So, we bought the Three Days Grace ones so we could meet Adam Gontier and be all excited to see the person who wrote and sang all those songs who got us through our teenage years. It was going to be amazing.
Then 2 days after we bought the tickets, Adam announced publicly that he had left the band. I was super sad, especially since his replacement, Matt Walst, had a whole different sound and some of the earlier recordings of Matt were rough...really rough. I went through the people who I bought the tickets from and they were not offering any refunds. There was no way that I was going to drop that kind of cash then not go, so Chris and I went anyway.
Off to Battle Creek we went on February 13th. We arrived at the arena, same one I saw Daughtry at, and parked before going into the attached hotel for our meet and greet. We checked in, got the awesome poster (which I need to remember to frame) and was ushered into a private room full of people who were there for the same reason...to meet the band. There was a backdrop at the front, which I guessed was where we would meet the bad.
After some initial waiting for about a half hour or so, the band came out. It was just the drummer and 2 guitarists, I think they were worried how the fans would react to Matt, so he wasn't a part of the meet and greet. Anyway...Chris and I were at the front of the line, so we got in pretty quick. I shook some hands, got my picture and moved on. I was fine with being done early because we had general admission tickets and wanted to get into the venue as fast as possible. By the time we got in there, got some merch and went into the GA area, it was already pretty packed. Because I want to get as close as possible, Chris and I weasled our way in as close as we could.
The POD came on. I was told some things about POD, most of which were not so promising. But I was pleasantly surprised as they were really good. Maybe they cleaned up their act now that they were touring with 2 other awesome bands (I heard they were really vulgar). The guy in front of me was in love with them though as he was jamming out. He was also taller than me which made it a little harder to see to the stage at times and made my photo opportunities limited (I like taking pictures...sorry!). These guys in front of me were freaking out though, which cracked me up.
After POD got off, some people left the GA area, and well the rules are you snooze, you lose. So, I moved up a bit. I ended up closer to the guy who was freaking out lol and his group. When Three Days Grace came on, I was worried it was going to be as bad as those recordings, but Matt did his best. I mean, Never Too Late, which will always be my favorite song from the band and pretty much ever, was super rough. Matt has a hard time on the low stuff, but the rest was okay. As for my time in general admission? I was talking to one of the women in the group with the one dude when he accidentally elbowed me in the face. That was fun. But really, it was just the beginning. During one of the first rowdier songs, the crowd surfing began. Our group didn't see it coming which resulted in person number one dropped on my head. I went down on this one because I was rather blindsided, but after those around helped pick him off of me and throw him to another area, I got up and shook it off. Then a little later, another one came through and kicked me in the face...making me worry I would have a fat lip (didn't happen luckily!). But seriously, other than GA horrors, Three Days Grace was awesome. Like truly awesome. Do I still miss Adam? Oh of course, his voice held me up in some of my hardest days. But, I still enjoyed the band.
A LOT of people left after Three Days Grace. For one, GA was like a billion degrees and smelt like weed and smoke because everyone who smoked those things never left. So, I naturally got to move up. Poor Chris got stuck back where we were, but I ended up about 3 people from the barricade and near some more interesting characters. I could still see Chris so it was all good (we had said if we got separated, that he knew where the car was so we could meet there if we never found each other). I was pumped for Shinedown. They are literally one of my favorites.
|I ended up in front of the guy who was going crazy for Shinedown (he's the dude behind me lol), and he said he would protect me from the crowd surfers...and he did, except one (but he tried!)|
And they didn't disappoint. This was my 3rd time seeing them in concert...and they get better every time I see them. They split their concert between the stage and a riser back by the sound area. Boy, are they performers. They threw in a few of their new stuff but played LOTS of their older stuff, especially off of Sounds of Madness. They also gave me the experience that I think I have at every concert now...the tears lol. So, I made it through "The Crow and the Butterfly" just fine though I felt that one in my soul (it has a pretty special significance to me).
|He's so intense when he sings (Brent from Shinedown)|
But then Brent started talking about how we all have those songs that helped get us through some hard things in our lives and how they have lifted us up and gave us strength...and I lost it. Because it is so true. Sometimes when it felt like I had no where to turn, music was always there. It was Green Days and Three Days Grace when I was in high school, some Daughtry and My Chemical romance at times in there too. Then when I had moved out, it was the Fray that got me through some of my loneliness and Shinedown that got me through one of the hardest times in my young life. Then with the passing of my father and that mess, it was Mumford and Sons and Coldplay. Music has been there, and that was all reminded in that one speech that Brent Smith gave on February 13th. Phew.
But seriously, amazing concert. I can't wait for Shinedown to release their next album. Chris and I decided, on our way home, that no matter where we move to after graduation, we will come meet somewhere and meet Shinedown VIP and go to the next concert. We call this concert our bonding experience, because it was truly amazing.