So anyway, hanging out with platoapproved is yay, and on Friday look_alive and I successfully navigated Bay Area public transportation (it was mostly her, she's badass) and spent a chunk of the afternoon wandering at random around Golden Gate Park, which was supremely excellent. Saturday I woke my ass up without nearly enough sleep and successfully navigated Bay Area highways and the actual streets of San Francisco to meet up with Alex and Nova and Nova's bridesmaids for brunch and wedding dress fitting and going to REI with my brother so he could buy me those five-toed hiking shoes for my birthday, after which was more hanging out with platoapproved and sushi and Hawaii Five-0 before getting in the car and DRIVING FOREVER.
In between all that was PATRICK.
...I can tell you already, guys, this post is going to be really long. You've been warned.
Okay, so, let me preface this by saying that this Patrick Stump concert experience that I just had is the best concert experience I have ever had in my life. And I have had a fair number of supremely freaking excellent, life-changing amazing concert experiences. The Flogging Molly concert where Badger liked my outfit and gave me a hug. The world-destroying blast of energy that was the Metric concert on Crystal Ballroom's trampoline floor. Ludo's fun and friendliness and intimacy. Ok Go's more of the same, with added bonus fuzzy laser guitars and ten metric tons of confetti. My first Decemberists concert, where they all switched instruments and fucked up the lyrics and ran around through the crowd as we helped them recreate the story of the Oregon trail (complete with bandits on camels). The other two Decemberists concerts, for slightly smaller values of the same kind of awesome. Margot & The Nuclear So and So's, where we participated in the Margot documentary and befriended the opening band, Everything, Now, and we ended up hanging out backstage with Margot and Everything, Now and Hubert and I temporarily traded ties and we took Everything, Now home with us and they slept on our floor and we fed them waffles in the morning.
This was better than all of that. This was so good that all of the crappy, douchey concert experiences that I have ever had don't even matter anymore, this makes up for all of them.
A large part of the awesome can be attributed to the venue. It is called the Hotel Utah Saloon, and it's kind of fabulous. We walk in and people are sort of milling around waiting to be let into the stage area; there's only a few people actually standing in line, so we order some (really fucking delicious) food at the bar and join them.
The time comes and they let us in and we RUSH FORWARD EXCITEDLY and then we stop, because there is nowhere to go, we are already there. GUYS, THE UTAH IS THE TINIEST VENUE IN THE HISTORY OF VENUES, the floor was the size of my apartment's living room, okay, with a balcony of the same size (presumably) above it, and the stage was the size of look_alive's bedroom, and there were 125 people in there. It was like going to see someone's shitty cover band in a frat basement. IT WAS AWESOME. So yeah, we walk in the door and BANG, we're there, second row, directly in front of the stage-right mic on the pocket-sized stage that is raised above the floor by three shallow steps. No one has to crowd, because we all have the same awesome view. ...IT WAS AWESOME. And also the venue is small enough that people on the stage can talk to you without a mic, and for the first time in a long time I left the concert without pain in my ears, despite the fact that I was standing two feet away from a gigantic motherfucking set of speakers. So that was also awesome. And also I am standing like two feet away from the Stump-O-Matic, which is the prettiest guitar in the history of guitars and also belongs to PATRICK STUMP, and it was really hard for me not to be, like, totally uncool and just reach out and TOUCH IT.
So the opening act was some local band called Ash Reiter, and they weren't life-altering but they were fun, and they wore funny thrift store t-shirts and the drummer was fun to talk to while he ineffectually laid out merch. And it was fun to be standing directly in front of the lead guitar and have a really close-up view of his fingers as he played the chords.
After Ash Reiter finished, they gathered up their things and shuffled through the middle of the crowd to escape out of the door in the back of the room that lets out onto the street. And Patrick's roadies shuffle in through the crowd and get to work making sure everything's tuned and plugged in properly, and Patrick's band shuffles in through the crowd and starts taking their places, Skoota's at his drums and Casey's at his synth and Matt is at his base stage left and... and Michael's center stage with his guitar... center stage... and everyone's at their places and... stage right mic is empty and the Stump-O-Matic is still sitting there and stage right mic is empty and OH MY GOD PATRICK STUMP IS GOING TO BE STAGE RIGHT, DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF MY EYEBALLS, I HAVE INADVERTENTLY PLACED MYSELF THREE FEET AWAY FROM THAT WHICH IS STUMP, HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT AAAAAAAAHHHHH!! So look_alive and I start flipping out a little. And Patrick's bouncer makes a little path through the crowd and the music starts and Patrick comes in and everyone cheers and he gets up on stage and asdfjkl;gfhsd GUH.
...I am going to try to do my best to explain to you who Patrick is and what he is like and why he is such a big deal in my life. There are these THINGS about Patrick Stump, and I have known about all of these things but experiencing them first-hand is kind of... buh. I did not think it was possible to be more in love with him than I already was, but... yeah, it's totally possible.
Okay so one of the things about Patrick is that he has the voice of five black people. His range is as broad as the Pacific Ocean, he has fifty vocal cords and all of them are made of gold, and he has only one organ and it is his lungs, this one, gigantic pair of lungs that fills his entire body, and this is why it is necessary for him to wriggle his fingers and toes and contort his face and tie himself into pretzel knots while he sings, see, it is because he needs to use his entire body to squeeze the air out of his gigantic motherfucking lungs. One of the other things about Patrick is that he is capable of releasing as much kinetic energy as a hydrogen bomb.
I will attempt to illustrate, although, sadly, it is impossible to recreate even an iota of the Patrick experience accurately. But Patrick Stump on stage is a little bit like this:
And it's a little bit like this:
And it's a little bit like this:
And if you can just imagine him exploding like that for an entire concert you can get a little bit of an idea, and his face and his body and his voice are kinda like this:
And his voice is also kinda like this:
And his voice and his music and his soul are kind of like this song and this video right here:
And that is kind of just a little bit what Patrick is like.
The other thing about Patrick is that he is a CLASSY MOTHERFUCKER. He is seriously one of the nicest, sweetest, most genuine, most polite people on the motherfucking planet. He has demonstrated this again and again online, how he is completely incapable of ever being impolite in any way whatsoever (despite–or because of?–clearly still being a bit uncomfortable with the whole fame thing), and I can tell you that, yes, he is really like this in person. Like, for just one example, when he was in the middle of talking to us about something and got interrupted by the drunken douchey bros shouting, "SING DONNIE! SING WHAT A CATCH, DONNIE!" and he was flustered for a few seconds (while the rest of us boo'd and hissed) before joking about it ("Matt, you sing Donnie!" "Man, I don't know the words!" "Don't lie, I know you're a fanboy!"), continuing what he had been saying, and going off to play his "Nothing Compares to You" thing on his piano, during which he had clearly been composing his reply, because he comes back up to the mic afterwards and addresses the bros directly and explains that he's not going to play any Fall Out Boy songs because that's a separate thing and he doesn't want to disrespect that thing, it would be unfair to them, so yeah, not to blow off the bros and no disrespect to them but there's that and then there's this, and he'll do that song when he plays with Fall Out Boy again but for now he's going to do this thing, this separate thing. ♥
So anyway, the concert. He did all the songs off of Truant Wave, obviously, plus a few extra things, and it was FABULOUS. I have now seen "Cupid's Chokehold" by both Travie McCoy and Patrick Stump, within two weeks of each other, oh my god. And yeah, I know Patrick wrote "Kiss My Sass" with Gabe, but I'm sorry Cobra Starship, this song will always only ever make me think of Patrick now. I mean, that kid he's got soul, am I right? And hearing the words "I'm bringing sassy back" come out of Patrick's mouth asdfjkl;gfds. And "Love, Selfish Love" nearly made me explode, and during "Spotlight" I came this close to escaping Earth's gravity well entirely. And there was that bit after "As Long As I know I'm Getting Paid" where Patrick was like, "The internet has completely destroyed sarcasm... apparently some people... have been taking this song seriously? ...You guys know that I'm being sarcastic, right? I mean, I would like to think that if I was that much of capitalistic jerk, I would be making more money. I'm not that bad at making money." And then he went into "Cute Girls" after telling us that it was kind of like "Getting Paid" and he wanted us to "really think about the lyrics." And then there was that bit where he and the band stopped in the middle of a song, just froze, perfectly still and quiet for the looooooongest time, and then Patrick collapsed with a little breathy grunt, "Uhh!" and the sound kicked back in and it was possibly the sexiest thing I have ever experienced. And THEN there was that part where he started having guitar problems, and he was like, "I miss doing shows in venues like this. It feels like the tiny basement punk shows we used to do, I love it. ...We're even having punk show problems. ...My guitar just broke! But we're just going to do this, okay." And the music starts gearing up for the next song and he comes back to the mic and says, "My voice is the guitar." And I don't realize what is happening until the music kicks in properly and Patrick starts doing the guitar bit with his voice in tandem with Michael's guitar, all these intricate little guitar licks, like jazz scatting only electric guitar and it was AMAZING and OH MY GOD I AM SO GLAD THE STUMP-O-MATIC BROKE DOWN TEMPORARILY BECAUSE IT WAS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER HEARD. And also because I was standing DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF HIM I got to watch him as he was tuning up after they fixed his guitar, and all of the little faces he made of concentration and joy and jkl;sdafghkds PATRICK.
One of the biggest highlights for me was "Big Hype", because. Okay. You know me, with the singing and dancing and enjoying music from the bottoms of my toes, I'm singing along and there's that line, "Don't count on your good fortune, just make your fortune count on you," and as I'm dancing and singing my lungs out I do this thing where I'm pointing at Patrick, "you", and he beams and nods like "Yeah! You go girl!!" and POINTS RIGHT BACK AT ME. And look_alive screams a little and grabs me and I'm so stunned that I can't do anything but grin like a lunatic and I think I lost some time there, it was a few seconds before I was aware of anything around me again. And, like, I am going to go ahead and be smug about this for always, because the girls in front of me got some quality interaction with Patrick, like when that one girl helped him get the Stump-O-Matic back into its stand, since he was having trouble fumbling around one-handed while trying to keep singing, and she got a grateful handshake, or like when that other girl gingerly put her hands out and kept Patrick propped up when he was BOUNCING SO ENTHUSIASTICALLY HE NEARLY FELL OFF THE STAGE &hearts&hearts&hearts, you know, major gratitude there, but all I did to earn my props from Patrick was love his music so hard my feelings boiled over, and he could see it and it made him HAPPY and he had to let me know. *floating through the clouds for always, jsyk*
And, yeah, so glad to be one of the people who EARNED IT, not like the girl who interrupted Patrick while he was trying to talk to us by screaming, "IT'S MY BIRTHDAY! IT'S MY BIRTHDAY, PATRICK! PATRICK, IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!", which was REALLY AWKWARD (and I already knew it was her birthday because she had been standing behind me for a while and she was wearing this big glittery sash that said so, to make sure that Patrick knew), I mean, how much of an attention whore can you be, and Patrick was all like *flusteredflusteredohgodwhatdoIdo?!* "...Happy Birthday!" :D? and Matt saved the day by playing Happy Birthday on his bass.
...This is as good a time as any to love on Patrick's band, because oh my god Matt Rubano and his hotness and his adorableness and his bass skills and the way he and Patrick adore each other and the way he clearly has Patrick's back, he was Patrick's go-to guy to save him from douchey crowd awkwardness every single time, and he always came through like a champ. And oh my god Michael Day and how adorable he is and how fucking amazing he is on his guitar and how his voice harmonizes with Patrick's PERFECTLY. And oh my god Casey Benjamin and his synth and his saxophone and his auto-tuner and his HAIR, the MOST AMAZING HAIR I HAVE EVER SEEN, OH MY GOD. And oh my god Skoota Warner and his mad drum skills, oh my god his skills they are so mad, they are mad enough to impress Patrick which is really hard to do (because oh my god Patrick on the drums), as Patrick was sure to explain to us loudly and at length. ...Patrick's band, they are awesome and perfect for him and they clearly all get along like a happy school of fish in an ocean of love, and it makes me so happy.
When the concert ended Patrick hopped off of the stage while the band was still playing and made for the back door, and the crowd let him through and no one was a douche, and look_alive and I made sure to hang around and say hi to his awesome band. We chatted up Matt Rubano for a while and told him how awesome he was and shook his hand, and he thanked us for coming and I thanked him for coming. And I told Casey how awesome his hair was, and then we chatted up Michael and I offered him a fist-bump and WHOOSH, OVER HIS HEAD, he just stared at it for an awkwardly long time like, "WHAT IS GOING ON?" before figuring out what he was meant to be doing, going, "OH!" and fist-bumping me back with a sheepish laugh. *facepalm* Lolololololololol Michael Day, you are adorable and FAIL and I will laugh at you for this FOREVER.
So then we went outside and there was this crowd gathered around and Patrick was standing on the sidewalk with his towel around his neck talking to people. And we scooted around the edge of it and there was, like, NO ONE standing on the other side of him, so we just sidled in next to him and listened in. And this old guy was talking to Patrick about small venues versus big venues, and Patrick was talking about how the worst kind of show was the one you do for two people, it is SO UNNERVING, and the Rolling Stone thing came up, and look_alive told him how she thought that acoustic guitar version of "Getting Paid" he did was awesome and he was like, :D "I know, that's why I did it~" and then he was talking to US. And look_alive told him she'd been to his show at Schuba's and he was like, "Hey, so you came to the first and last night of the tour, awesome!" and they talked about Chicago some. And he saw me standing there and he was like, "Hey! I remember seeing you in the audience!"–(of course he did, he kept asking people to sing and dance, and you know me, I always do, TRY AND STOP ME, and I was definitely out-singing and out-dancing everyone else in the entire fucking room, aside from Patrick himself)–"Thanks for coming!" and stuck out his hand to shake, and then stuck out his hand to shake with look_alive, because that is what Patrick is like, he doesn't wait for you to ask him for things, he grins and sticks out his hand like he's so goddamn happy to meet YOU–and he probably IS. And we talked about where he was going to be playing in Europe and then we let him talk to some other people and as we were leaving look_alive told him to have a safe flight and he looked startled but pleased and thanked her.
And, okay, you know that happy happy HAPPY three-legged German shepherd from the "Spotlight (Oh Nostalgia)" video? (If you don't, what is wrong with you, I've given you like two chances to watch that video now, when will you learn that you just need to do what I tell you, it's for your own good, okay?) I have now met that dog. His name is Cody Ray and he is
...So Patrick is the most famous person I have ever interacted with, and I interacted with him longer and in a more personal way than any other famous person I've ever gone to see, and oh my god do I love tiny venues and oh my god do I love the Utah, which is the tiniest of tiny venues. And yeah. I can't stop thinking about "Porcelain" and the whole statement Patrick makes about fame and fannish obsession, and there's those lines, "Have you ever met somebody who was perfect 'til you met them / I have / I don't ever want to meet you / Because you're like porcelain / And I think it would crack / If I found you were a brat / Stay perfect / Stay perfect", and, Patrick honey, you are not like porcelain, I have met you now and you are exactly how you present yourself to the public at large, and for the record you are sweet, okay, you are incredibly lovely, that is how you are. I could see that you are happy and healthy and that makes me happy. I am so glad I got to talk to you and shake your hand and show you how much I appreciate your music.
So, yeah. I love Patrick Stump and his bowtie and his fingerless gloves and his space boots and his hair and his Stump-O-Matic and his band and his voice and his lungs and his class and his soul and his adorable face and his body all full of explosive energy. I love him so, so much.
So this is why that was the best concert experience I have ever had in my life.