It was the middle of February 2017 in Colorado, and we were third in line at the door.
Our email said to be at general admissions at 5:00 PM to check in, but we got there at around 4:45 PM. It wasn’t until almost an hour later that the ticket guy for The Black Sheep came out holding our VIP lanyards and passes. My fiancé and I were frozen, our hands were turning red and I could almost feel my leg hair growing back. The man holding the laminated pieces of paper in his hands came up to us. After we told him our names, we were sent off into the line leading to one of the most iconic nights of my life.
After they opened the doors to The Black Sheep, they led us in a single file line through the door. “Just put one foot in front of the other. Don’t shake, don’t let your anxiety come out,” I thought to myself while I proceeded to follow the line in a semi-circle in front of the band. The girl behind me fangirled with me about touching Tilian and shaking all their hands. We couldn’t believe that Dance Gavin Dance was right in front of us.
After the first two groups finished, we walked right up and shook the hands of Will Swan, Andrew Michael Wells, Matthew Mingus, Jon Mess, Tim Feerick and finally, Tilian Pearson. They were all there, in-the-flesh.
The ‘camera guy’ was just an employee of The Black Sheep who used the fans’ cell phones for the photos. He instructed us to squeeze in the middle between Matt and Jon so we could get a picture with the group. I got to touch the drummer and he put his arm around my waist, while the man holding my phone counted down so we could prepare ourselves for the photo. It was such a euphoric feeling, being that close to a band I’ve loved since 2010. I couldn’t believe they were right in front of me, in the same exact room. My inner fangirl was jumping for joy and I could hardly contain myself when we took the picture, collected our VIP merchandise and walked away from them to rejoin the line.
The second time around, one of the employees of The Black Sheep told us we could get our things signed and just chill out with the band until it was time for the concert to start. My fiancé and I went right up to each band member and had them sign my Instant Gratification record cover, and my fiancé’s’ VIP pass. In order, we went from Will to Matthew, then to Tim and Andrew, and then Jon. We saved Tilian for last, because frankly I’ve had a massive teenage-girl-like crush on him since he joined the band five years ago. When I walked up to him, I managed to hide the inner fangirl fairly well. Tilian signed my record and my fiancé’s pass, just like the others, but we made sure to get an individual photo with him before we went off to get IDed and get more merchandise at the booths. I was still in awe that Tilian, along with all the other members, were just so chilled out and honestly some of the coolest people I’ve ever met.
After we put our merchandise in the car, we decided to head back in to watch the concert that was about to start up soon. We were standing by the bar in front of the merch, when I met my (even though I didn’t know it yet) best friend Stephen for the first time.
We all stood around for maybe thirty minutes before Eidola, band one of four, came on stage. We were still standing by the bar, when we saw that the touring guitarist for Dance Gavin Dance was also Eidola’s lead singer. Which we kind of thought back and realized it was a little weird that we got him to sign our record, but we just shrugged it off.
We weren’t entirely sure what band was going to come up next after Eidola and the second band were done performing. The whole tour was called Robot with Human Hair vs Chonzilla, so it could’ve been either band coming up. All it took, was Matthew Mingus walking to sit behind the drums to realize that Dance Gavin Dance was in fact, next. The crowd went wild and we managed to get a little closer to the stage.
As soon as the band started playing, these little teenagers started a mosh pit and my fiancé, his coworker and I, were right in the middle until they shoved us onto the edge. It was my first time in a bar, and my first time at a concert where there would be a mosh, so it was kind of overwhelming but fun nonetheless.
During the concert, all I could focus on was Tilian. I didn’t think it was possible for him to be better than what he was in person, but on stage he was fantastic. Tilian and Jon coordinated their vocals so well, and I recorded practically the whole show. The feeling of being in the same room as them was so euphoric and surreal. I didn’t want them to stop playing, but as soon as the final note of the last song hit, they left the stage and we left for pancakes.