25 October 2007

An unlikely duo.

As most of you know, I prefer to leave work-related items out of this blog as much as possible. But tonight cannot go untouched. So I’ll have to just sub in some names and let you draw your own conclusions.

My office is handling all media relations surrounding the 10-night run of the band Von Hovi* (name changed for privacy reasons) at a brand new arena in Newark, New Jersey. Since you probably have no idea who Von Hovi is, I’ll fill you in on the background: This is a band from NJ that became rather popular in the 80’s and maintains a steady New Jerseyan following. As my friend Sarah said, “Going to see (Von Hovi) in Jersey is like going to see Jesus…in Jerusalem."

Until that week, we didn’t know how much press would be allowed to cover this, but it quickly got out of control and it was clear that all hands would be needed on deck.

So yesterday, one of my bosses says to me: “So? Are you a big Von Hovi fan?”

LG: “I really couldn’t care less about them.”
Boss: “Let me rephrase that. Do you have unbreakable plans tomorrow night?”
LG: “I’d be happy to work the show.” (at this point, not super thrilled…but alright. Why not?)

The essential concert personnel from our office headed to the venue around 2pm today, and the three of us (including me) who were called in for backup headed over around 4:30. One of the guys I was traveling with is fresh out of college, about 5’3" and is ALWAYS bouncing off the walls...and totally cracks me up with his crazy energy. We’ll call him “Fritz.” The other guy could not remind me more of Woody Allen. Right down to the way he talks, lives (in Brooklyn) and wears glasses (thick). We’ll call him “Woody Allen.”

As we were boarding the train to the Jerze, Fritz started naming every Von Hovi anthem he could think of and then proceeded to sing them. Passionately. Oddly enough, this actually got me pretty stoked to see the band. I kind of forgot how many songs they sing that remind me of college frat parties (there are A LOT of Penn Staters from NJ).

Walking from the train to the arena, Fritz mentioned that Eddie was really excited to see My Chemical Romance (There is no sense in changing this name. It’s just too perfect).

LG: Oh? Woody Allen, when are you going to see My Chemical Romance?
Fritz: Tonight. We all are. They are opening for Von Hovi.
LG: WHAT? !?!? Are you sure? That doesn’t even make any sense. At all. (then I proceed to text Robbie that I am going to have an awesome story for him later because I already know that the possibilities are endless when it comes to talking MCR with Robbie. It leads into discussions of Hot Topic, emo haircuts and eyeliner always.)

Now, before I go on, I just want you to sit back and think for a moment about the kind of crowd a MCR concert + Bon Jovi concert IN New Jersey will draw.

If you were thinking “an awesome one,” you are right. Gold star.

When the three of us got into the press room, our boss told us that our main duty will be to escort and accompany the photographers to the front of the stage before each band’s set and escort them out after each band's third song. He then took us into the arena area and showed us where to stand during all of this. The area is between the bouncer barrier and the stage. Closer than front row seats, obviously.

Then I looked up. And Ron Von Hovi is standing over me getting ready to sound check.

I can play like I’m too cool for school all I want, but that is fucking unreal. Ron Von Hovi is kind of an American icon. One that doesn’t age apparently, either, cause he looks great (and I’m not into him at all). Kudos to his dermatologist, personal trainer and dentist.

Then, we walked backstage as Von Hovi's soundcheck was continuing and we passed a gentleman in a black hoodie who seemed friendly enough, gave us the "chin up" nod and a “What’s Up?” I almost didn’t recognize him without the eyeliner and tears running down his cheek, but it was definitely the Black Parade music video dude. Or MCR lead singer. However you want to associate it. Fritz said he thought that his casual salutation was actually an outcry for friendship and perhaps if we were a bit warmer, he would have gone in for a hug. Maybe he is so sad because he needs friends. Don’t hate on emo kids. Change an emo kid’s life by befriending them. There are many on MySpace that you could certainly AT LEAST EXTEND an offer of e-friendship to.

Anyway, I was thisclose to the stage for MCR, and homeboy wore all black, but no makeup, surprisingly. And if it’s not tooooo weird to say, he’s actually a very pretty guy under all that Sephora. Perfect teeth (which I have a thing for) and gorgeous eyes (why detract with all that eye gunk? Sounds like SOMEONE needs a Jane “makeUNDER”!!!)

The we escorted the photogs out after three songs. I was going to try and go back in to catch the last song (which I assumed would be “Welcome to the Black Parade,” and I am not ashamed to admit I really like), but my services were needed backstage blocking the media from attacking the catering room. One chick asked if she could go in and get some hot soup. I wanted to be like “What? Are you Oliver Twist? Does this look like a fucking soup kitchen? First of all, steak and fettuccine alfredo are what’s on the menu. Second of all, are you starving? Go around the corner to Quiznos like everyone else. Better yet—a base has just been stolen in the Sox game. Free Taco.”

Then the Hovi hit the stage. And I was in charge of keeping order amongst the photographers in the stage left area—the side closest to Von Hovi guitarist Dickie Shamshora.

And there is one question that will continue to perplex me until the day I die: How does that guy score chicks from Melrose Place? He is a wrinkly old bag. If he weren’t a rock star, best he could do is chicks from The Golden Girls. Best. And I’m talking Bea Arthur and Rue McLanahan (let’s face it, she’s a ho. FO sho.). Estelle Getty has higher standards than that.

All in all, totally fun night. Totally unexpected. And TOTALLY Jersey. I didn’t know whether to tease my bangs or sweep them over my black-rimmed eyes. One thing is for sure though: tight pants required.


Rachel said...

I'm so jealous! also sad you didn't get to see mcr's black parade, i'd go to their concert just to see that ;) also while i wouldn't PAY to see von hovi it would still be pretty awesome show to be at...lastly who the hell thought it was remotely a good idea or likely match to put those two together???? Seriously!

Rachel said...

also...stolen base stolen taco was none other than Jacoby Ellsbury...FASTEST MAN ALIVE

Mike said...

sarah's not the bible scholar in the family, obviously. the correct reference would be jesus playing in nazareth, not jerusalem.

C said...

Wow. Did you do your hair with "Hawk-qua Jet"? Bet you did...