Friday, October 7, 2011

Eyes Wide Shut this's time to blink-182 baby!!--

Instead of "lessons learned" today, I think I'll point out what I am grateful for this morning following my ever-so-short sleeping spell.

1) That my 2 year old daughter is very fashion conscious and astute enough at 6 am to point out that my outfit "didn't match (giggle giggle)" before I walked out the door---she noticed my socks, although of the same weight, had a slightly different color stripe on the rim.  

2) That I have to wear long pants and close toed shoes to work. While happy that Gwen is very advanced for her age with regard to her "matching skills" I decided let the sock fairy win this battle and yes I do, in fact, have mismatched socks on today.

3) That I found my sunglasses in my car to shade the piercing rays coming through my windshield on the I5 South

4) Finding a half full (notice I did not say half empty) sugar free Red Bull waiting for me and it was less than 6 hours old!!--nice and chilled due to the overnight temperatures reaching a frigid 55 degrees overnight. 

5) Working on campus where I can purchase a coffee and Subway breakfast sandwich for $3.00.

6) That we had the opportunity we had last night.

So, why so tired you may wonder and what is this opportunity I hint at ???? 

We had the once in a lifetime opportunity last night to have VIP/Backstage Access to the blink-182 concert at the cricket wireless amphitheatre last night in San Diego.

I know you all have been waiting for the details so let me just start with how on earth we were so lucky to be there!

Our good friends and neighbors are Mark Hoppus' family and were so kind to offer us tickets to the concert with a full on backstage tour beforehand and 3rd row center stage seats to boot!  You want details, I know...pour yourself a beverage and read on.

We've lived in San Diego for almost 3 years now and although we went to concerts in Santa Barbara at the SB Bowl which included Jack Johnson (numerous times), Pearl Jam (AWESOME), and Green Day...we had never been to a concert in San Diego (i'm going to go ahead and blame it on having 2 kids)  
So with babysitter available (thanks cousin Jackie) and tickets waiting for us at will call, we trekked on down to Cricket.

Now, Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre is not around the block from where we live, and it's definitely not nestled in between quaint downtown streets as is the Santa Barbara Bowl.  It is basically in Mexico. That's right. We could see Tijiuna as we were driving. 

This made me a bit nervous as we fought the traffic on the 805. God knows, San Diego has had it's fair share of freeway shootings recently and I was guessing this was prime territory for them...I insisted to my driver (aka husband who likes to RIDE the car in front of us as I grip the "Oh Shit Handle")--side note: who was the engineer that decided mommy vehicles still should have oh shit handles on them like they are a high end race car?--Thank you!)
--NOT to tail darkly tinted low rider cars with big wheels. Please.  

After about an hour, we pull in to a HUGE line of cars waiting to park...luckily, I told Brent that we were on "the list" and we should be able to pull right into VIP parking...
Brent says, "are you sure? Maybe we should just wait in this line here"

Me: "What??!?! No way!" as I roll down my window (like I I've done this a million times before) and say to Mr. Clipboard Dude "We are on the list, last name, Gaylord--that's GAY-LORD--under Brent". 

Mr. Clipboard Dude looks down his list and says, "Yep, there you are, and oh, you should come this way" and manually opens a secret gate behind him (I told Brent it was the VIP VIP gate) and we park RIGHT there. 

Me to Brent: "See, I told you"
Brent rolls eyes but does acknowledge the awesomeness of the close parking. It's the little things folks.

We get to will call and find our seats and--they are 3rd row, center stage. Right behind the pit. Cool.
Could this GET any better???
I call Kerry (Mark's mom) and Anne (Mark's sister) and they find us and take us backstage. 
Answer= Yes, it can get better than 3rd row, center. 
They proceed to give us a full tour of everything backstage..and let me tell you this: It is like a WHOLE OTHER world works backstage to produce what us concert goers see from our seats.  

I know you want me to get to photos, and details about the concert, but let me just point out some cool facts I encountered during the private backstage tour:

1) They had 7 (SEVEN!!) full size semi trucks for their equipment.

2) Each member had their own tour bus, of course, and I will tell you FIRST HAND that their accommodations on the bus are nicer than the place I lived during grad school in Santa Barbara-(which, kind of resembled a "bus" but more of a "trailer-bus", in fact) ("Calle Cita" for those friends who have fond memories of the house on stilts)

3) The roadies definitely eat better than I did during graduate school--they set up a full kitchen outside and cook 4 meals a day

4) The band members are BUSY BUSY BUSY with press and 'meet and greets' and various other obligations beforehand and are followed around by cameras videoing them.

5) Mark was very nice and didn't mind us drinking wine from his catering room backstage and eating goodies his mom baked and I do believe I blushed when I told him we were "the neighbors" to which he replied "by mom?"  "right across the street from mom" I said. 

Ok, enough are some photos:

Brent and I onstage before the concert:

 The view of where the crowd will be in a few hours!:
 Anne and I backstage
 Brent, Anne and I

And the icing on the cake was that blink-182 was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!  Their new album Neighborhoods, is great and if you haven't bought it yet, I'd would recommend it!!  Below: Mark, Travis, and Tom (l-r)

Mark :

And for those of you that do not know, Travis Barker was in a horrible plane crash back in 2008 in which only he and DJ AM survived (later to die of a drug overdose--so sad). Read here how Travis describes how the plane crash brought blink back together.... Thank God for second chances in life. This guy RIPS it on the drums.


One of the coolest encores I've ever seen was Travis' drum solo--he came out over the crowd on this (for lack of a better descriptive at this moment) metal "arm" that moved over the cheering fans as he KILLED it on the drums.  Totally.Very.Impressive.

This is what I mean by KILLING it-- click here for the drum solo (from another arena--couldn't find san diego's posted yet)

I can't put into words really how much fun we had and again I want to thank our friends for inviting us along for the ride last night. 

My inner monologue and random thoughts on the 1 hour drive home:

1) It's been a LONG time since we've seen any concert, let alone one that ROCKED like blink-182 did last night.

2) People still smoke (even in California), but the "lighters" in the sky glow that we remember from concerts previous has been replaced by iPhone glow from the crowd

3) Did I really stay up until 12 pm????

4) Do you think the black nailpolish is why they carded me when I was buying wine?

5) I could go for a TJ taco right about now.

6) Hands down coolest experience I've had...neck in neck for when I met Bono (that story, my friends, is for another blog).

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