I honestly don’t even know where to start…
Well, I will do this, though. A lot of people have been asking how I got the gig with Dropkick Murphys last Saturday, but I already wrote a blog post about that right here: -> Something so Awesome!
Okay, so how did Saturday go?
Nerve wracking.. Exciting.. Unexpectedly easy.. RIDICULOUSLY FUN.
It’s kind of surreal, but totally real, how chill the whole thing was, actually. I’m almost embarrassed by the amount of geeking out I’m still doing over the whole thing! So.. please allow me to geek out a little bit more over the next few paragraphs, then I’ll get back to being all professional-musician-I-do-this-stuff-all-the-time or whatever.
So I showed up for soundcheck and had to use that pretentious “I’m with the band” line to get into the parking lot while totally assuming the guy wouldn’t believe me because I had zero cash on me. LOL. He did believe me and let me through, thankfully. Pulled around back and there’s Al Barr (singer) talking with some folks by the van… I moseyed on past and was greeted by James Lynch (guitar) who was having a cigarette by the back door. That was what was so surreal, I think. Here I’ve been listening to these guys for the past 15 years or so, going to their shows and dreaming about what it’d be like to be where they are with my career. Making music, playing sold out shows, traveling the world, and still being down to earth normal people but making a difference and doing good things. And I’m walking backstage in the middle of the day and they’re milling about like.. normal people. hahaha. You know what I mean though? Not like “rock stars”.
I have met people already in the music world who have “rock star” attitudes (not in a fun way) who have not had anywhere near as much success as these guys… so yeah, it is a bit refreshing to meet musicians who are professionals and don’t have snotty attitudes.
Once inside, I met up with Evan, the tour manager, who I’d been corresponding with via email up until then. He was super kind and just as excited for me as I was, which was totally awesome! Made me definitely feel at home. All of the guys in the band and the backstage crew were extremely welcoming and no one seemed stressed or rushed. Everyone was just relaxing. I didn’t get to meet the opening bands, I’m not really sure where they were during this time, but me being as shy as I am I really didn’t go out seeking to meet people.
Evan basically told me to sit tight until we were ready to soundcheck for Dirty Glass (the song I sang), so I spent a good ten minutes or so not budging from the one spot he’d left me in because I was so afraid to go anywhere even though I had an all access pass around my neck. I did take this picture, though!
And I marveled at all the cases labeled “DKM” etc… yeesh if I had that much gear to lug around to each gig I’d totally be leaving things everywhere. I’d forget my head if it wasn’t attached..
Finally I realized that sitting there was sort of pointless as the backstage area is kind of small so it’s not like they’d lose me if I walked around a bit. One thing I love to do before a gig is get a picture of the venue before anyone arrives.. and since I’d never been inside the Electric Factory without a ginormous crowd there (capacity between 2k-3k, I believe), I figured this would be a good time. I got a few more pictures as I moseyed.
SO after that it was my turn and I think the guys in the band who had not met me or knew who I was yet were like “Ohhhh thaaaaaat’s who that is” because of course, I didn’t walk up and introduce myself because I’m too busy hiding inside my own head. haha. Ken Casey I had met a few times and he introduced me to the rest of the band and then it was time to sing.
Okay, the thing about me is… I am super shy, yes. So painfully shy that most people assume that I’m a snotty bitch who just doesn’t want to talk to anyone. But I’m learning to over-come that! …I think. And everyone goes “How can you be shy and yet go and sing in front of so many people? You don’t look shy on stage.”
There is a *huge* difference between singing on stage in front of a bunch of people and talking to people face to face, or saying hi to strangers one on one. Think of it this way… It might not be hard for you to walk up to someone and introduce yourself and strike up a conversation, but would you get on stage in front of thousands of people and sing a song? No? Okay, well I’m the opposite of you. 🙂
So here I am… all by my lonesome.. with Dropkick Murphys.. and no one in the crowd. I was fucking scared outta my mind! Because THEY were the only ones listening. There was no crowd drowning me out. So I told myself.. between the mantra of “don’t forget the lyrics, don’t forget the lyrics, don’t forget the lyrics”.. to pretend I’m listening to it on the stereo and sing along. Just listen and sing along. And sound check. Make sure your mic is working. Make sure you know where to look for what.. etc… And then the song was over.
“There was a little bit of feedback,” I said to the sound guy.
“That won’t be there tonight, when the crowd comes in,” said Ken.
“Yeah, it’ll be worse!” says Al.
And soundcheck was done 🙂
On my way down the ramp (the one in the picture) Al turns to me and says he really liked the way I sang it and that I might be the best singer to do that song yet. On the outside I’m smiling and saying thank you so much. On the inside I’m fucking dying. ^.^!
OH.. Almost forgot. Being that I am a girl, and girls make sure we have outfits for everything. I rocked my Spaceboy t-shirt to soundcheck. 302 Represent!
So I went and picked up my backstage posse and came back for the show.
My son, E. My brother, sister, and brother’s girlfriend.
We got there super early, so basically we just hung out backstage for a few hours until it was time for DKM to go on. We checked out the opening bands, too, but the kids were just so excited to have “all access” passes that they wanted to hang out backstage more than anything.
In fact, most of the time was spent like this:
And then E got restless.
So I let him give a tour of the backstage area.. Here it is (it’s short, no worries).
Also, I bought a new dress special just for the occasion! Because you can’t possibly wear the same thing for soundcheck that you do main event, right??? (Sarcasm…)
And I had my best friend Lauren take photos of me. Check her out, Watras Photography.
Alright so after hanging out, it was go time. Two of my best friends had come for the show and I met up with one of them by the bathroom (after passing by a bunch of people who were *obviously* wondering why I was so dressed up for a punk show) and we hugged and shared excitement before splitting up again and waiting for the show to start.
This was Amber and Jodie’s first Dropkick Murphys show, so I was not only super excited to share it with them, but I was pretty stoked for the rest of the show myself. I love these guys!
Pretty soon.. faster than I can imagine.. I was walking backstage. I said a little prayer, as I always do before I sing, then I walked up to the side of the stage. Eric had the mic ready for me and held onto my pass and my water. Evan cleared a path for me and made sure I didn’t walk out too early.
Ken gave me a pretty cool introduction, though I will be honest, I could barely hear him over my own nerves. Then it was time to start 🙂
Here are some photos and a few good youtube videos that audience members took. 🙂
All in all, it was a pretty amazing night. I got hugs and fist bumps from the band and we hung out backstage for a little while before taking the kids home, I met some really nice and really cool people from the Claddagh fund and I talked to Evan about possibly performing with them again. It’s definitely going to happen, though I’m not sure exactly when. Ken even told me I’m their “girl in Philly”. So.. I’m definitely looking forward to playing with them more in the future. Maybe I’ll work up the nerve to ask if I can sing in Boston with them.. hmmmm.
Thanks for reading! ❤