in a church, pray.
Our souls drifted above us dancing around while our physical selves became a drenched pool of excitement. The whole team could be seen. Jeanie and Colleen, Kim, Margie and Traci…all of us.
I continue to go into full international superfan mode with a wail of zaghareets after EWTRTW. Carri and Kai were cracking up at me. I’ve been told I’m quite a show in the show because I start “speaking in tongues” (which is just me yelling in my Arabic-French)…I’m on cloud9 so I have no idea what is going on behind me, my focus is this heavenly show.
I had every word right, Carri dancing front of me, Traci recording the show and I’m doing every move from the video decked out in my traditional Nigerian-Indian dress. Then Floating Down A River came on…I tripped up the words, damnit and I swear Curt laughed, looked right at me… ::BUSTED:: (I spent the next Thursday morning with that song on repeat just to make sure I had it corrected for the next show). Can’t be a superfan if you can’t sing the songs. After Badman’s song I had given my all. I felt faint. I almost fell off the steps that were connected to the stage where I was standing. I was literally fainting from just pure bliss. I’ve decided to start drinking water between songs. I’m sure a lot of it is dehydration.
There were three women up front who remained standing. It was fun waving back and forth to them on “Floating down a river” one of the many songs audiences didn’t seem to know. The woman got a kiss smack on the lips as the show ended. (Video is below, complete with gasps and OMGs from fans in shock or longing for the same)
And when the audience didn’t know a song they shamelessly sat down. Who sits down at a concert!!? Since their music has a good beat, not sure why people didn’t stay on their feet …and dance… Blows my mind. I could have cared less! Sure, FDAR was new to me too at one time but I didn’t sit down. I was disappointed with the crowd.
The venue was okay, The Higher Power gave us good weather and that just made it a perfect show coupled with the band’s talent. I tell you, I danced. I mean, I moved. With less than a footwide step of space next to the far right hand side of the stage, I made it work. In my pink and white salwar I could not be stopped. The insanely strict security didn’t even try to say anything.
Carina’s dancing… Bless her soul she did all sorts of awkward movements. We just laughed. She was fun and funny. We yelled for the encore and out came Curt’s kids and a few other sweet ones. They sang into the microphone just like the kids on the video…I tell you, that band…that band…it does not begin or end they are just an infinity of excitement on and offline LIVE at shows. They bring about so much excitement I have to literally go to a comfy spot of sunshine and serenity to complete these blog posts because the emotions of reliving those show and tour moments are hard to handle. I often have to sit down.
The show came to a close and Jamie and Charlton waved goodbye. Jamie walked right over and handed me a drum stick and Carri took the other. I’m still overwhelmed with gratitude every time I think about it.
I had some personal biz to take care of with the Good Man and Ravishing Rollie Sunshine. I waited 10 mins before going backstage and while waiting a woman came over and said the funniest thing. “The guitar player really took to you. He was staring at you a lot. I got some pictures of him starring if you’d like?” I told her I’m always around and nothing new to him. Charlton was probably laughing at my Roland dance during “Change.” She then realised we were the superfans and she shook her head knowingly.
Backstage…This was not planned. I had no intentions of going back there. It was a suggestion made by a higher authority that we take care of business back there. So, there we went, Carri, Kai and I with our passes stuck to us visibly as instructed. I smiled and nodded at familar faces then someone said Roland was at the far end of this open night sky area.
The area was lit with red and yellow stage like lighting reflecting off of walls and the night sky. There was what looked like a cash bar but turned out to be a nicely arranged serving dish with ice in it and bottles of wine and beer. I politely didn’t touch it as I wanted to be as brief as possible. I sadly live in fear of getting on their nerves so I’m known to keep a safe distance, wave, nod and then go my way unless called to do otherwise. And let the record show, I’m always open for otherwise but again, fan club etiquette rules to which I signed my name in blood, keep me well-behaved.
Curt came out and began handshakes and his beautiful family was in the mix. Everyone raved about how awesome the show was and you kind of had to make sure you didn’t bump into anyone as hands were being shook to the left and the right as people greeted each other. There were hand all reaching out in every direction. Curt saw us and began inching his way over. We met in the center and he began re-introducing his wife to us of whom we hadn’t really formally shaken hands with but had always smiled, nodded and spoke to in passing. Curt was about to give me a hug but I spared him getting soaked because my Kamiseta was damp as was my veil. So we air kissed. It was cute and funny. Love that man…I swear, under G-d there he is.
Business was handled then Carri, Kai (and the kids ??) took pictures. They turned out amazing. Curt asked to see and we turned the camera around. He approved. Look at that photo above, stunning! It’s like looking at a ray of sunshine. I swear you could hear stars just clinking against each other as we all stood there. It’s like the band just oozes goodness.
We stepped aside as others were mixing and mingling closer in a tetrits sort of way. Then…I stepped back to just stay out of the way while waiting for Carri and Kai who were chatting with Jamie and the team. I saw that Roland was doing the same…standing there off to the side listening to someone talk. His son had just stepped away and the Good Sir Orzabal was left with a stranger, holding a glass, nodding and listening. That convo ended and they sort of stood there looking at others. Roland looked at me. I nodded respectfully like a well-trained child. Roland told the guy he was gonna slip on out. The guy shook his hand and was already in another conversation with another person within seconds. Roland stood there very casual as if we were at a dinner party just hanging out..he was looking at me as if he’d seen me a thousand times, like you look at your neighbour at the monthly townhall meeting…as if to say, “Well Ralph here we are again…another fine night…”
Now, this moment in reality couldn’t have been more than 1-2 minutes…maybe less… But every second felt like 60 and everything slowed down to a historic Thuc Indonesian style speed.
Now there are two levels of energy going here. There’s Roland’s casual “hey Andye” vibe (as if I’m a neighbour he sees everyday)…and then there’s mine…
The “I’m standing in a space that contains the only two people I care about next to G-d …I am in the level before heaven, the ruler of the majestic cloud 9 is standing here before me, in a beautiful shirt, with perfectly done hair, immaculate skin, a physique to envy for days and no cultural judgement against me for wearing a hijab in his show.”
He leaned forward putting his head closer to mine (yes there’s that amazing hair) I’m sorry guys…I’m fangirling…He leaned down closer so he could hear what I was saying as I handed him the non-conflict commodities. In doing so I went into full on Nigerian mode. I was bowing and courtseying as if I was standing next to the leader of the Ibo Market. I thanked him for letting me sing last year…bowed again. He said something like, “Yeahhh,” with a you’re a friend look…as if I was a 20yrs long staff member or something. And I’m like, “wow, really?” I was in such shock because I expected to feel low and unworthy in his presence (a total Wayne and Garth moment) and instead I felt like…like a…a friend…and I was so shocked my last sentence just fell into French and I bowed again and he put the commodities away. Like waking up slowly from a dream I turned in a daze, everything was hazy and I found myself heading straight for a wall. I turned just in time, avoiding what could have been a bloody nose, to find Carri, Jamie, Charlton and others chatting.
We stayed about 15-20 mins. Then we told Curt we had to go catch the plane to the next city. Roland had vanished off behind a second area of the backstage section. We waved goodbye then QUICKLY met up w/some fans for funnelcakes and photos by the sunflowers…then a mad dash to the car to get ready for the rest of the tour.
All I can say is…duuudee…Roland and Curt are like too freakin cool! Again that Rollie Sunshine encounter was no more than a few seconds…but a beautiful coherent blur I cherish…it’s wild knowing what it’s like to see a miracle play out before you. After seeing that I can recognise the hand of G-d on many occasions. He is real. I don’t mean to turn this into a spiritual thing but that moment was Euphoric. (Ohhh great, I’m crying now)I remember at one point I had to look down to fiddle with the box because he is so good looking my mouth and chin were dropping and my eye brows were furling because I couldn’t understand how someone can look that amazing! I remember my hand trembling slightly and I lifted it up so he wouldn’t notice…he probably did. Oh well…
By accident we took the long way out of the fair…We were stopped by man near a water machine. “Dehydrated me” took a glass and the man selling the water almost talked me into signing up for a year supply of it for an office cubicle. Then we dreamily walked back to the car chatting with a rabbit I named Julian that sat perfectly still in the grass like a guardian as we walked past. G-d was with us. I’m convinced.
Traci S. has all of the good side stage video where we stood… but she’s busy trying to strike a deal with Curt on politics so when she and he get out of the friendship supreme court maybe we’ll get to see them. In the meantime, these are what were posted by people we don’t really know that well…bless their souls for minding the sound.
We sure hope we can get all the pictures and video contributions by those that wanted to contribute. Just let me know…We’ll make sure they are featured.