So to start off I have to point out that I found about this concert about 30 hours before it was supposed to start. I called my mom to discuss it with her because I was debating on whether to forfeit like 4 hours of study time to go to see RJA. She told me that I had busted my butt enough and that I needed this break to just forget about it all. So I got my tickets and with fees and everything it came to $13.10, which is like dirt cheap.
The next day, Wednesday, I got up and checked everything online. On my twitter there was a direct message from RJA that said “Word. See you tonight-Ron.” Then I studied because I had a final on Thursday at 7:30am. Mom got there about 3pm to help me pack and everything. We got ready to go to Wal-mart and dinner, but the lift was broke. After talking to my dad, mom was able to get it closed and I met her at Shane’s Rib Shack. We ate dinner and then mom got my drum head that I won from Jon in a contest out of the car so I could take it with me and get the other guys to sign it.
I got Floyd’s about 6:15pm and proceeded to study for my microeconomics final while sitting in the parking lot near the back door (I can’t use the front door because there is stairs). I see Joey, Nate and some other people in front of the buses between some cars eating dinner. I decide not to bother them and continue studying after laughing at Joey for a min or so. Joey was 60’s action movie Joey. His “pornstache” was back and he was wearing jeans, a white t-shirt, and a red and white trucker hat. He’s such a dork, but that’s why I love him. I continue to study until p2 comes up and we start talking. As we are talking Joey walks by and we both start to laugh talking about how he looks. Soon she goes back to her car and I am over studying at this point so I listen to my ipod. About 7:15pm this guy parks and is walking toward the back door with an employee shirt on so I ask him if he would make sure that they knew I was out here waiting to get in and he said he would come and get me. About 20 mins later he comes and gets me and I go in and get banded. The people that work there must think I’m crazy because after I get banded I sit in the middle looking toward the stage and say to myself out-loud “duke or matt, duke or matt” over and over. I chose matt’s side to be closer to where Joey was going to be. I got in my spot and just listened to the music that was playing. Next thing I know, Staci (Ronnie’s wife and RJA merch lady) comes up to me and says “Hi, nice to see you again. Short notice for this show huh?” I said “Yea yesterday” then she says “Well I’m glad you were able to make it” Staci leaves and I continue to sit there. They soon start letting people in. As I’m waiting, I look over to the merch table and see Ronnie. I head over there drum in hand and wait. As I’m almost to the table Ronnie disappears, but then he comes back sees me, comes over and says “Hotrod right? I saw your twitter. Are you excited for the show tonight?” I reply “Of course” and hand him the marker and he signs my drum head and gives me a hug. I go back to my spot and as more people keep coming in I keep looking over at the merch table and see Ronnie and Staci just sitting there talking and
no one was bothering them. I wanted to take a picture of it but people kept getting in the way.
At about 8:30pm the show gets started, American Science comes on first. I liked the music, but the singing wasn’t that great. Go Radio put on a decent show. I will have to check out their non-live music before I decide whether to like them or not. About 10:15pm or so, RJA comes on stage. They are all in their typical show outfits. They start off with “In Fates Hands” after that Ronnie announces that they don’t have a set-list and from then on stops and asks the crowd what they wanted to hear every two songs or so. I only remember the order of the last few songs but I remember all the songs they did. They started with “In Fate’s Hands” and ended with partial “Angels Cry” “Your Guardian Angel” “Face Down” and “Grim Goodbye” The songs in the middle were in no particular order: “Damn Regret” “Pull Me Back” “Represent” “Pen and Paper” “False Pretense” “Justify “Cat and Mouse” and a cover song that I don’t know. “Cat and Mouse” was amazing. Duke played the piano. I video-taped it. At the end(after I had stopped taping), Ronnie mentions how some bands just put stuff like the piano parts on track and that he was proud that they play their own s***. “Pull Me Back” is even more amazing live. I head-banged so much. When Ronnie introduced “Pull Me Back” I was the only one that screamed lol. I was kinda surprised that they didn’t play “You Better Pray.” Before they sung “Pen and Paper” Ronnie did announce that it would be the next single and they are hoping to shoot the video in Jacksonville. They didn’t leave like normal for the encore, Ronnie just got out his guitar. He then says something along the lines of “A guy in the front row asked me to sing this so I’m gunna try” When he started playing “Angels Cry” I couldn’t believe my ears. It took till “Well, it’s hard to explain but I’ll try if you let me,” for it to sink in that it was really happening. I started crying. It was so amazing that I was shaking. When it came time for the line that the other people in the band to sing “Please don’t cry” I sung it in a whisper because I was too amazed for words. I don’t remember exactly where he stopped but I think it was the beginning of the 2nd verse. He only stopped because he messed up and then tried to get started again couldn’t remember it and said something along the lines of, “Oh screw it. I hope that’s enough for you dude. I haven’t played that song in like 4 years” It took all I had in me to not yell “Excuse me Ronnie, but actually you played it last year in the end of April at the Unplugged and Unaffected tour stop in Jacksonville”
Besides the amazing set-list the banter(talking between songs) was epic. At one point they all practiced to be gansta by saying “what’s up” over and over again. When Ronnie made some clever comment, Jon would do the joke sound on the drums and Ronnie would go “Thank you, Jon” every time. Ronnie also talked about how Matt looks like Jack Black and that they have two famous people in the band, Jack Black (aka Matt) and Jesus Christ (aka Duke) and that’s why they’ve done so well. Joey also stepped up to the mic and talked. Twice Joey poured half of a bottle of water on his head and I kept yelling at him to shake it, but he didn’t. I was seriously giving Joey lots of love during the concert because base players are usually hidden and don’t get much love. Another epic piece of banter was when Ronnie talked about “cinco de mustache” where every guy is supposed to grow a mustache for cinco de mayo. I’m sorry but Ronnie can’t pull off a mustache.
It was around 11:45pm or so when they got done. This girl, Sarah came up to me and introduced herself because she remembered me from bamboozle last year. I stay inside until midnight and don’t see any of the guys so I go outside. I see duke and wave and get him to sign my drum and we talk for a few mins. After that I go looking for the others. I decide to go ahead and go around to the space between the two tour buses. When I do I see Jon and tell him thank you for the drum and give him a hug. He yells at Matt to come sign this for me. Matt is a sweetheart. (they all are) He asks me my name (even though it’s already written on the drum once) and writes “Jessica Tight” and signs his name. Jon then goes into the bus and gets Joey for me. Joey comes out and is back to 60’s action movie Joey including the same trucker hat. I wanted a picture but my camera was dead. He hugs me and I say, “First things first sign this” then after he signs it I go “And now since I know you’re always hungry I brought you this. Its not hot, but it should be room temperature” Joey then says, “Room temperature is fine with me.” I give him the peach cobbler I brought him from Shane’s and he runs back into the bus to put it away. When he comes out I tell him its peach cobbler from Shane’s down the road and he was like “Yea I rode by their on my bike earlier.” Jon introduces his girlfriend to me and I stay there and talk to them for a little bit and then I say, “Well I have to go because I’ve got a final at 7:30am.” After another round of hugs and good luck wishes from everyone, I think it was Jon’s girlfriend, told me to go get some sleep and I said, “I’ll try, but it’s so hard to sleep after an amazing show like that” Everyone was also like “Let us know what happens.” and I told them I would and left to go back to the dorm.
I got back to the dorm about 12:45pm and went to bed after twittering how amazing the show was. 4 hours later I was up and in the shower to get ready for my microeconomics final. I decided to leave my wrist band on for luck since the show was so amazing. Went and took my microeconomics final and felt pretty good. After my final I went and took a nap and went to Suwannee for lunch. After lunch my mom took me back to her hotel room so I could study while she packed. That is when the day started spiraling out of control. It had to be one of the worse days I have ever experienced. I’m not gunna go into details other than to say it was really stressful and I almost had a mental breakdown. After all this mess went on I twittered something along the lines of how come Wednesday at the RJA concert was so amazing yet Thursday could suck so bad.
By now you all are wondering what all this stuff about Thursday has anything to do with RJA. Well first thing, like I said, I left the bracelet on for luck for my finals on Thursday and Friday, well I ended up getting an A on the one Thursday morning and thus getting an A in the class and got what I needed on the final on Friday to pass that class. Secondly, Ronnie saw what I twittered and early Saturday morning sent me a message asking me what happened to make Thursday suck so bad. This message made me smile for the first time since I had left the concert early Thursday morning. It’s so amazing to me that they care enough to ask. Then to make things ever better, when I found out my grade on the final I twittered to both Jon and RJA and told them about my grade on the final and yesterday I get a message from RJA saying “Awesome job on the final.”
Needless to say that concert was one of the most amazing nights of my life and no I still haven’t taken the wrist band off because it is now my good luck charm and I don’t plan on taking it off until I go to another concert and have to take it off in order to get a new wristband. Even then I’m gunna keep it and put it in my pocket whenever I need luck.
P.S. Thanks to RJA for being so amazing and caring enough to reply back to my twitters. It makes me love you even more than I already do. Life is about the simple things that make us happy and your replies are one of those things.
P.P.S. Ronnie, please learn “Angels Cry” so you can play it all next time you’re in Tally/next time I see you in concert. It’s my favorite RJA song ever.