This took place in October of 2016. I tripped across it while trying to decide what to write about and decided it was a happy memory, worth the share. I hope you enjoy it.
Tonight restored my faith in magic, and I’ll tell you why if you’ve the patience to read. Almost two months ago, I bought tickets to see The Head and the Heart for Naomi’s birthday. They are a band we mutually respect, with Naomi being a super fan. I told her the tickets were hers and she could choose to go with whomever she wanted. I was ecstatic when she chose me.
Fast forward to today. My good friend, Daniel, and his lovely wife, Kathryn, live near the venue where we were to attend the show, and although Daniel and I share music like crazy, we have never discussed this band. On a whim today, while at work, I texted him to let him know I was going to the show. Almost immediately, he responded that Kathryn and he were going as well and that the venue had been changed. This was the first fortuitous thing to come about, because I didn’t know and would have ended up at the wrong location, pissed off. Apparently Stub Hub sent me an email the day before, but I didn’t see it. BTW, get your shit together, White Oak.
Anyway, a friend who is also a vendor of mine where I work had invited me to a pub crawl, so I figured that would be a fun way for Naomi and me to spend a couple of hours before the show. It was. We got our yellow wristbands and had a couple of drinks – and a lot of laughs – with some very cool people. But the sun set quickly, and it was soon time to leave. We said our goodbyes and made our way to Revention Music Center.
When I bought our tickets, I also purchased two additional “balcony” tickets, which gave us access to-dun-dun-dun…the balcony. There, we were promised table seating, a great view of the stage and a glass of champagne. This is how I do concerts now, folks. Well, the balcony tickets were no good at the new venue, and so we were left to stand among the masses, which were steadily increasing. I was less than stoked about this, but I was going to have a good time with Naomi, no matter what. I started scanning the crowd for Kathryn and Daniel. Daniel had mentioned they were getting VIP access, thanks to a friend whose fiancé works for the venue and books the talent (I think). About an hour went by, and I didn’t see him, and of course I’d left my phone in the car. By this time, though, Naomi and I were just having fun in the moment. We decided to grab a drink, and I asked her if she would wait in line for us while I took one more shot at finding my friends. She agreed, and I walked over to the VIP area and searched for their faces. No luck. I headed back to Naomi and here they came, walking towards me. Yay! We hugged and said our hellos. They introduced me to their friends, said that they were headed to the VIP area and that we should come. Turns out, they’re using yellow wristbands (Whaaat?! Remember the pub crawl bands?). I went back to Naomi, who had just made it to the front of the line with our drinks, and we headed back to VIP. I think she was a little apprehensive, as was I, but we walked up, flashed our bootleg yellow bands and were waved in. Happy day! My friends had secured a table in the front that PERFECTLY sat our group of six. The show was amazing. We sang our heads off, smiled like crazy people and our hearts were filled. Naomi was so happy that she was near tears. She sang every single song.
Several times, she mentioned that she wanted to meet the band. I told her we’d try and didn’t think much more of it. At the end of the encore, I slipped outside and was not permitted to re-enter. So, I had a seat at a table and waited for my party. A while later, three of them emerged. Kathryn’s friend had gone with Naomi to try to meet the band. We remaining four hung out at my table, chatting and laughing about the night’s events and all sorts of happy things. Sometime later, the other two came outside, Naomi’s face absolutely beaming. They had succeeded. They took pictures and hung out with all the band members. It could not have gone better, and Shelbi Nicole – who is an amazing artist, by the way -was the hero of the night. Her boldness and free-spirit made it possible for Naomi to meet the band she loved so much. I don’t think I would have had the guts to make it happen, and Naomi is just not the sort of person to push those envelopes. I am so glad we met her tonight.
The following day, Naomi showed me a Twitter post from one of the band members. It was a picture taken before the show, from a spot that looked to be precisely where we sat that night.
It was insane luck and an amazing coincidence that made it all work out. If I hadn’t texted Daniel or gone to that pub crawl, it would have been a different experience altogether. Naomi’s night was complete, and it was all written in the stars.
P.S. You really should check out Shelbi Nicole’s art. You can find her here: https://www.shelbinicole.com/