*Dedicated to Bobby – King of the Road* and Daniel G. & our Lady Cindy of New York, the Duchess of Fandom done right!
5am we straggle (yes, straggle – stagger & drag our sleepy selves) into Morristown New Jersey after one wild ride up the east coast through mountains and past some very interesting people, historic monuments and locations, eating interesting road food not to mention coincidental signage and vehicles…and the New Jersey Turnpike. Need we say more?
Little Logistics for the Win
Waking up at 9am, I spent most of my morning checking email, interacting with fellow TFF fans on social and trying to convince myself I should be sleeping because it would certainly be a very long day. Fans were trickling in from the TFF Capitol Theater concert in Port Chester, New York. Heaven knows if they got any sleep either. By 1pm Silver Kitty is up freakin’ out cause I let her lie-in/sleep in. I figured, heck…she deserves a few more winks after that 18 hour ride up but I forgot we had our normal ritual stuff to do like eating so we don’t pass out. We need time before/between shows to say the least.
Eventually Lady Mel and the Gormont Family arrive down the hall in their suite, Deb gets in from the prior show and is laying on the bed, I’m sitting on the bed and Bobby is on the phone while I continue to wipe Noxema cold cream on my face in my odd pajamas. Bobby was patient and took good care of us, he and Carolyn. They took food orders and went out and got a ridiculous amount of stuff from Panera, Starbucks double shots, orange juice and more. Big thanks to the Hyatt for making sure we were well accommodated given our very large party. It pays to be a member of that hotel chain.
Travel Fan Meet Up
Once everyone was present and people had checked in, we got ready to head over to the show for the first of two more meetups, the last ones before the band heads off to Hong Kong where other gatherings would take place between our fellow travel fans in that area. We got to the Mayo Performing Arts Center right at 7pm and were fortunate to get a great spot in their designated parking lot, very convenient. I think we paid about $10? Maybe $5? Either way, it was cheap compared to Atlanta and Los Angeles. As we walked, I saw that this part of town had a very “historic” feel to it. Small shoppes, historic homes and well manicured spaces lined the street. It looked like a scene from a painting or a doll house. After picking up our tickets we went to a sweet spot adjacent to MPAC called Strawberry Fields. There we made ice cream sundaes and yogurt/ice cream milkshakes. After an hour, several Travel Fans were comfy inside eating yogurt and candy, getting jolted for the show. Because we don’t get to see each other except on tours, we held conversation right up til time to go inside the venue.
Hugs and Kisses with a Side of Nostalgia
Rushing out of the humid air we find our way inside MPAC but not before snapping group pictures and one of the sign featuring the band’s arrival. The theater is very nice inside and looks just like the pictures online. We had really great seats but because of the way that the Golden Circle is positioned you’re not as close to the stage as many travel fans are accustomed, even on the 5th row. So it was a little odd. But big shout out to the MPAC staff for assisting us with the seats and making sure we got great spots up close and near each other.
Before show time, I went around smooching on my fellow Travel Fan members like Cindy, a mega fan who follows Duran Duran, The Cure and a ton of other amazing bands. She has a great blog, takes great pictures and is credited for the majority of the video snippets in this post. She looked awesome as always and had friends in tow. We were all on the same row with an aisle between us. While waiting, Stand or Fall by The Fixx comes on and everybody that travels to TFF shows knows that’s a gift from the band…it’s almost like a big hug from Curt as I know I beg for that song to be featured before every show just like the day we rekindled the idea of travelling to every TFF event. That particular mix that they play includes Ashes to Ashes (the original by David Bowie) as well. With all due respect to royal rocker DB, several feel that Roland’s version is just as good as Bowie’s if not better…and I agree.
Carina Round opened the event and did a great job. She wore her lovely black dress with the scalloped sleeves. Ms. Round sang Backseat and some of her other cool songs from her opening sets of tours past (2012, 2014 and Part I of 2015).
Then…Lorde’s cover of Everybody Want to Rule The World came on. There was a dead silence minus the Travel Fans and other die-hards screaming and squealing. I finally yelled, due to lack of control, “This is it!! They’re Coming Out!!” and people beside me stood up as did a few others looking like newcomers to a cult ceremony. Soon Doug, Carina, Charlton and Jamie began to appear faintly in the blue light and mad applause began. The Rock Royals stood near their microphones and the concert was in full force with the wonderful energy even more prominent than tours past…and that’s saying a lot. They were SPARKLING!
Selections from the Set List
Sowing the Seeds by John Sheehan
*I should perhaps leave this out but we did discuss it on Twitter so I’ll detail what occurred…
The weirdest thing happened…something I have not seen at this particular magnitude. Falling Down’s first chords began to play and people start sitting down?! I was later told that people do this out of respect to an artist’s more subdued songs. Well, I’ve rarely seen such behaviour at a Tears for Fears show minus the few that sat down during FDAR in Orange County 2012 because they were unfamiliar with the song. So, needless to say I remained standing. There’s no way in hell I was going to “sit” at a Tears for Fears concert. Whether Roland wants to lead us in prayer or Curt wants to do a 30 min fashion show for Ben Sherman and Doc Martens between songs, I’m going to remain standing as long as they are on that stage. Well, soon I was like…one of 10 people (mostly Travel Fans) standing in my section. Fresh. hell. broke. loose.
Some guy starts yelling at me to sit down. I don’t know if it was fatigue or just sheer dedication to this band (maybe both) but I turned around and gave him the wrath of an exhausted superfan who had ridden over 18 hours to see this band…this was coupled with a “2doigts-salute.” Fans in other rows chimed in with me in support and told me to stand my ground. I remained standing, faced the stage and swayed to Falling Down, ignoring the horrible things the man said…something about the war was over? What does that even mean?
As he yelled and I didn’t understand much of what he was saying to even detail it further. Instead I thought how horrible and distracting this was for Roland to watch…and you know he saw it because I’m the only one in the center fifth row from the stage, in clear view of the Rock Royals, still standing. Then I had to remember who I represented. I am a fan of an amazing band that deserves our respect and a trouble free concert. I also represent my parents’ nation, my culture and so much more. Above all, I have a responsibility to behave appropriately on behalf of this band because we don’t want to be “bad fans.” I sat down briefly for the sake of that. But thank goodness Curt eventually asked that everyone stand up. It was perfect timing as others in the crowd hassled Cindy to sit down too though she refused. Curt delivered the Karma so to speak. Because of Curt’s prompt, the venue got up from their seats and remained standing for the show. I wanted to turn around and thumb my nose at that miserable drunk jerk who yelled at us but I was too busy dancing and having a good time to bother.
After the show a few folks went backstage, while some went outside to do Periscopes and photos. Then we rode around in circles in a super sober mad stupor rehashing every inch of the show, encountered a family of deer which calmed our post-concert nerves and is now our new symbol. Our official animal is now the white spotted deer. Whenever we get too excited, we’re just going to hold up the sign of the white deer and refocus. Yeah, a little strange but It was a long day and we were tired.
We couldn’t stay out late because we had to be up and ready to head out for the next show (something you get used to when following the band). A short post-show travel fan chat took place back at the hotel and Melissa joined, bringing snacks and other offerings. She even had gifts! We stayed up til perhaps 3am and then went to bed. On Wednesday we checked out by 1pm and wished Deb goodbye as she had to go back to being an adult (though we joked with her to ask her boss if she could stay away a little longer).
Huge thanks to the Good Sir for making the Gormont family’s show so memorable!
The band was attentive to fans and people left the venue in good spirits. Very grateful to Cindy for coming down from New York to be there with us all. Huge thanks to Melissa and Deb for coming and staying with us in the designated suites. Awesome to see our Lady Colleen and meet all of the fans that flew in from abroad. We thankfully had extra tickets for the next day’s show and were able to hand those out to those who wanted to move up and be close to the stage. It’s all about teamwork!
*more to come from the craaazzyyy fun TFF Show at Count Basie Theatre where love literally reigned among Rock Royalty fans
Thanks for reading,