After finally getting off the road, me and my melonhead companion arrived much later than we anticipated at the Knights Inn. Originally we were going to visit with Nel & go see Shannon but we ran out of time. As we checked in the front lobby man asked if Shannon had a song with 3's in it, we said of course and he asked if we could do a favor & ask our friends to stop stealing all the 3's off of the outside of the rooms. We laughed & I said I'm pretty sure I have one from another friend, I would never steal one. We decided before arriving that we would cab it to/from the show, since that way we could both comfortably drink & enjoy the show with no worries. When we got our stuff in the room, the cab was early & already there so we had to rush & basically just threw everything and needed to head out. We didn't have time to get ready or head out to say hi to anyone prior. We arrived at the venue & as we pulled up to the venue, the skies opened and it began to pour. We luckily didn't have to wait outside as everything was indoors which we were both greatful for. We got ushered into where the line was & ran into a bunch of fellow nationers I had told I was coming. They were all already in line & in the front with a special pass that got them in early. I figured that once we got in that I would just worm our way up to the front, (which after we got in is exactly what I did for us). I always like to see the mishmash of different people who come to Awol shows. We both got a drink & waited in line for a bit and then it started moving & I found a perfect spot near the front for us.
Zeale opened up the show...first with his DJ on the stage. His set was full of energy & he is a great performer. He asked people in the audience for words & then he freestyle improved a whole song, it was pretty sweet. His set ended & we decided that we needed a bathroom/drink break before the next band came on. I took one of the posters off the wall before getting in the bathroom line- one girl behind me said that was pretty balsy of me to do...I was like well I need to add it to my collection of them that I have from the other shows I've been to. Then we went over to get a drink & the lady behind us asked if we could help her bring her drinks over with her friends & we were like sure & she was like well for helping I'll buy you ladies yours. We of course obliged & got free drinks. We headed back in & the crowd was buzzing & dancing while Imagine Dragons began their set. We were trying with all our might to get back up to the front, but noone would let us get there. I chugged my drink so that I wouldn't have to bother with trying to carry it & not spill on people. It was easier to be able to have both hands free to be able to hold her hand & attempt to weed thru the crowd to get up front. After attempting to weave thru & getting dirty looks from everyone, we got stuck in the middle and there was no getting any closer. We decided to wait until they broke down their set & when Awol was getting theirs set up. As soon as that happened we spotted the front row & the Milkman suited couple who led us back to where we had once stood we started heading back to the front. The people around us were not amused as another nationer grabbed my hand and pulled me even closer to the front. They stage guys came out & started tuning everything and eventually the lights changed & Megalithic Symphony started & Aaron came out on stage & all of us went wild!! I didn't get a chance to see the set list as we were too far away but they played most of all of M.S. including Wake Up (which had a sweet percussion thing with Aaron & Drew leading into it &I hadn't seen them do live in almost a year & a half), MF, and the 3 new songs that are in their repetoire- "Cannibals," "Kid," & "Joke." During the middle of MF Aaron seemed to pause as we found out when the song came to an end that some people had broken out into a fight in the middle of the crowd "You should kiss and make up, especially if you're both guys" is what Aaron yelled out into the audience. The usual amazing energy & enthusiasm from Aaron & all the other guys filled the air & everyone fed off the energy. Aaron pointed at me at one point & Dave noticed me as well. During "All I Need" I had a bit of an emotional breakdown & was greatful to have my melonnation friends to hold me while I hysterically cried. When the show ended, the lights went up & I attempted to grab a set list- the security guys were rude saying that we'd have to get either one of the guys or a roadie to give it to us & we shouldn't even bother. As I was trying to reach my way past the barricade, all of a sudden I felt a tug on my shirt & turned to see my tall melon bestie & we hugged tightly.
Security was telling us to get out immediately so we filed into the lobby where we hugged more!! Then I spotted Patti & went over to him. I wapped him with my poster he was like hey and he realized it was me & we both said hey. He gave me a huge hug. I introduced him to my bmbfl, she started to tell him how we knew each other but we could both tell he was distracted & all over the place. I said to her the last time I saw him we were both very wasted on his birthday- he said that he was not but that I definately was. I said no, I was not. He gave me THAT look and then mentioned that I was indeed very drunk- "you were on the sidewalk on my feet, that's not wasted??" I had to agree with him, we were all giggling. He headed off with some people & we then all headed outside to wait for the guys. The security was complaining about every place that anyone was standing, especially under the marquee and they didn't look too pleased as we were standing across from it as well. A bunch of people noticed Kenny step out from the venue and they crowded around him. I noticed one of the roadie guys behind him & asked if he knew where Dave was & if he was coming out. Not that I didn't want to see Kenny, it's just that I wanted to see Dave since we missed hanging with him in Boston & I wanted to show him my book. Eventually the crowd dispersed & Dave came out with all his stuff in his hands, completely full, with his girlfriend in tow, walking towards the bus, so I stepped up in between them. I asked if he had a minute or if he'd stop to just to take my book on the bus with him. He said he'd be right back out he just needed to "get rid of his dirties" & he'd definately come visit. His girlfriend didn't look too pleased with me, but I dismissed it.
He went in & it began to rain. It had been drizzling slightly as we came out but it seemed to pick up. Hayden appeared briefly, stopping to say hi as he headed over to the bus. Dave then came back out. We were standing off over to the side, kind of away from the rest of the crowd. We let him take his time with the rest of the people when he finally sauntered over towards us- he pointed at me & all of us "hey I know you." I let him say hello & sign stuff with the other group of us when I then handed him the book I made."You ditched us in Boston so I hope you have time to spare," I said jokingly to him. He explained about his girlfriend, I was like I know. He said he'd look at my book twice to make up for it. He saw the picture on the cover & commented about it being one of his favorite pictures. And then just like the other guys, he flipped slowly thru each page & looked intently at each picture, it made me smile.
While he was taking another look thru, I noticed Kenny come back out again across from us & I told him I'd be right back. I ran over & was like "wait I made you something, don't disappear you sneaky ninja" we both cracked up. I made bracelets for all the guys since I was making gifts for my melonhead friends it seemed appropriate to make some for them too. I got my little bag of bracelets out and said I wasn't sure if my gift would fit him & for him to put his wrist out. He said it'd probably fit since he's Asian and he's just small- it was a close tight squeeze but it wasn't just right so I told him I would make him another & give it to him the next time I saw him at the next show.
He said that might be a while and I smirked & told him it'd be sooner than he thought. He asked me if it'd be my actual self or just my flat 2-D counterpart. Laughing all the while, I said that I'd actually be at 3 in a row. His sneaky ninja self got out of me that I'd be seeing them in Texas, I was trying to keep it a surprise but it was exciting getting to tell him that I'd be there. He needed to go over to the bus to get a shirt so I went back over to Dave where he had finished with my book. He said he couldn't help but sign & look at my book twice. He started to walk away & I was like wait I have something for you that I need to see if it fits. Also I told him we needed to get a picture since all the times before hanging out somehow we had never done so. So we took a picture & he asked about my gift for him, I put it on & it fit well.
He started to head back into the club & I asked if he could make sure the other guys came out and to let them know I had gifts- "Oh we like presents, I'm sure that will get them out here." The rain started coming down harder when Hayden came out and said to all of us lets go under the overhang to keep dry. The security was not nice to any of us, even him, that we shouldn't be under there. They said we should hurry up, Hayden suggested we take our time. Our little group were mingling & some people showed him their tattoos & I said how all I had was my little one that was small but big with meaning. "How does A less than 3 have to do with Awol?" I then explained it & was showing how if you put the < & the 3 together it'd make a heart & awol was the A blah blah blah. He said that makes more sense. Then I said I had a present & put his bracelet on & he mentioned that it was sweet of me. I said it was nothing, since they gave me so much.
I noticed Drew step out & he turned to me & said that he heard someone had something for him. I was like oh that'd be me, give my your wrist and I put on his bracelet.
I was like I have a random question, how in the world did you get that nickname? He proceeded to tell me how when we were growing up there was a Garbage Pail Kid card that was called Drew Blood that was in a wrestling ring & all mangled & bloody & everyone growing up called him that so it stuck & is a pretty great stage name. I said we should get our picture taken & said of course. I mentioned how I always feel so short when standing next to them & only time I didn't feel that way was standing next to CT. The security guards started being jerks to all of us again as we were all still under the overhang. He said he was going to go in & get Aaron & asked if we could stay there while he went to get him. The guard said he would & then he came out with Aaron. They both sauntered out together. I smiled & Aaron waved at me "You are far from home. What brings you HERE?" I pointed to my Hoon shirt & said I was out for his vigil. He nodded. I was wearing my special shirt that Nel had picked out for me. It was windy & raw from the rain so I had a sweater on covering the back. He was standing a little on the outskirts of the group of us gathered around him so I turned to give him my bracelet for him. I said I needed a wrist to put on his present and he gave me his right one. He told me to be careful that he had a cut there but I trust you so go ahead. I asked if he wanted me to put it on the other arm & he said no to go ahead so I made sure to be gentle & then he hugged me.
I asked if we could get our picture taken as we often had so he started to stand next to me but then I was like wait, I need to show you something else & held out my wrists of ink. I wondered if he remembered "of course, I pay attention." So I went to go next to him & said oh we need to switch sides & pointed at my ink & he just nodded & smirked. He is a good communicator without words.
The person who took it cut the top of his head off & we attempted another one but it lost the spontinaity and ease of the first one. Another nationer & I suggested that we get a group picture with Aaron "since we're all from all over the nation."
We hung out for a little while and then the rain was getting harder and we decided it was time to head back to the Knights Inn and we called our cab & headed out.